When we are trying to eat healthy we tend to eat a lot of salads. However, most people get tired of their same old salad by day four. Mixing up a new recipe is easier than you think, and I’ve included five tricks below to turn a side salad into a main course.
- Add some crunch. Shelled sunflower seeds, walnuts, almonds, croutons, wontons, and tortilla chips are all great ways to add texture. If you’ve got some stale bread, chop it up and toss with olive oil and herbs. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes and you have homemade croutons!
2. Mix up the greens. Instead of a head of iceberg or a bag of romaine try using butter lettuces or a spring mix. Toss in some spinach to up the iron content or add arugula to give it more flavor.
3. Vary your protein. I like to use all types of protein in my salads so that they are unique and can keep my interest. Grilled marinated chicken, skirt steak or fish all work great on greens. So do bacon, pancetta, salami and hard boiled eggs. Edamame and avocados are also good choices for my vegetarian friends.
4. Try new dressings. It’s easy to grab “the usual” at the store but there are so many choices out there. Some of my favorite pre-made salad dressings include Makoto’s Ginger Dressing, Marzetti’s Simply Dressed Light Balsamic, and Naturally Fresh Lite Ranch. Of course homemade dressings are usually healthier so try different types of vinegars or a teaspoon of Dijon mustard mixed with some herbs and a good olive oil to create something new.
5. Cheese, please. I’m not advocating putting a cup of cheese on a few pieces of lettuce, but a little cheese can go a long way in transforming a boring salad. Try some reduced fat feta or toss in some fresh mozzarella. Pick a cheese that goes with the flavors of the salad, and it will be another satisfying element.
Combining any number of the tips above will upgrade your usual salad recipe. To make the most of all the chopping and washing, I assemble extra salads in mason jars. Believe it or not but those “salads in a jar” last up to five days in the refrigerator! Check out this link to get the assembly instructions, and you’ll find yourself eating more salads than expected because they are ready to go and waiting for you.