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Zone Living

Breaking down the latest research on Anti-Inflammatory Nutrition
Written By: Dr. Barry Sears, Ph. D | Creator of the Zone Diet

Written by Sue Knorr
on August 07, 2023

Summer’s here with fresh fruits and vegetables available everywhere. Whether you decide to venture into new territory or stick with a tried-and-true favorite, you can’t beat a cool satisfying fresh summertime salad.

Use these tips and your own unique creativity to take your salads to a new level. Keep Zone balance in mind. There’s no right or wrong way and no formal recipes are needed.    

  • Choose a base and a dressing to start. Then build on that with several more additions. Typical salad bases are greens, Zone Pasta Rx, legumes, two or three cooked vegetables like yellow and green beans (think Three Bean Salad) or chopped raw vegetables such as cucumbers and tomato.  
  • Whisk together olive oil, vinegar, and your favorite spice combo for a quick dressing.  
  • Slice a garlic clove in half lengthwise and rub the inside of the salad bowl with it for more flavor.   
  • It’s fine to add tiny amounts of denser carbohydrates. Remember, a little goes a long way.   
  • Take care not to overwhelm your salad with too many ingredients or too much of any one ingredient.  
  • Look beyond the usual torn Romaine lettuce and the coleslaw combinations of shredded green cabbage and carrots. Try something new. I’m a huge fan of a chopped cabbage mixture I found recently. It’s particularly good with a tangy peanut dressing.        
  • Try adding fruit to a savory salad. Some of my favorite combinations are apples or grapes with chicken, blood oranges with chunks of baked salmon, and strawberries in baby spinach salads.  
  • For peak flavor serve something unique on the side that can be added to the salad as desired. Keep it to a condiment-sized portion to maintain Zone balance.
  • Try a lightly salted mixture of small chunks of heirloom tomatoes and ripe watermelon, some fresh edible flowers, or a spoonful of a purchased hot and spicy chili crunch condiment straight from the jar.  
  • Add some crunch with chopped celery, slivered almonds, chopped peanuts, or chopped macadamia nuts.  Black beans, garbanzo beans, tomatoes, and shredded low-fat cheeses are good choices for adding some substance. The cheese will also help with satiety.   

Putting it All Together   

I like seasoned roasted garbanzo beans in a simple garden salad, with a ranch or a tahini dressing. It’s absolutely out of this world. Garbanzo beans are Zone friendly and quickly become the star of this salad. Add some protein on the side and a Zone friendly fruit for dessert to complete the meal.

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