I make really good salads, and it makes me sad to hear about people suffering with boring lettuce and tomato salads with bottled dressing! Let’s face it, that kind of salad just does NOT make it very fun to get your veggies.
Read on for my 7 hot tips — plus 2 EXTRA HOT tips — for making salads you’ll actually look forward to eating.
Tip #1: Choose a Green with “Staying Power”
I recommend that most of the time, you make a salad that you’d still want to eat the next day as leftovers. Then, when you make one big salad, you can enjoy it for two days. The best greens for leftovers are things like:
EXTRA HOT TIP #1: Kale can be rather tough. To make it softer and more pleasant to eat, start by putting little pieces of it in your salad bowl. Then, massage your dressing into the leaves with your hands. The kale will “wilt” and soften before your eyes!
EXTRA HOT TIP #2: Buy pre-washed organic spinach at Whole Foods or other health food store. The easier it is to prepare the salad, the more likely you are to eat it!
Tip #2: Include Texture Variety
Your mouth wants to be delighted, so bring in some variety. For example, mix apples with kale, romaine with olives, spinach with mango, and chard with roasted beets. You don’t want everything to have the same sort of texture.
Tip #3: Add a Lot of “Stuff”
I find it more fun to eat a salad with a lot of stuff in it. Experiment with adding nuts, seeds, fruit, cheese (not a lot), and a wide variety of veggies.
Tip #4: Toast Seeds & Sliced Almonds
If using things like pumpkin seeds or sliced almonds, put enough of them in a small, dry pan to cover the bottom. (Don’t use non-stick pans – ever, because they’re highly toxic. They also wouldn’t work well for toasting. Just use a small sautee pan.) Stir or flip them around over med-high heat until they are slightly browned and toasted. This brings out the flavor.
Tip #5: Have a Go-To Dressing
You don’t need to buy dressing in a bottle. It usually has sugar and other undesirable stuff added to it. My absolute favorite is equal parts olive oil, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar, and Bragg’s brand liquid amino acids. It goes with almost anything. You can also add it to main dishes like beans & brown rice as a finishing sauce.
Tip #6: Add Quinoa & Healthy Fats to Make it a Quick Meal
Since quinoa is a perfect protein, it’s a great addition when you want the salad to be your meal. I often make a cup of quinoa early in the week and use it periodically throughout the week. For healthy fats, my favorite ingredients are nuts, seeds, and avocado.
Tip #7: Use Cheese for an Extra “Kick”
Cheese is fine in moderation, and I include some in almost every salad for that extra “kick.” Crumbled soft cheeses like feta, gorgonzola, and goat cheese – or grated hard cheeses – can really add the right finishing touch. Keep in mind that sheep and goat dairy are generally better for digestion than cow dairy.
Check Out These Salad Ideas
- Kale with roasted beets, toasted sliced almonds, orange slices, and goat cheese.
- Arugula with shaved fennel, grated parmesan, and toasted pine nuts. With this one, you really only need to dress it with some really nice olive oil and a little sea salt.
- Romaine with cherry tomatoes, diced cucumber, sliced Greek olives, diced bell pepper (any color), and crumbled feta – basically, a Greek salad, which is my current favorite.
- Spinach with apples, walnuts, gorgonzola, and celery.
- Chard with toasted pumpkin seeds, steamed asparagus, avocado, and roasted eggplant.
Do you have any tips and salad recipes to add? Leave a comment and be sure to subscribe for regular updates!