Craving a BLT for lunch? Try a BLT Salad with Avocado Ranch instead. Crispy center-cut bacon, dark leafy greens and fresh tomato are tossed with a creamy, avocado ranch dressing. It is gluten-free and low-carb.
My major problem area with eating healthy is lunch. I’m not sure why but I would much rather go out to lunch. Since going out to eat is pretty much the kiss of death when you are trying to lose weight, I’m trying to spend a little more time making something fun at home. Yes, fun! That is the key for me. It needs to be easy, healthy and something that feels slightly naughty to eat but isn’t. That is where this salad comes in, Bacon Lettuce Tomato (BLT) Salad with Avocado Ranch. I really wanted a BLT sandwich with Avocado. Since bacon is already pushing it a little bit, I decided to make it a salad instead. I put some avocado into the dressing so I was having everything I was craving. It’s low carb and high in vegetables. This was a lunch success.
Part of the problem is time. I always plan out what we are eating for dinner that week. I don’t plan breakfast but always have healthy food on hand to whip up a smoothie or throw some egg substitute in the microwave. Who has time to make a fun, healthy lunch that varies day to day? I hate eating the same lunch everyday. Leftovers are rarely an option for lunch. Either we don’t have leftovers or we have enough for another dinner. So this week, I not only planned dinners but I planned lunch. Quick and easy lunches that vary in flavor and texture.
Salads are a fantastic way to deal with cravings. If I would love to eat a breaded chicken sandwich, I throw some baked breaded chicken on a salad. If I’m craving Mexican, I crunch up some tortilla chips, beans and salsa on a salad. Salads are a fantastic way to get 5-7 servings of vegetables in your diet that day. Sometimes I’ll even put a salad on top of a pita pizza. Oh yum! I like to vary the lettuce I use, the darker the better for me. I don’t bother buying salad dressing anymore. It literally takes 1 minute to make your own, plus it is so much healthier. You can determine the amount of oil you want to use. There are no preservatives or chemicals and you can vary the flavors. I love to throw in some fruit puree to make strawberry dressings or mango or in this case avocado.
Once summer hits, I crave salad. I don’t crave salad quite as much in the Winter. I tend to want something hot. I’ve found putting something hot like bacon or chicken on a cold salad, satisfies my need for something hot to eat on a cold, winter day. I also like to have a little crunchy, salty, sweet and tart on most of my salads. The bacon provided the crunch and salt. Tomatoes provided a little sweetness and the vinaigrette was a little tart. It’s the perfect combination of flavors and textures. I do miss croutons. Oh, I really miss croutons but I don’t want to waste the calories on them. I try to remember I could have croutons if I wanted, but I am making the choice not to. If I tell myself I cannot have it, I am going to eat lots and lots just to rebel. How silly is that?
So, if you are craving a BLT sandwich, try BLT Salad with Avocado Ranch instead. Give a big boost to your vegetable intake and enjoy a little crunchy, salty, sweet and tart in your meal.
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BLT Salad with Avocado Ranch
- 8 slices cooked , center-cut, bacon or turkey bacon
- 10 cups dark leafy greens
- 1 1/3 cup chopped grape tomatoes
- ½ cup sliced sweet onion
Avocado Ranch Dressing (Makes about 1 cup):
- ½ avocado , chopped
- 2 tbsp . fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup 2% fat plain Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup low fat buttermilk
- 2 tbsp . olive oil
- 2 tbsp . water
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro (loosely packed)
- ¼ tsp . kosher salt
- ¼ tsp . fresh ground black pepper
Put all ingredients for dressing in a blender and puree.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes to let flavors come together.
In a bowl, combine ingredients for salad in a large bowl.
Toss with 6 tbsp. avocado ranch dressing.
Happy Healthy Eating,
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