I LOVE to use raw spinach or mixed baby greens in my homemade salads. Throw in some dried cranberries, almonds or pecans, some light balsamic vinagrette dressing, and there you have it! A super delicious, nutrient rich, quick and easy homemade salad!
I do have one dilemma when I'm making salads for others besides myself.. My fiance (and a lot of men in general) hate that there is no "crunch" in spinach and baby greens. I thought..hmm..what can I do to keep the salad nutrient rich and still have some crunch? The answer..Romaine! Romaine lettuce is healthy AND "crunchy".
Unlike Iceberg's lack of nutritional value, Romaine offers 50% of your daily recommended amount of Vitamin A in 2 cups, and 30% of your Vitamin C. Spinach is still my favorite (It offers a good amount of Calcium), but for those that like a "crunch" to your salad, there you go! I still add the dried cranberries and nuts for flavor and variety.
Dilemma: Most restaurants automatically put iceberg in their salads because it is more cost effective for them. Chinese chicken salads (one of my personal favorites), are often made with iceberg, so everywhere I go, I personally request romaine in my salads. Don't be afraid to ask! If they don't have it, at least you know you tried, but 99% of restaurants do, they are just shy using it when unnecessary. So do what's right for your body and make sure you request a healthy alternative to iceberg lettuce.