According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only nine percent of Americans meet their daily recommended intake of vegetables. Make it a point to eat more vegetables this May as National Salad Month. The USDA Dietary Guidelines recommends that you eat between 2 and 3 cups of vegetables each day.

Although it may seem impossible, this is possible with just one simple dish: a salad. You can not only reduce your vegetable intake, but you can also achieve the USDA Dietary Guidelines recommendations.

Here’s how to do it:

* Add meats such as steak or chicken and nuts such as pecans, walnuts and almonds to get a protein boost. Adults should consume between five and six-and-a half ounces of lean, varied protein per day.

* Add fruits such as oranges or strawberries to try and hit the two cups of recommended fruit serving per day.

* Crackers or quinoa can help you reach your allotment of three to four ounces of grains, half of which should be whole grains per day.

* A little cheese can go a long way in helping you to meet the three recommended cups of dairy per day.

* Salad dressings count towards the five to seven teaspoons of oils that you should be consuming each day and the oils in dressings, such as canola and soybean, help your body to absorb nutrientsFrom vegetables.

Salads are a great way to get many of the nutrients you need. Here’s an easy recipe to make salads. Baby Greens with Roasted Pears, Feta and WalnutsWe will demonstrate how easy it can be to make a delicious and healthy salad.

You will need pears, olive oils, baby greens and feta cheeses, toasted walnuts, salt and pepper, as well as your choice of salad dressings.

First, preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place four peeled, cored, and cut into eighths on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Toast in the oven until the edges are golden brown.

Toss the pears with eight cups baby greens and any of your preferred salad dressings. Sprinkle half-acup of feta on the greens. Season with salt and pepper. You are now ready to enjoy National Salad Month like an expert!

Visit The Association for Dressings and Sauces for more ideas and recipes