Monday, November 03, 2014

How NOT to get bored with salads

It's easy to get bored with the same old foods, especially salads.
How much variety can you really have with a salad, after all?  
Quite a bit, actually!

I've been enthusiastically eating salads several times per week for over a year now, and I've learned some valuable salad-building skills along the way.

(There are many different kinds of skills, after all.)

There are a few main salad ingredients which can be mixed and matched for a super salad:
  • Greens
  • Veggies 
  • Protein
  • Nuts, Seeds, and Fruits
  • Dressings

I like to use a mixture of spinach and romaine lettuce.  I'm not so keen on raw kale; it's a little too bitter for me.  I love it cooked, though!

My salads always, always include the following:

  • red onion
  • grape tomato
  • cucumber
Any veggie is fair game on a salad!  I also really love mushrooms and peppers.

It's important for me to include at least one type of protein, especially if my salad is the meal.  Proteins keep me feeling fuller longer, and give me energy.  Hunger is NOT my friend.  I love to include these protein sources, though generally not all at once:
  • hard-boiled eggs
  • chickpeas
  • chicken pieces or pepperoni slices
  • cheeses  (FETA=MY FAVE!)
This is where I can go crazy if I'm not careful.  More than one salad of mine has ended up being overloaded on the fun stuff!  These are some favorites of mine
  • sunflower seeds
  • sliced almonds
  • walnuts (if they're glazed, all the better!)
  • raisins or Craisins
  • dried cherries
  • avocado slices
  • pomegranate seeds, called arils
  • grapes
Here's where most salads meet their nutritional deaths.  While I'm not a proponent of the reduced-fat or fat-free craze, I do try to be smart about my dressing choices.  I've gone through phases in this regard.  For a year or so it was bleu cheese, all the time.  In high school it was french.  Most of the time now I use zesty Italian, or I just make my own dressing!  I bought this nifty cruet at a yard sale for a dollar, and the recipes make it easy to do up your own healthy concoctions!

Salads lend themselves so well to variety.  I love knowing I'm doing my body a favor!
What are some salad combos YOU love to eat?