Salads are part of our South African culture, but how
do we make them suitable to our own nutritional requirements as athletes while
also meeting our taste requirements? To make a meal balanced we should take the
following into consideration:
It should contain all
3 macronutrients: Carbohydrates to
provide energy and fibre, protein to provide building blocks for tissue
maintenance and repair, and fat to provide essential fatty acids.
It must contain
vegetables and fruit to ensure variety of vitamins and minerals and fibre.
It should be low in
When designing your own salad for a main meal, think
of the traditional Food Plate Model to achieve a balance in nutrients. Half
your plate should always be vegetables, or one quarter vegetables and one
quarter fruit. Another quarter of your plate should be carbohydrates and the
remaining quarter should be protein. A small dairy portion should be made part
of the meal, either as part of the protein portion (e.g. cheese) or as a salad
dressing (using low-fat plain yoghurt).
Now that summer has arrived, fresh salads can be a
light, refreshing meal that can energise your day but still leave you feeling
light before a run, and you could start with these two delicious, recommended
salad recipes, which are perfect to fuel your running.
bean, chickpea and feta salad
Serves: 8 Time to make: 15 minutes
2 large bunches of asparagus, trimmed and halved
400g green beans
1 can of drained and rinsed chickpeas
1 small red onion, finely sliced
75g reduced-fat feta cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
1? tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1? tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
A pinch of castor sugar
Step 1 To make dressing, place balsamic vinegar, olive oil, dill and sugar into
a small bowl and stir well to combine.
Step 2 Blanch beans and asparagus in boiling water for about three minutes until
bright green and slightly tender. Drain and rinse under cold running water.
Step 3 Place asparagus, beans, rinsed chickpeas and onion into a large bowl and
toss with dill dressing. Transfer to a serving platter and crumble feta on top.
Ham, cheese and
potato salad with honey-mustard dressing
Serves: 4 Time to make: 45 minutes
500g baby/sweet potatoes, boiled, drained and halved
400g can artichokes in brine, boiled, drained and
1 yellow or red capsicum, diced
3 green onions, sliced
150g snow peas, trimmed and shredded
2 eggs, hard boiled, quartered
200g shaved ham, cut into bite-size pieces
100g low-fat cheese, grated or cubed
2 teaspoons honey
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Step 1 Combine all salad ingredients in
a large serving bowl.
Step 2 Make dressing: Whisk together all
dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Drizzle over salad.
Step 3: Place this delicious salad on a
bed of mixed lettuce leaves instead of adding a fruit, to increase the