Now that spring has sprung, it’s ‘thyme’ to enjoy big salads. If you think salad is just a big bowl of lettuce with bottled dressing, let me prove you wrong.

This salad can be made with any type of lettuce, including iceberg. I see greens (of any kind) as a vehicle for more vegetables. While spinach, romaine or arugula may contain more nutrients than iceberg, other veggies like carrots, tomatoes, beans and avocado add plenty of other nutrients to your salad.

I made this salad recently for a cooking demo for the Homepage | Cancer Support Community. When it comes to chronic disease prevention, vegetables are where it’s at. Vegetables are loaded with antioxidants and phytochemicals as well as fiber and add color, texture and taste to your salads.

Most Americans don’t eat the recommended number of servings per day, which at least 2 cups daily. Salads are an easy way to get more veggies in your day, but you can also add veggies to eggs, soup, pasta, rice and other dishes.

Instead of bottled dressing, why not whisk up your own? Homemade dressing is sodium free and makes your salad taste so much fresher. You can add Dijon or other mustard to dressing to make a thicker texture of just use an acid (vinegar or citrus juice) and your favorite oil (canola, olive, corn, etc.).

This salad can be made into a meal by adding black beans, grilled chicken or fish or strips of steak. It can be dressed and served right away, or stored in the fridge for 3 days and dressed right before serving.


1 heart of romaine, cleaned and chopped

1 pint grape tomatoes, cut in half

2 green onions, chopped

1 avocado, diced

1 carrot, shredded

1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese


Juice from 2 limes, zest of 1

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced


  1. Place the romaine, grape tomatoes, green onions, avocado and carrots in a large salad bowl.
  2. Combine the lime juice, lime zest, olive oil, cumin, cilantro and garlic in a measuring cup and whisk into a dressing.
  3. Pour the dressing over the salad, then top with cheese and serve.

Makes 4 to 6 servings. 



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