Carbs can often be seen as the enemy when you are talking about health foods, but they are not all created equal and shouldn’t get such a bad rap! It’s important that you eat the right ones, in moderation and mixed with healthy greenhouse grown produce, to keep your body energized. The best solution to satisfy your carb cravings and get loads of vegetables into your meals? Three words: Carb. Lover. Salads. A salad made with carbohydrates doesn’t have to mean it’s an an unhealthy one and we’ve put together a list of our favorite recipes to prove it. The carbohydrates used in these salads will help increase your energy so that you can perform better, especially if you are active daily! There’s a lot to be said for eating a balanced diet, including carbohydrates in moderation, so you don’t need to feel bad for it when you consider these healthy ways.
DON’T SACRIFICE CARBS –
If you’re like most people, eating carbs can cause instant regret because many of us have been programmed to think that they are bad for us or that they are the main problem in an unhealthy diet. If you want to eat healthy and to fuel your body with energy throughout the day, salads made with healthy carbs like quinoa, whole grain pasta, or brown rice will be your go to. It’s important to understand how carbohydrates work within our bodies so they can have a positive impact on our health. Ensuring that they are paired with fresh vegetables and light dressings is a good place to start. We’ve rounded up the best carb lover salads made with greenhouse grown vegetables so that you don’t have to sacrifice flavor in order to eat healthy this summer! They will make a great addition to the table at your next get together because they are often enjoyed cold and are easy to make ahead, unlike many other side dishes.
PASTA SALADS –
Pasta salads have to be one of the most popular carb lover salads because they are so easy to prepare ahead of time, they are budget-friendly, and can easily feed a crowd! They are also so versatile and can accommodate whatever flavor combination you are trying to achieve in a pasta salad! Easily adaptable to most ways of eating, you can easily adjust any pasta salad recipe and substitute gluten-free pasta to make sure that it works for you.
This BLT Pasta Salad that turns a classic, fan-favorite flavor combination into a fresh side or main dish option! It is packed with fruits and vegetables, protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats.
The vibrant Sangria® Medley Tomatoes and green leaf lettuce add beautiful colors and an abundance of nutrients to this dish. Once your pasta and dressing are prepared, this salad can be pulled together in less than 15 minutes. It takes even better when made ahead of time and chilled for 30 minutes to allow all of those beautiful flavors to blend. A great idea for when you need to prep ahead of time.
NOODLE SALADS –
They may not be as widely recognized as a pasta salad traditionally made with noodles like penne or macaroni, but they are just as good! You can use many different types of noodles to adhere to any dietary restrictions like rice noodles, soba noodles, gluten-free linguini, or any noodles you have on hand. They taste great either cold or served at room temperature and travel extremely well, making them great for a potluck party!
This Cold Noodle Salad takes less than 25 minutes to prepare, is full of crunchy fresh vegetables and a homemade peanut sauce that even the kids will enjoy!
It’s packed with Uno Bites™ Nano Cucumbers, Red Sweet Bell Peppers, cabbage, green onions, cilantro and carrots, spaghetti noodles and a delicious peanut sauce. This carb lover salad is so versatile – top it with chicken or tofu for extra protein, or serve on it’s own for a veggie option. This salad is served cold, so it is also perfect for meal prepping, a picnic, or an outdoor summer party!
WHOLE GRAIN SALADS –
Whole grain salads are a great option for a carb lovers! Whole grains add an extra level of crunch and nutritional balance to a salad. There are so many different grain options to choose from for your salads including farro, quinoa, brown rice, wheat berry, and more. Combine a whole grain with your favorite greenhouse grown vegetables and dressing and you’ll have a complete meal!
This Greek Quinoa Salad featuring Uno Bites™ Nano Cucumbers, Red Sweet Bell Peppers, and Juno® Bites Red Grape Tomatoes is a protein-packed recipe loaded with fresh vegetables. It is hearty enough to be eaten as a main dish but can also be served as a side.
Quinoa is a great whole grain choice for salads because it is rich in antioxidants, and the fiber in quinoa can help manage cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Quinoa is high in plant protein and is one of the best non-animal food sources of complete protein. Adding quinoa to any salad can make it a complete meal.
CARBS ARE ESSENTIAL FOR ENERGY –
We know that the key to good health is to ensure that our meals and our lives are well balanced. In moderation, carbohydrates can be essential for our health, energy, and brain function and it’s time they get the positive attention they deserve to recognize their many benefits. In fact, if you lack enough carbs in your daily diet, you can experience fatigue, irritability, and depression – no one wants that! They fuel the growth of muscles which is why many athletes and runners eat them as part of their training routine. They also provide our bodies with fiber which helps maintain good digestive health. It’s important to change our mindset around carbs from thinking they are all bad and make sure that we eat them as part of a balanced diet. They are our body’s main source of energy and when carbs are consumed in a healthy way, combined with greenhouse grown fruits and vegetables, your body can perform at its best!
EVERYTHING IN MODERATION –
Carbohydrates are an essential part of a healthy diet! When it comes to deciding what to eat, it’s a good idea to focus on including fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, peas, and lentils and limit processed foods and added sugars in order to properly nourish your body. You can have the best of both worlds when you eat carbohydrates in moderation and fill your body with greenhouse grown vegetables! The best part of most of these recipes featured above is that they can all easily be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge for days. You will feel satisfied and fuelled longer with these carb lover salads. Just remember, carbs are not the enemy!
For more great recipes to help support your mindful eating and healthy way of life, click here.
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