Salads can get boring and if we do not rotate our ingredients, we can ambush the success of enjoying such healthy nutrients. If you are guilty, like me, I used to buy the exact same ingredients, week after week. Not only did this put me at risk for nutritional gaps, but my taste-buds got bored with the same flavors, textures and color. Overall, a good salad should include protein, fat and some carbohydrate and a minimum of 4-5 ingredients. Here are 5 ways to build a better salad.
- 5 large shrimp, or 3/4 cup of shrimp (cooked then chilled), I prefer using my grill pan and cooking the shrimp with some spice and lemon juice
- Cherry tomatoes, chopped cucumber, green onion
- Seasonings/dressing: combine cilantro, lime juice and olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss with a bed of organic greens.
Tuna Caper Salad
- 6 ounce can of all white tuna in water or pure olive oil (I will admit it’s hard to find tuna in 100% olive oil; read labels and stay away from fillers like soy)
- Chopped celery and diced tomato
- Seasonings/dressing: 1 tablespoon of capers (undrained), chopped parsley dijon mustard, salt and pepper with a bed of organic greens.
- 4 ounce chicken breasts, skin on, organic, free-range
- 1 cups Chinese cabbage, sliced thin
- 1 large carrot, shredded
- minced scallion
- 1/8 cup sliced almonds
- chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 TBS toasted sesame seeds
- Seasoning/dressing: 1/2 TBS extra olive oil, 1/2 TBS tamari sauce, 1/8 cup rice vinegar, 1/4 TBS honey, pinch red pepper flakes
Snag and Kraut Salad
- 1-2 cooked sausages (as I learned in Australia “snags” is jargon for sausages). Make sure to read the ingredient list on sausage and only buy ones that don’t have chemical nor high fructose corn syrup. I personally love snags sourced from the farmer’s market, US Wellness Meats or when in a pinch Trader Joe’s has a clean Chicken Italian Sausage. Lastly, if you are in the Chicago area, I have recently discovered an awesome butcher in Lincoln Park, Gepperth’s Meat Market on Halstead St.
- Chopped romaine lettuce, organic
- 1-2 chopped carrot
- 1 chopped cucumber
- 2-3 TBS of fresh sauerkraut (the Green City Market has the best, or make your own)
- Dressings/seasonings: I either use some mustard or use a little salsa to add some texture/liquid to my salad. The sauerkraut and sausage provide a lot of flavor without a dressing too.
- Slow roast 1-2 pounds of pork tenderloin, overnight with onions and spices (I like chili spices with my pork)
- Fresh organic salad greens
- Avocado, 1 small
- Dressings/seasonings: salsa verde and freshly squeezed lime
Overall don’t limit yourself to ingredients traditionally in a salad. Throw anything in there – and it doesn’t have to be only vegetables. I love using fresh berries or diced apple in my salads. If I don’t have anything raw on hand, I will also put in some dried fruit. Load on herbs too. Such beautiful flavor adding a nice punch of antioxidants.
Cheers to you and good health,