A green salad packed full of veg and flavour but low on calories
Week three of starting the 5:2 lifestyle got off to a rocky start. Monday was a will-I/won’t-I day for fasting. I got home after working and visiting a friend and realised that I had only consumed around 280 calories (a very yummy date scone and a cuppa!) so if I stuck to salad, I could do it. Just as well, because the fitting two fasting days into the rest of my week was going to be tricky. And this is the beauty of this lifestyle/eating plan – flexibility and lots of choice. And my choice for dinner was Lean Green Bean Salad.
Have I mentioned my love of green beans? LOVE them! Well, to be honest, most green vegetables, and this salad is packed with lots. On fast days, I look for flavour, texture and crunch to make up for the volume of food. Although to be honest, this salad was HUGE! Filled with lots of other green veg that I love too – asparagus, spinach and zucchini. You can eat this as a warm or cold salad. I prefer cold as it allows me time to prepare the family meal and we can all sit and dine together.
Start by gathering your veg. I have listed the calorie count separately in the recipe so you can mix, match or omit. Calories were calculated on Calorie King Australia; I’m sure you might find a better app, but it came up first for me, and also has more choices for fresh food.
For the salad I used green beans , zucchini , spinach, 125g cherry tomatoes , 4 olives, 100g asparagus . Salad dressing is olive oil and balsamic vinegar. If you prefer, you could swap out the zucchini for cucumber. Mix up the vinegars – Raspberry vinegar gives a nice hint of sweetness if that is what you are craving. Steam beans, asparagus and zucchini until just cooked and still on the crisp side.
Mix oil and vinegar together and drizzle over salad. Serve immediately and enjoy every bite! Now, if this was not a fast day, I would add some toasted pine nuts and crumbled fetta, but really, it is perfect (and low cal!) just the way it is. Total calories for salad =191.
- 100g green beans (21 calories)
- 75g (1/2 cup) zucchini, halved lengthways and sliced (13 calories)
- 50g baby spinach (16 calories)
- 100g asparagus, cut into diagonal lengths (21 calories)
- 125g cherry tomatoes, halved (27 calories)
- 4 olives, sliced (14 calories)
- 2 tsp olive oil (73 calories)
- ½ tbs balsamic vinegar (6 calories)
- Steam beans, asparagus and zucchini until just cooked and still a little crisp. Refresh under cold water. Add into a large bowl with spinach, tomatoes and olives. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Drizzle salad with combined oil and vinegar and serve immediately.
- Eat mindfully and enjoy