Salads? Boringgggg - or are they? Think of salad as a base to a wonderful array of proteins, healthy fats, energy, and vitamins/minerals. There are a couple of key ingredients to make a delicious , hearty, satiating salad.
1. Greens - When choosing your lettuce it is ideal to go for dark leafy greens - richer the color the more nutritious. Great rule of thumb to follow for all fruit and vegetable content!
Great Salad base ideas!
Kale - massage with EVOO for 1 minute for maximum deliciousness
Spring mix - all the color means all the nutrients!
Baby spinach & arugula- FABULOUS pairing
Bib lettuce - buttery taste
2. Protein - Protein can be meat or plant based both will taste amazing with the right pairings!
Shredded chicken- quick and easy either from leftovers or simply boil until able to shred , no need to flavor adding dressings will add enough flavor
Lentils - add an amazing kick of BOTH protein and fiber so you can stay satiated for hours
Hummus - talk about a three for one ! Ideal source of healthy fats, protein, and has delicious flavor all packed in!
Roasted Chickpeas - go for a crunchy texture instead but keep the excellent source of fats and protein - check out my delicious dishes page for the recipe!
Plain greek yogurt - mix in your shredded chicken and add your favorite spices! (I'm digging smoked paprika and everything bagel seasonings right now)
Ground Turkey- again a quick and easy addition when using left overs from last nights tacos
Edamame- plant based protein that contains 17 grams of protein per serving!
Shrimp - cold cooked shrimp can upgrade any salad from boring to FANCY
3. Vegetables/Fruit - time to add some COLOR!! The more variety in color the more nutrient dense the salad! Also great for adding texture dimension - CRUNCH
Tomatoes - rich in vitamin C and lycopene (phytochemical)
Bell peppers - rich in vitamin C
Cucumbers- very low calorie but give an amazing CRUNCH
Berries- Vitamin C - antioxidant
Oranges - Vitamin C
Apples - rich in fiber and Vitamin C
Celery - rich in fiber
Onion - rich in flavonoids (antioxidant compound)
4. Healthy Fats - help out your hair, nails, and skin with these delicious options
Vinaigrette Dressing - olive oil based dressing rich in unsaturated fats giving a kick of flavor
Olive oil - OR drizzle EVOO straight on your decadent salad for rich taste
Tzatziki- light with dill and mint flavors, ideal for a Mediterranean palate
Nuts- rich in unsaturated fats, protein, and flavor!
Olives - great way to include healthy fats
Avocado- a well known fruit that packs a healthy fat punch. Rich in Omega 3 fatty acids and is amazingly creamy
Flax/hemp seeds - crunchy little guys packed with protein, fats, and fiber!
Tahini - rich nutty flavor derived from sesame seeds, packed with Copper a vital mineral for blood circulation, immune and brain health
Low fat cheeses - your pick! cheese is absolutely a personal preference ;) my favorite has to be Goat cheese! Adding fat , flavor, and protein!
5. Whole Grains - yes we can even add our grains to the salad! Theres nothing a salad cant contain! Great way to include fiber, more protein, and sustainable energy!
Whole grain brown rice - excellent source of fiber which allows for a steady stream for energy for HOURS
Quinoa - rich in plant based protein with a nutty flavor
Farro - another great source of fiber - which by the way ,aids in improved cholesterol levels!
Whole grain pita crisps - who doesnt love the little crisps
Now you have the building blocks to create a delicious and filling salad - yes a FILLING salad! Here is my favorite build at the moment!
- Bowl full of massaged kale, baby spinach, and arugula
- 1/2 cup shredded leftover chicken - mix in 3 T Tzatziki
- 1/4 cup tri color quinoa
- sliced cherry tomatoes, Persian cucumbers, and bell peppers
- spoonful of Kalamata olives
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh goat cheese
- 1/4 cup crushed walnuts
- 1 T Salad Seasoning