- Nancy Boudreau
Think Salads Are Boring and Unsatisfying? Thing Again
Delicious Super Salads for Lunch or Dinner
One of the most nutritious, easy and delicious meals you can make is a salad. This fiber-filled superstar is loaded with vital nutrients and is an easy way to get the recommended nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day.
I know. When some people hear the word “salad,” they see a sad little bowl of wilted lettuce and bland tomatoes doused in fat-free dressing. Tasteless, boring unsatisfying rabbit food.
That’s not what we’re talking about here.
We’re talking about a delicious balanced meal full of veggies, protein and healthy fats. This salad is so satisfying that you won’t be reaching for something else to eat an hour later. It’s portable and perfect for a quick lunch or a light supper.
Salad prep can seem like a lot of work--Washing, peeling, slicing and dicing. That’s why we’re going to make a super salad that lasts a few days.
Find the biggest bowl you’ve got and let’s get started!
Start with a Base of Mixed Greens
Every super salad starts with a base of greens. Use any of the following or better yet, combine a few.
Start with arugula, spring mix, baby spinach or bib lettuce. Combine with some romaine hearts, iceberg lettuce, fennel or sprouts for added crunch.
Add fresh herbs such as parsley, cilantro or basil.
Pile on the Vegetables
Pile on the veggies! In addition to the usual carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes and red onions, try shredded red cabbage, radicchio, snow peas, bell peppers, radishes, shaved zucchini, raw corn, spring onions and beets.
Toss in some leftover roasted veggies for added interest and texture to your salad.
Prepare Veggies Differently
Add some variety and texture to your salads by preparing the veggies in a new way.
Use a vegetable peeler to create a shaved salad.
Dice up vegetables to create a chopped salad.
Break out the spiralizer to create long veggie “noodles” or use a mandoline slicer to evenly slice, julienne or waffle-cut vegetables.
Add a Little Sweetness
Add a little fresh or dried fruit to your salad.
Thinly sliced apples or pears add a little sweetness and crunch.
Sliced strawberries, pomegranate seeds, diced mango, grapes or tangerine sections are a delicious addition.
Dried cranberries, raisins or cherries add some sweet and chewy goodness.
Grilled fruit like pineapple and peaches are sublime!
Olives are not only a fruit but also a healthy fat. Try kalamata, niçoise or picholine olives.
Power Up With Protein
Four to five ounces of protein should do it. Pick one or combine a couple of options.
Make extra protein at dinner and use the leftovers for lunch. Try roasted turkey, grilled chicken, beef, or shrimp.
Hard-boiled eggs, a little bit of shredded or crumbled cheese, and nitrate-free deli meat like ham, turkey or roast beef are tasty options.
Canned fish like sardines, salmon or tuna are easy options.
Here are some great options for non-meat eaters:
· Tempeh or tofu
· Nuts - slivered almonds, walnuts or pecans
· Seeds - pumpkin, sunflower or hemp hearts
· Beans or lentils
· Grains - brown rice or quinoa
· Avocado – sliced or cubed
Salad ProTip #1
Make a base salad of mixed greens and raw vegetables. Store the salad in the fridge without dressing on it.
When you’re ready to eat, grab a couple of handfuls for a meal-size portion or less for a side salad.
Add any cooked veggies, fruit, protein, top with salad dressing and you’re good to go.
Make Your Own Tasty Salad Dressing
No salad is complete without the dressing. Don’t ruin your beautiful salad with some fat-free bottled dressing – YUK!
Making your own dressing is super easy and you’ve probably got all the ingredients in your pantry.
Classic Vinaigrette Dressing (makes 1 cup)
Classic vinaigrette recipes call for 2/3 oil and 1/3 acid. I like my dressing tart so tend to make it half and half, but you can play with the recipe and decide for yourself.
1/2 or 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, flaxseed oil or avocado oil
1/2 or 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice, red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar or a combination of any two
1 heaping teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Optional: Add a clove of crushed garlic, a pinch of onion powder, herb de province, Italian seasoning mix or any other dried or fresh herbs you have on hand.
Put everything in a glass jar, shake and it’s ready to use.
You can also use this dressing as a marinade for fish, chicken or pork. The balsamic version is great for marinating beef.
Salad Pro Tip #2
If you refrigerate your salad dressing and the oil starts to harden, just run the bottle under hot water to loosen it up.
Get Some Fresh Greens and Enjoy a Super Salad!
Making your own salad at home is fresher and way cheaper than buying a pre-made salad at the grocery store or deli.
Full of fiber-rich veggies, protein and healthy fats, it’s a complete meal in a bowl.
With the warmer weather coming, maybe you’re starting to crave lighter (but satisfying) meals.
Give the super salad a try and let me know what you think.