Happy Wednesday Friends!
Salads can get so damn boring after a while, I'm not gonna lie, I was definitely burnt out. Even with all the dressings and different toppings, sometimes you just can't seem to eat another salad. Glad to say, I'm back on a salad kick and here are my tips to falling back in love:
Vary Your Greens:
No one likes plain romaine for salad lettuce every day. BLAH! I usually buy 1 head of kale, 1 bag organic mixed greens and a small head of butter lettuce. When I get home from the store, I wash, dry and tear up all the greens into a big ziplock or a large glass tupperware. This way, when I'm ready to make a salad, I just grab a handful and I'm off to step #2- the toppings. Also- Don't forget to add some micro greens or sprouts. They typically go bad faster than lettuce so it's best to just add a small handful per salad serving rather than add them into your green mix. Another tip- make sure to tear your lettuce instead of cutting it with a knife, the edges won't brown as quickly.
Prep Ahead Toppings:
I mentioned this in my last post as well but having all of your toppings prepped for your salads really takes the pain-in-the-ass out of making a salad every day. My go to's are shredded or julienned carrots, cucumbers, radishes, bell peppers, celery, fennel and green onions. Once you chop them all up, put them in a separate bag or tupperware so you can grab a handful of these as well. If you love tomatoes like I do, keep them separate and add them when you're ready to eat. They don't play nicely in storage with the other veggies.
Prep Ahead Protein:
Usually on prep day, I BBQ a couple of free range chicken breasts, brown some grass fed ground beef on the stove top and make some bacon. When I'm ready for my salad, I just add whichever of these I feel like on top of my salad for some healthy protein. I also hard boil a dozen eggs. It's a good idea to just peel them when they're done boiling as well, that way you have no excuse to cut one in half and eat it with your salad. You can also use deli meats like ham or turkey but I caution you to be wary of processed meats. Whole Foods has a nice assortment in their Charcuterie department, they'll have signs that say "Made Right Here." I LOVE their roast beef and black forest ham. At least you know that it didn't come from some gross Oscar Meyer factory in China spewing out pre-formed meat goo into BPA laden plastic containers.
Prep Ahead Dressings:
I usually make one or two different dressings for the week. I have a nifty little salad dressing spinner thingy that is a great storage container as well. The ratio for dressings is always 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar. For oils, I vary between EVOO, walnut oil or almond oil. For the vinegars, I vary between balsamic vinegar, coconut vinegar, apple cider vinegar and red wine vinegar. Here is my list of salad dressings. After you have your oil and vinegar base you can get creative! Try citrus juice, mustard, herbs and spices or coconut aminos. If I don't store mine in my dressing spinner thingy, I have small mason jars that work perfectly! Give them a shake and you're on your way!
Mason Jar Technique:
This is an awesome technique that will totally make you say "I love you" to your salads. Dressing on the bottom, protein next (marinades in the dressing- mmmmm), then your toppings and then the greens on the top. Make 2 or three at a time for a great grab and go salad!
Fresh Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper:
I can't stress enough the importance of good quality salt and pepper. Same goes for salt and pepper grinders. I'm obsessed with my Peugeot grinders. I use either Himalayan salt or a nice quality coarse grind sea salt. I love Tellecherry peppercorns because the have a bolder flavor.
Add Some Fruit:
It may seem weird to add fruit to a savory salad but I promise, it's not. My two go-to's are grapefruit and apples. Berries or pears are delicious as well. I'd stay away from bananas for obvious reasons but hey, what do I know!?
Unfortunately, many of the ingredients in salads show up on the Dirty Dozen list. I'm a big advocate for not eating chemicals . Take a look at the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen list and see where your favorite ingredients fall. If they're on the Clean Fifteen, you can probably buy traditionally grown.
So there you have it! The love story of the salad. If you're in a salad rut, I truly hope this helps you get out of it because salads are SO good for you! Here's a recipe for my Paleo Cobb Salad. MUAH!
- Handful kale- washed, de-stemmed and torn into bite size pieces
- Handful mixed greens - washed
- Handful sprouts or micro greens
- 1/2 avocado
- 1 hard boiled egg
- 1 cup grass fed ground beef- cooked
- Small handful bacon- cooked and chopped
- 1 carrot- diced
- 1/4 cucumber- sliced
- 3 radishes- sliced
- 1/2 apple- chopped
- 1 stalk celery- chopped
- 3 parts walnut oil or EVOO
- 1 part apple cider vinegar or balsamic
- 1 tsp mustard
- 1/2 lemon- juiced
- Sprinkle of pumpkin seeds (optional)
- Salt and pep
- In a small bowl or salad dressing spinner thingy, combine oil, vinegar, lemon and mustard and whisk/mix
- Place your greens in a bowl
- Add your toppings, making sure the bacon, egg and ground beef are on the top.
- Add your dressing and finish with some salt and pep to taste
- Happy salad making!
Live to Thrive,