To some, my routine of eating a salad for lunch or dinner almost every day may seem repetitive. But, I truly LOVE salads and consider salad my favorite food. Below are some simple and delicious ways to change up your salads in nutritious and tasty ways that will have you craving more leafy green goodness.
I really didn’t realize how much salad I consumed until looking at my Instagram account or my Photo Stream. Wow…
1) Healthy Fats
Try it with some sweet potato, quinoa or avocado!
These additions will have you feeling fuller longer due to the healthy fat sources they provide your body. 1/2 baked sweet potato, 1/4 or 1/2 avocado, and 1/4 cup quinoa are the typical serving sizes I opt for.
2) Change up the base
Your leafy greens could use a makeover! Are you stuck on romaine as your leafy salad green of choice? Why not try kale, spinach, spring mix, or another variety of lettuce? This is a great way to change up the flavor because not all leafy greens pack the same flavor punch. If you’re new to kale, I suggest adding it in along with the green of your choice. One of my favorite combinations are spinach and kale or spinach and romaine. Yum!
3) Don’t skip the protein
Adding a lean protein source or two to your salads will give you the energy you need to power through your day. Some suggestions are turkey, grilled chicken, steamed or grilled fish (love tilapia on my salads), tuna canned in water, shrimp, beans (chickpeas, black beans, pinto beans) or hardboiled egg. Adding protein and a healthy fat source will really help keep your cravings and snacking at bay.
4) Add more CRUNCH!
Pine nuts, almonds, nut thins, walnuts, pecans, cashews, pepitas and sunflower seeds are all incredible add ins to any salad. Definitely reach for the raw (unsalted) versions of these nuts instead of salted to save yourself the sodium. I love adding chopped almonds, sunflower seeds and pepitas to my salads — so delicious!
5) In the mood for fruit?
I stick to fruit in the morning/early afternoon, so this would only apply if I had this for lunch. The simple addition of some fruit (grapes, dried fruit, apple slices, strawberries, etc) can really awaken the flavor of your run-of-the-mill salad. Another great idea to add some citrus would be to either slices or juice from lemons, limes or a grapefruit. It really helps make the salad bright and summery.
6) Change up your veggie add-ins
If you’re like me, the vegetables you put in your shopping cart are pretty much the same from week-to-week. I am a carrots, tomato and cucumber fan when it comes to veggie add-ins. So when I’m feeling adventurous, I like to add celery, raw peppers, sugar snap peas and mushrooms to my salads instead of my typical additions. Changing the texture of what you add to your salads can really help add some variety. Give it a try 🙂 I also found changing just the color of onion I use gives the flavor a nice change. So, instead of white or Vidalia onion I’ll try red or green onion.
Another easy change to the vegetables of your choice would be to lightly steam or sautee the vegetables you’re adding to the salad. Some options would be caramelized onion, steamed peas, sauteed kale, etc. This will add a welcomed change in texture to your meal. The way that works best for me is to throw in whatever leftover vegetables I have from the meal before – seriously, it works!
7) Don’t forget the spices
Adding just a few dashes of spice can transform your salad from blah to bam! Try adding some chopped garlic, a dash of cayenne or red pepper flakes, sage, cilantro or cracked black pepper to make your salad unique.
8) Topping it all off
Dressing? Nah, how about trying out some hummus or salsa as your dressing this time?
Changing up what you’re using as the “glue” of your salad can create really interesting combos. Give a tablespoon of hummus or fresh salsa a try. My go-to right now is balsamic and lemon or lime juice with a little olive oil.
Give these a try to change up your salad. Let me know what creative combinations you come up with!
Question: What are some of your favorite salad add-ins?