Green salads are a great way to feel full while eating less -- an important trick to remember during the diet-busting holiday season. Research tells us that when we eat a small, low-calorie (no more than 150 calories) first course such as a green salad, we eat fewer total calories during that meal. That's good information to have if you're watching your waistline.
Those salads may be good for us, but we can make them even better. No, not croutons (although if you must, choose those made with a whole grain flour). Whole grains. Whole grains (and fiber) take longer to digest, making you feel full longer. Try adding half a cup of cooked whole grains such as a wheat berries, whole wheat couscous or quinoa as a topping to leafy salads. Or make the grain the star, such as a quinoa with lemon and chickpeas, toasted pecan and brown rice pilaf or bulgur tabbouleh.
Make note, though, that when you're working with whole grains, some, such as wheat berries and brown rice, may need to be soaked (sometimes overnight) before you can use them. Plan ahead.