I have gotten into the habit of eating salad pretty much every day for lunch. There just doesn’t seem to be another option that can pack in as many vegetables, good fats, and protein in one big, flavorful, very filling dish.
But contrary to many peoples’ conception of the basic salad, I see salads as anything but boring. To me they are like soup in a way. The possible ingredients are endless, flavor combinations are countless, and it’s easy to pack a whole lot of nutrition into one bowl.
Today’s salad consisted of romaine and green leaf lettuce, orange bell pepper, cherub tomatoes, avocado, capers, green onion, blue cheese, and smoked herring (I have a huge love for smoked herring!). In short it was delicious.
I make it a point to have my salads consist of about 85% fresh vegetables, 5% good fats, and 10% protein. Not sure how this weighs to the recommended breakdown for a meal, but it’s what works for me. I also am of the opinion that half the reason people don’t like salads is because they don’t include enough variety and flavors. Salads, well food in general, should taste good.
So for any of you needing some inspiration, or just a good list of salad fixin’s to stock up on, here are a few of my go-to toppings and greens.
*There are loads to list here but these you can usually find anywhere and I always have on hand
Bell Pepper – any color
Onions – Green, red, white
Roasted mixed veggies – usually broccoli, sweet potato, onion, brussels sprouts, zucchini
Seeds – I love sunflower and pepitas (raw pumpkin seeds)
Avocado – I usually include 1/4 of one
Nuts – almonds, walnuts, pecans
*I follow mainly a pescatarian diet so my go-tos don’t include meat
Fish – smoked herring, tuna, sardines, salmon
Tofu – either sautéed or baked so it’s crispy and flavorful
Veggie Burger – crumbled
Veggie Dog – usually sliced and browned
Cheese – blue, feta, sharp chedder (I opt for strong cheeses, where a little goes a long way)
Hummus – love trying flavored versions like roasted red pepper or olive tapenade
Fruits – I’ve been a big fan of grapefruit lately, but dried berries, apples, and pears can add some sweet tartness
|Also been in a habit of requiring some bubbles with my lunch|
As far as dressings go, on a daily basis I don’t really eat them, and if I do it’s only a teaspoon here or there. Typically I try to build enough flavor into my salad to not need a dressing, and things like capers and smoked herring have a little “juice” that tends to add plenty of “dressing”. If I do use dressing I try to stick to light vinaigrettes, or more often, I make a dressing. It’s easy to combine some EVOO, balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, and seasons to create an easy dressing. Sometimes I get crafty and make them with tahini, or mashed avocado, or mustard of some sort. I’ve also thinned hummus with some soy sauce, nutritional yeast, and water to create a dressing. Again the possibilities are endless.
Whoa, and with that you’re welcome on an entire post dedicated to salads 🙂
Happy salad building!