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Our unmissable formula for non-boring salads » Simple and Healthy Recipe! ✅

Does your heart sink a little when you think about eating salad for lunch or dinner? Well, we have to fix it. It’s absolutely possible to create a hearty and satisfying salad that doesn’t taste like rabbit food and tastes like something you’ll actually want to eat every day.

5 essential tips for preparing the perfect salad

1. Be creative

First, it’s important to rethink your definition of “salad.” One reason salad gets a bad rap is that it tends to come in the boring format of lettuce + more greens + dressing (and maybe some croutons).

You can make salads every day of the week and never buy a lettuce if you don’t want to. A bit of leaves is a good base, but you can get it from pea shoots or any number of other vegetables.

2. Contrasting textures

This is the key to enjoying your salad! Do you only have crunchy vegetables on hand? Make a chopped salad and dress it with beans, chicken, or avocado for structural variety.

If you’ve found yourself with more veggies than you can tackle, add some roasted chickpeas, croutons, celery, sprouts, berries, or hard-boiled eggs for a change.

3. Fiber + protein

If texture is the key to enjoying your salad, soluble fiber and protein are the key to keeping you full after eating it. Some vegetables, like carrots and cucumbers, have plenty of soluble fiber to keep you full, while others (like spinach and peas) contain protein.

But adding other sources of soluble fiber and protein can turn salad from a side dish to a main dish. Insoluble fiber won’t keep you full, but it is necessary for intestinal health and digestion. You can get insoluble fiber from whole grains, zucchini, broccoli, dark leafy vegetables, and fruits.

4. Salads don’t have to be raw

Just like there is no rule that everything in your salad has to be vegetarian, there is no rule that everything in your salad has to be raw. Use raw, steamed or sautéed vegetables, or even grilled romaine lettuce, as a base, then stack. (This is where leftovers really come in handy, by the way.)

Here are some ideas to get started:

  • pickled beets or carrots
  • grilled vegetables or meat
  • roasted corn or tomatoes
  • the marinated mushrooms
  • roasted broccoli or cauliflower
  • grilled halloumi cheese
  • zucchini, cabbage, or radish chips
  • root vegetable puree
  • vegetarian bacon or bacon
  • caramelized onions
  • blanched green beans
  • sauteed or leftover skewers
  • rice, quinoa, or other grains
  • sealed tuna
  • baked salmon
  • roasted nuts and seeds
  • chicken rotisserie
  • baked chickpeas
  • refried beans
  • baked tofu or tempeh
  • eggs too easy or hard

5. Do not forget the seasoning

For some, bottled dressing will do the trick. (Personally, I’m a big fan of Annie’s Goddess dressing made with tahini and Brianna’s Zesty French, which has a nice paprika flavor.)

However, salad dressings, like all dressings, are often high in sodium, hidden sugars, preservatives, and oils that we prefer not to consume all the time.

That’s why homemade salad dressings are such a great option. If olive oil and lemon juice seem completely boring, try making homemade ranch, blue cheese, French or honey mustard, or experiment with a simple ratio of 1 part vinegar to 3 parts oil (to taste) with minced shallots, herbs, spices, mustard, tahini, or other blended accessories. Shake everything up in a glass jar and there’s no need to buy condiments.

How to make the perfect salad

Follow this formula to make salads you’ll want to eat every day.

9 of our favorite salad posts to get you started:

25 Mason Jar Salads Almost Too Cute To Eat

How to pack a week’s worth of early salads (+5 recipes to get you started!)

Moisturizing Roman salad with mango and basil dressing

Rainbow Vegetarian Salad with Seaweed Spaghetti

Southwest BLT Salad with Hot Lime Sauce

Glowing skin salad with detox dressing

Beetroot and Avocado with creamy Tahini sauce

Watercress and quinoa salad with blueberry vinaigrette

Sweet and Spicy Sriracha Chicken Salad

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