I love salads, I eat them nearly every day and I’ve learned how to make many variations over the years. I also love how nutritious salad can be and how easy it is to make your own salad dressing. But I know many people who don’t like salad. If you’re a salad nonbeliever, read on to see how giving salad a second try may be worth a shot.
Consider a few benefits of eating salads regularly:
♦ Salads are versatile and can be made in hundreds of different ways to satisfy any taste.
♦ Leafy greens, vegetables, and fruits are among the healthiest foods in the world.
♦ Diets rich in fruits and vegetables provide antioxidants, which can help boost your immune system and keep you healthy.
♦ Some salad ingredients, like peas, black beans, broccoli, avocados, spinach, and apples, contain high amounts of fiber. Diets high in fiber can lower cholesterol and promote a healthy heart.
♦ Packing a salad for your lunch at work or school saves money.
♦ Salads generally have fewer calories than other meal options (provided they aren’t drenched in caloric dressing and toppings).
♦ Salads are portable (consider using a Mason jar or Tupperware container with built in dressing container).
♦ Making your own salad dressing saves money and unnecessary consumption of preservatives and artificial ingredients.
By now you may be rolling your eyes and thinking that salad is boring and doesn’t fill you. If so, I promise there are ways to spice up your salad. You can pick and choose your favorite greens, vegetables, fruits, protein, seeds, nuts, cheeses, and garnishes. You’d be amazed at the things you already have in your refrigerator and cabinets that can be packed into a powerhouse meal. The trick to a delicious and filling salad really is substance – and protein.
Here are a few ideas to make you into a lover of leafy greens. You can also try experimenting with whatever you have lying around. The possibilities are endless!
Five Salads for People Who Hate Salad
1.) Kale and Chicken Avocado Salad
What you need: 2 cups torn kale, ½ avocado, squirt of lime juice, 1 tsp. soy sauce, ½ cup diced tomato, ½ cup shredded carrots, ½ cup shredded chicken, salt/pepper to taste.
What to do: Wash kale and massage the avocado into the kale (using your hands). Add a squirt of lime juice and soy sauce to taste. Then, add in diced tomatoes, shredded carrots, and chicken. Season with salt and pepper.
2.) Quinoa and Cranberries Green Salad
What you need: 2 cups mixed greens of your choice, ½ cup cooked quinoa, ¼ cup dried cranberries, ¼ cup walnuts (or any nut), ¼ cup feta cheese (optional).
What to do: Wash mixed greens and top with the cooked quinoa, dried cranberries, walnuts, and feta cheese. Top with your favorite dressing (or try the raspberry vinaigrette dressing below).
3.) Taco Salad
What you need: 2 cups finely chopped lettuce, ½ cup cooked ground turkey, ¼ cup olives, ¼ cup diced red onion, ½ cup diced tomato, ¼ cup shredded cheese, cilantro, salsa and guacamole, a few crumbled tortilla chips (optional).
What to do: Wash lettuce and top with cooked ground turkey. Add the olives, diced red onion, tomato, shredded cheese, and cilantro. Top with salsa, guacamole, and crumbled tortilla chips.
4.) Crab Cobb Salad
What you need: 2 cups arugula, ½ cup crab meat, ½ avocado, chopped hard-boiled egg, ¼ cup diced tomato, ¼ cup black olives, finely chopped green onion.
What to do: Wash arugula and top with crab meat. Add the avocado, hard-boiled egg, tomatoes, olives, and green onion. Top with your favorite dressing (or try the mustard dressing below).
5.) Shrimp Cabbage Salad
What you need: 2 cups finely shredded cabbage, 6 ounces cooked shrimp, ½ cup shelled edamame, ½ cup shredded carrots, ½ cup finely sliced bell peppers, ¼ cup sliced almonds, finely chopped green onion.
What to do: Wash cabbage and top with cooked shrimp. Add the edamame, carrots, bell peppers, sliced almonds, and green onion. Top with your favorite dressing.
Super Simple Mustard Dressing
What you need: 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt/pepper.
What to do: Add a small squirt of olive oil and apple cider vinegar to the mustard. Add salt/pepper to taste and stir well. Makes 1 serving.
Super Simple Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing
What you need: ¼ cup raspberries (fresh or frozen), ¼ cup olive oil, ¼ cup white wine vinegar, 2 tsp. honey or maple syrup.
What to do: Blend all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Makes 4 servings.
You can also top your salad with lemon juice, or a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar.