The stereotype for a healthy meal is often a salad. Look around and inevitably you’ll see someone attempting to eat a healthier diet by suffering over a small bowl of sad looking greens. Haha I am being a tad dramatic! But am I? How realistic and nutritionally balanced is it to simply eat some leaves as a meal? It’s not a surprise that highly restrictive diets often don’t last. I am a strong believer that healthy choices need to fit into a healthy lifestyle, not just a fad diet that is hard to sustain.
Although salads do have their pros. I like them, because it’s easier to control the amount of sodium and unhealthy fats since the ingredients are whole foods. Lowering your salt intake is an important part of lowering blood pressure naturally.
The magic of salad is that you can add more than just salad greens. I’ll share one of my easy go-to weeknight salads that is filling, fairly healthy (hey I’m not going for perfection here!) and works GREAT as leftovers too. The pasta and chickpeas provide carbohydrates and protein which help me to feel full for longer.
Easy, Heart Healthy Pasta Salad Recipe
- salad greens (I like choosing a mixed blend to make it taste more interesting)
- green beans
- canned chickpeas (no salt added. If you can’t find that, use drinking water to rinse the chickpeas in a colander)
- canned corn (no salt added. If you can’t find that, use drinking water to rinse the corn in a colander)
- room temperature or chilled cooked pasta (white or wheat pasta)
- salad dressing of your choice (read that label and choose one with less saturated fat)
- Dice the carrots
- Steam the green beans (If you’re busy and don’t want to turn on the stove, feel free to skip this ingredient!)
- Drain the canned chickpeas and canned corn
- Combine all ingredients in a big bowl
- Take a look at your dressing’s nutritional label and be mindful of how much sodium you’re adding
- Add dressing and toss
- Find a big fork and dive in! Enjoy!
- Note: I recommend saving the leftover corn and chickpeas in a separate Tupperware as there is usually some liquid and might make the greens mushy for the next day.
As you can see, there are SO many different ways to change up the ingredients to keep this recipe interesting! What are some heart healthy ingredients you like to add to your salads?
Categories: Food and Diet