One of the things I love about living la vida low-carb is the way it’s teaching me to love salad again.
When I was following a low-fat diet, I saw salad as the enemy. Greens — even dressed up with tomatoes, carrots and scallion — were still boring, limp, lifeless and basically tasteless.
But when I’m doing the low-carb thing, my salad gets to include exciting toppings. Things like crumbled bacon, real cheese, diced avocado, hard-boiled egg, sunflower seeds and my favorite dressing, blue cheese, make a regular appearance in the salad bowl.
I realize that some of those things can be included on low-fat salads, too. I see them in the salads of bloggers like Tina at Carrots N Cake, Meghann at Meals and Miles and Jen at Prior Fat Girl. The salads they make always look delicious.
Perhaps a lack of creativity on my part ensured my low-fat salads didn’t sparkle and beckon to me, saying “eat me.”
Then again, maybe not. Health and fitness magazines always say that, on a salad bar, you’re supposed to avoid the cheese, bacon and gloppy dressings because they’re high-calorie and high-fat. It’s drilled into our heads. So I was just following instructions.
Whatever the reason, I’m happy to say that I no longer have a problem with salads. I can actually look forward to eating a big salad, so long as it features more than wilty greens and a smattering of cucumber, tomato and carrot shreds.
The one I had for dinner Saturday is a prime example. Two of my formerly verboten toppings were showcased: avocado and full-fat cheese.
In the mix: 2 cups romaine, 1/4 cup red and orange bell pepper (1/4 cup total, colors mixed), 2 T red onion (sliced very thin), 5 grape tomatoes (halved), 1 avocado (diced), 3 1/2 oz. steak slices (leftover from lunch the other day), 1 oz. shredded cheddar and 2 T blue cheese dressing.
I’m here to tell you, that was one delicious salad — and I’m still full four hours later. Better yet, it totaled just 9.7 net carbs — and 8.3 of those carbs are veggie carbs. That’s nearly 2/3 of my veggie carb requirement for the day!
My only complaint? It didn’t photograph very well. All the brightly colored veggies settled the bottom of the bowl by the time I was ready to eat, so the picture I got is decidedly lackluster.
There really are reds, oranges and purples in there with the brown and green.
Oh well. At least it tasted great.
Maybe I’ll be able to snap a better picture of my next delicious salad.