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How to Make a Balanced Salad

A salad makes an easy side dish or main course. To get the most out of your salad, go heavy on the vegetables and light on the toppings and dressing.

This recipe is for 1 serving, but you can increase the amounts as needed to share with your family. Follow the 4 simple steps. Toss everything together and serve. 

Step 1: Start with your greens base.

A serving is 1 cup per person, or about the size of a baseball.

Choose any greens you like, such as:

  • mixed greens
  • romaine or iceberg lettuce
  • spinach

Step 2: Add your chopped, diced, or sliced vegetables.

Add ¼–½ cup, or about the size of a tennis ball. Pick different colors to get a variety of vitamins.

 Choose 2 or more:

  • bell pepper
  • broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • carrots
  • cauliflower
  • cucumber
  • onion
  • radishes
  • tomato

Step 3: Sprinkle a fun topping.

Use 2 tablespoons or less, or the size of a golf ball.

Choose one:

  • almonds
  • croutons
  • dried cranberries
  • olives
  • shredded cheese
  • sunflower seeds

Step 4: Drizzle your favorite dressing.

Use 2 tablespoons or less, or the size of a golf ball.

Choose one:

  • bottled dressing
  • olive oil, vinegar, and oregano

Reviewed by: Marlene Rafferty, RD
Date Reviewed: Jan 18, 2023

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