If you are one of those people who could never catch on to eating a bowl of vegetables and calling it a meal, today is your lucky day. A bowl of lettuce is so boring. Salad is delicious though and here are some ways you can make them appetizing:
Get a variety of different lettuces. Don't just get iceberg lettuce. Bleh, it tastes like nothing. A good rule of thumb is that the greener the leaf, the more flavorful (and nutritious) it is. Try micro greens or perhaps don't even make lettuce your base. Try blanched asparagus, quinoa or beets as your salad base.
Experiment with different toppings. Options here are really endless. Start with more veggies: carrots, tomatoes, beets, celery, red onion, scallions, mushrooms, cucumber, purple cabbage, radish, peppers, sweet potato, alfalfa, corn, etc. Then add whatever else your heart desires: chickpeas, avocado, sunflower seeds, dried soy beans, silvered almonds, pecans, cranberries, hummus, cheese, mango, strawberries, watermelon, apple, eggs, olives, etc.
Make the meat flavorful. You have to remember to include the protein. Make it taste good! You can buy pre-shredded chicken and season it yourself or grill the meat and then cut it up before topping it on the salad. It doesn't just have to be chicken. Play around with different combinations. One great combination is a fiesta salad with pork carnitas, lettuce, corn, salsa and a dollop of fat free plain greek yogurt. Add some jalapeños if your'e feelin spicy!
UTILIZE SPICES. I can not emphasize this enough. Fresh cracked salt and pepper, garlic powder, smoked paprika, oregano and thyme are some you can use no matter what is on your salad and it will still taste great. Pro tip: pepper is much more aromatic when you grind it yourself instead of buying it pre ground. Literally use whatever is in your spice rack. If you don't have spices at home, please reach out on the contact form and let us help you build some staples in your kitchen.
Save yourself a bazillion calories by making your own salad dressing. Do you like vinaigrettes? If you do and you also like peperoncino peppers and are in a pinch you can pour some of the juice from the glass of pickled peperoncino's over top of the salad as a dressing. Drizzle with some balsamic vinegar or balsamic glaze and BAM! You have got yourself a mouthgasm from a salad.
When it comes to using oils and vinegars as a dressing it is very important to buy quality products. Of course you can buy the stuff you find at the grocery store but I guarantee you that it will not taste as good as going to an actual shop where they make oil and balsamic vinegars in smaller batches. Often you will find that boutique wine shops also sell olive oil and vinegar. If you don't know of a place near you just google it and look for small shops near you. Many of them offer shipping. The price point of course will be higher than the grocery store but the quality and taste of the product will be above par.
If ranch is more of your style of dressing, mix 2-3 cups of fat free plain greek yogurt with a packet of ranch seasoning. It will be like a dip consistency so you can add water to make it pourable or just spoon it on top of the salad as is.
Here are some more salad ideas
Play around with some of these combinations and tag us on social media @sophrosynehealth_coaching