How to Make a Large Simple Iceberg Salad for One Person
Cutting Vegetables for a Salad 101:
When I was in college I practically lived on large salads every day because these are cost-effective. However, this recipe is great for any single person who wants a healthy meal without having any leftovers. From day to day I vary how I make my large salads, but for this demonstration, I am using a few simple ingredients. The salad will be topped with an easy to make a homemade salad dressing that is preservative free and very tasty. Please feel free to modify this recipe any way you like as I change the ingredients in my salads on a daily basis. Elaine's character on Seinfeld loved to eat big salads, so sometimes I always giggle and think about that episode as I am chopping up the vegetables and lettuce.
I love both iceberg, romaine and other varieties, but for this demonstration, I am using iceberg lettuce. Use any time of lettuce you wish, but I usually use iceberg lettuce as it stays fresh longer than other varieties. Even though iceberg lettuce has less nutritional value than other varieties such as romaine, it is low in calories at only ten calories per seventy-two-gram serving. Iceberg lettuce was called Crisphead lettuce up until the 1920s when trains began to transport this variety to all part of the country. It was called "iceberg" because frozen ice was used to keep it cool on its transit across the country. Also, iceberg lettuce contains small amounts nutrients such as potassium, thiamin, iron, folate, and vitamin C. Iceberg lettuce is a low calorie food that will help to make you feel full so you will eat less as carbs, which is something I always need help with.
Take off the outer leaves and cut out the core of an iceberg head of lettuce. Place the head of lettuce in the collandar and run water through the hole in the center of the head, which is where the core used to be. Shake the collandar when finished rinsing to get rid of excess water and allow the head to drip dry for a second or two. If you accidentally get a little too much water on the head when washing this is okay because it helps to keep the lettuce fresh longer. Place the head of lettuce on the cutting board and chop it up finely or loosely, depending on the texture you prefer.
Chop up a stalk of celery on the cutting board. Celery is a nutrient-rich and low-calorie vegetable that contains ten calories per stalk. Celery also contains a small amount of calcium, folate, vitamin A, vitamin k, phosphorus, and potassium. Celery is not the most nutrient rich vegetable, but eating it in place of snacks and other treats can help cut calories from your diet. I love the crunch of celery and prefer to use it over croutons because it has fewer calories.
Slice the tomato on the chopping board. So far I have used one stalk of celery and now I am adding one tomato. The tomato pictured here is of the Roma variety and it contains approximately thirty-five calories. Roma tomatoes and tomatoes, in general, contain nutrients such as thiamine, phosphorus, vitamin A, vitamin, C, and of course fiber. Tomatoes originated in Central and South America and Spanish explorers at first believed these plants were a toxic member of the nightshade family. Eventually, Spaniards and Italians overcame their fear of the tomato in the mid to late 1500's and it became a staple in the cuisine of both cultures. There are some studies that suggest that the lycopene levels in tomatoes by help to prevent ailments such as prostate cancer, but there will need to be more research to substantiate this finding. Tomatoes are wonderful vegetables to use in salads and they taste very good too.
Chop a carrot and add any other vegetable you may like for the salad. There are fifty-two calories in one cup of finely chopped carrots, so carrots are a food you can snack on without worrying about your waistline. Carrots contain many beneficial photo-chemicals as evidenced by their bright skin. Carrots come in many colors ranging such as white, red, yellow, purple and orange, but the first orange carrot appeared until farmers bred the orange carrot in the sixteenth century. Japanese research has shown that carrots contain both beta-carotene and alpha-carotene, which help to prevent the onset of cancer.
Only a carrot, a stalk of celery, and a Roma tomato were used for this demonstration, but you can use as many or as few vegetables as you like. This salad will not contain a protein source, but this salad could become a complete meal by adding chicken, fish, or turkey in order to keep it light and healthy.
Making a Healthy and Perservative Free Salad Dressing
My dressing includes two tablespoons of olive oil, a sprinkling of garlic salt, a clove of garlic, and some Italian seasonings for taste. These are the steps I use when preparing my simple and tasty salad. Some may worry about using this much oil, but research has shown that olive oil is an acceptable part of a healthy diet. In Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine olive oil is used, which is much more healthy the margarine and hydrogenated oils found in many processed foods at the store.