Want to create an epic, palette-pleasing salad? Greens so good that you can’t help but eat every morsel. As the weather warms up, I crave them more and more and I can’t wait to get creative in the kitchen with different fruits, veggies, and flavors. I especially enjoy making them as a healthy, nutrient-dense work-from-home lunch.
Salads get a bad reputation for being boring because they get lumped in as “diet” food and diet food equals devoid of flavor. The ones you get in restaurants are wilted, dry, and lacking anything exciting. Believe it or not, many salads are not as healthy as they seem. Take-out salads are often made with conventional fruits and vegetables often covered in pesticides, contain salad dressings loaded with processed crap, and topped with low-quality proteins. It doesn’t have to be this way!
Salads are some of my favorite easy lunches. Here is your opportunity to get as creative as you want. This is easier than ever now that many people are working remotely and have access to a full kitchen. I’m a believer in the more salad toppings, the better.
Steps to Create an Epic Salad
1. Pick your greens
You can choose one main event or mix your greens together. I’m a fan of romaine and arugula. Chop romaine well to avoid pieces being too difficult to eat.
2. Add lots of colorful vegetables and fruit
Make sure you have a variety of vegetables. I like to balance the vegetables with a little sweetness from seasonal fruit. Figs, mangoes, berries, and apple slices are my favorite.
3. Add texture
Add nuts, seeds, beans, avocado, unsweetened dried cranberries, or all of the above! My favorite is roasting chickpeas and using them as croutons, adding pumpkin seeds for an extra crunch, or topping with toasted coconut flakes.
4. Season well
Add quality sea salt and pepper. Most conventional table salts are stripped of their trace minerals when processed and then mixed with additives to prevent from caking. No thanks! Redmond’s sea salt is a staple in my kitchen.
5. Add dressing
Mix equal parts vinegar (balsamic, champagne or red wine work well) and olive oil with a whisk. I’m also a fan of a homemade honey dijon vinaigrette using champagne vinegar, olive oil, dijon mustard, and honey. Whisk together and add to your salad.
6. Top with your favorite protein
This is optional. If my salad is my entree, I will add 4-6 ounces of protein. Choose high-quality protein like organic chicken, wild-caught fish, or grass-fed meat whenever possible.
Mix together and voila! Your salad is complete. Clean, easy, and nutritious. No need for Hidden Valley Ranch.