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    No rabbit food here! These plates pack a healthy, hearty punch.

    Happy almost-spring! It’s time to shake off winter and freshen up your plate with tasty, tender salad greens. If the cold months left you with extra pounds, low-calorie greens can help.

    “We find that salads are great fillers that just really satisfy your appetite,” says Elisabetta Politi, MPH, RD, LDN, nutrition director at the Duke Diet and Fitness Center.

    Consider that a cup of shredded romaine contains a mere 8 calories, but 82% of an adult’s daily value for vitamin A and 20% of the daily value for vitamin C. And because we often eat salad greens with other healthy ingredients (think tomatoes, beets, avocados), they’re an easy way to get more veggies. Politi recommends you super-charge your salads with dark greens such as spinach, arugula, and kale.

    Turn over a new leaf this spring with these three recipes.

    Meat Up

    This hearty salad offers meat lovers a taste of steak without going overboard. Use a lean cut such as filet mignon, flank steak, or top loin.

    Arugula Steak Salad With Peppercorn Dressing

    Makes 6 servings



    ⅓ cup low-fat buttermilk

    1 tbsp mayonnaise

    ½ tsp sherry vinegar

    ½ tsp finely minced garlic

    ½ tsp cracked black pepper, or more to taste

    ¼ tsp kosher salt


    4 cups baby arugula

    2 cups watercress

    ½ red onion, thinly sliced

    18 cherry tomatoes

    1 medium red pepper, thinly sliced

    1 medium yellow pepper, thinly sliced

    1½ lbs lean steak, with fat trimmed

    ¼ cup crumbled blue cheese


    1. Combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk until blended.

    2. In a large bowl, combine lettuces, onion, cherry tomatoes, and peppers. Toss with a small amount of dressing. Divide evenly onto 6 plates.

    3. Grill steak over medium-high heat until medium rare, about 5 minutes per side, depending on thickness. Slice crosswise into thin slices.

    4. Arrange steak atop salad on each plate. Garnish with blue cheese. Serve immediately.

    Per serving

    343 calories, 25 g protein, 7 g carbohydrate, 23 g fat (10 g saturated fat), 80 mg cholesterol, 2 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 276 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 61%

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