6 Ways To Make Your Salad Satisfying
“I would be so hungry if that’s what I ate for lunch!” - the most common comment I receive when people realize that I willingly eat and enjoy salads everyday. This usually turns into a conversation about what items they put into their salads, and most of the time, they just aren’t adding enough contents.
So, after a couple of years of salad making, I found these six ways to make the most satisfying and tasty salads.
Step 1 - Choose your Base
There is a wide assortment of greens available to choose from such as baby kale, spinach, or assorted mixed greens. These varieties contain important vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, C and K, as well as iron and calcium. A few other more common options to choose from are green and red lettuce, romaine, Iceberg and arugula. Leafy greens are low in calories, so use as much as you desire. I typically add around three heaping handfuls to my salads.
Step 2 - Add Some Color
Carrots, yellow and red peppers, purple onions, assorted tomatoes, butternut squash, sprouts, beets, cauliflower, mushrooms - the options are endless! A good rule of thumb: the more visually appealing your food, the tastier it will be. Add lots of the vegetables you enjoy, and don't be afraid to venture out and try something new. It can take anywhere from 12 to 15 exposures before your tastebuds adjust. So if you don’t quite like something, keep trying it! You just might find yourself craving it.
Step 3 - Pick a Protein
Your selection depends on your personal preference. Vegetarian or vegan? Try using some quinoa, beans, edamame, tempeh or tofu. Pescatarian? Try grilling up some salmon or cod. In a rush? Grab a tin of tuna or rotisserie chicken. I switch up my protein every week to keep my salad enticing. Last week, I added tinned sardines and tuna. This week its chicken and edamame.
Step 4 - Add in Some Healthy Fats
This is possibly the most important piece to creating a satiating meal. Unfortunately, many of us fear that eating fat will indeed make us fat. However, not all fat is created equal, and eating the right kind of fats will keep you fuller longer. My go-to, tasty fats are avocado, nuts, seeds, olive oil and whole eggs. The benefits of eating these fats range from stronger bones to healthier skin, as well as increased brain functioning and easier fat loss.
Step 5 - Select and Prepare Your Dressing
There are so many quick and easy options available when it comes to creating your own salad dressing. Does your salad need something sweet? Try blending up some berries with olive oil and a touch of honey. What about creamy? Try Greek yogurt or tahini as your base with some fresh herbs or lemon juice added in. Spicy? Mixing together apple cider vinegar, olive oil, some seasonings, and chipotle pepper adobe sauce will do the trick. By creating your own salad dressing, you'll avoid things like added sugar, preservatives and excess calories. Best of all, you'll save some money!
Step 6 - Add Some Extra Pizzazz!
Still looking to add something more to your salad? Sprinkling in some fresh herbs, such as cilantro or basil, will not only give your salad more flavor, but you'll also be adding in some extra nutrients. Using hemp and sesame seeds can offer an additional layer of texture. While using nutritional yeast can offer a cheesy flavor.
When in doubt, turn to Pinterest. There are plenty of options available to satisfy even the pickiest of taste buds. Just be sure that the salad you choose has lots of color, a source of protein, some healthy fats and a scrumptious dressing! If you follow these steps, you’ll likely find that your salad is not only delicious, but filling.