In our household we take salad seriously.
We don't make a salad with just some meager iceberg lettuce and boring shredded cheddar cheese in our household, but instead a decadent and loaded meal with veggies, fruits, nuts, delicious cheeses, flavor packed dressings and succulent meats.
There are so many people that shudder when they think about salad and have this totally bland, boring impression of them. Salad's don't have to be boring...the more colors the yummier and more nutritious. If you're not already salad lover take the following steps to break that.
Steps for how to enjoy a salad:
- Skip the iceberg lettuce. Instead try a spring mix, endive, arugula, spinach, kale, and/or romaine. Not only will you enhance and experience different flavors, you'll get additional nutrients and health benefits.
- Add more veggies. Love tomatoes - add them! How about peppers? Add them! The more the better, and it'll help keep you full longer too and create a more substantial meal. Any easy way to add more is to use coleslaw & broccoli mix and add a handful each time.
- Try new protein sources. Everyone's go to is chicken to add to salads, but there are so many different protein sources you can try. Some examples, how about hard boiled, or even fried eggs. Tofu is great and can take on most any flavor it is cooked and/or seasoned in. What about beef? Try slicing steak to use on your salad or even taco seasoned ground beef to make your own taco salad. A handful of beans are a great way to add some more protein as well. Nuts are another great source and can add some great healthy fats (that lower LDL cholesterol). Some great ones to add: walnuts, pecans and almonds. Another favorite is spicy shrimp (saute with Cajun seasoning). In a pinch for time? Add deli meat or rotisserie chicken or even tuna.
- Throw in some fruit. I love cutting up grapes, strawberries, raspberries and apple and adding it my salad. The sweet contrast against the dressing is amazing (especially with grilled chicken and a vinaigrette or blue cheese dressing). Another option is dried fruit (cranberries are my favorite).
- Add in's: Sunflower seeds, tortilla chips, homemade croutons, corn, chickpeas (roasted are tasty), pasta, avocado, roasted veggies, the list goes on...
- Serve along something you love. One of my favorite things is rosemary bread. I could eat it by the loaf. Pairing it with a salad is even better. I love taking a piece at the end and wiping up all the leftover dressing. A classic pairing with a savory soup is another instance of a filling meal.
- Find a dressing you love. This is huge. I went years eating lack luster dressing. Splurge for a dressing you really love, it's worth the extra few cents or venture out and make your own. My favorite right now, Bolthouse Farms Chunky Blue Cheese, seriously amazing and healthier than most others because it's made with yogurt.
- Interesting cheeses. Feta, blue cheese, gorgonzola, grunyere, goat, Vermont white cheddar, are a few great ones to try.
- Heat it up. Did you know you can grill salad too. Drizzle a little olive oil and sprinkle with seasonings of your choice on romaine and throw it in the oven or on the grill. It can add so much extra flavor. Saute some additional veggies and add them to the mix too (my fav's: zucchini, squash and caramelized onions).
- Be careful for some add-ins because they can pack a calorie punch. Stick with fresh, non-processed and non-fried items.
Below are a few of the creations that we feast on a regular basis:
|Kale and spinach salad with grilled chicken, strawberries, red onion, walnuts, cranberries, cucumber, |
orange pepper with yogurt blue cheese dressing served along with toasted rosemary bread.
|Spring mix with walnuts, berries (blueberry, strawberry, raspberry) with a raspberry vinaigrette dressing.|
|Spinach with chicken tomatoes, carrots, coleslaw mix, onions and blue cheese dressing.|
|Tomato, zucchini, squash, red onion with balsamic dressing and dash of pepper.|
|Spinach, Cajun shrimp, strawberries, egg whites, assorted veggies with Italian dressing.|
|Spring mix, onion, tomato, and Caesar dressing.|
|Spinach, romaine, pea pods, black beans, diced turkey deli meat, tomato, peppers, egg whites and Greek dressing.|
|Spring mix, roasted chickpeas, broccoli, egg whites, orange pepper and Italian dressing with cheese quesadillas.|
What are your favorite add-ins to salads or the best salad you've had?