When you think of a salad, what do you think of? A few pieces of wimpy romaine with more cheese shreds than lettuce, old tomatoes, hard croutons, and five cups of dressing dumped on top?
I feel like that’s the typical picture that pops in everyone’s head when I say I could eat a salad for every single meal. At least, that’s what I think they think of when I get that ever so lovely “you’re eating a salad?” eye roll.
If every single salad was like that, I would never touch them. Here’s the thing, there are soooo many ways of sprucing up any salad. I’m about to hit you with my top 5 tips for a non-boring salad.
The best thing about creating your own salad..well, any meal for that matter? Everything is fully customize-able! I have listed a few of my favorite personal additives to give you the idea. Add in your own favorite veggies, fruits, and spices! As long as you stick to the baseline tips, you will soon be like this ging….OBSESSED with salads.
1.) Colors! :
Eat the rainbow! Garnish your plate with a plethora of color! Doing this not only makes what you are eating visually pleasing, but it is also a great way to add in a variety of different veggies. The more variety, the more nutrients you supply your body! Plus, the more tastes you get to explode your mouth with.
2.) Hot & cold :
Keep your taste buds on their toes by having both cooked and raw (cold) veggies and fruit!
If you have to pre-make your salad to take to work or school, pre-cooked veggies are also just as delicious when cold, while still giving you the cooked and raw variety!
My Favorite Cooked Veggies
- roasted sweet potato
- summer squash
- red peppers
- green beans
- cauliflower/cauli rice
Looking for a sweetness added to your salad? Add some fresh fruit!
- pomegranate seeds
- orange slices
My Favorite Raw Veggies
- snap peas
- bok choy
- mixed greens
- butter lettuce
- beets (try raw or cooked)
- peppers (try raw or cooked)
3.) Shop local farmers markets (even in the winter!) :
Eating seasonally from a local source is the easiest way to get the best, freshest produce! Nutrients in fruits and veggies start to break down the moment they are harvested. It can be anywhere from a few days to a few weeks by the time produce is picked, shipped, and put onto shelves in the grocery store. You are guaranteed fresher produce when you buy from a local farmers market. Not to mention, supporting local farms is great for the earth & your community. This is also a wonderful way to venture out and try new foods!
All of my Chicago friends, don’t let the winter fool you into thinking market season is over. Head over here to check out farmer’s markets around the area that move indoors for the cold months!
4.) SPICE IT UP :
One thing that I hardly ever add to my salads is salad dressing. That’s because it’s not needed. Not only do salad dressings add unnecessary calories and are filled with a ton of additives/preservatives, they also take away from the decadent & delicious flavors in what you’re eating.
Instead try using a plethora of different spices:
- Onion powder
- garlic powder
- sea salt
- garlic salt
- red pepper flakes
- curry powder
- Trader Joe’s Everything but the Bagel
- a fresh squeeze of lemon
- a dash of hot sauce (love me some sriracha)
- nutritional yeast
- mustard seeds
5.) Change up your protein! :
Most of the time, I just add whatever leftover meat I have in the fridge (this is when meal prep comes in handy!) Although chicken is a favorite of mine, there are many other great protein options you can choose from!
- black beans
- wild caught salmon & other fish
- chick peas
- ground turkey
- hemp seed
- chia seeds