A Salad That Tastes Good
When people think of healthy eating, often times the first thing that comes to mind is “salads all day!”. And when people think of salads they often think of lettuce and maybe some tomatoes or boring bland broiled chicken. This post is to show that salads don’t have to be boring or simple to be healthy.
While I eat salads most every day. I don’t just eat salads. I like to switch up meals so that I don’t get bored. But salads are one of my go to meals. Not only are they an easy meal to make but they are also delicious and a wonderful way to get in lots of micro nutrients if you make them with quality ingredients.
You don’t have to eat salads to be healthy but this is my “how to” make a salad that actually tastes good and wont leave you feeling hungry.
Start with your greens. Yep, boring greens. But if you don’t have greens, it’s not really a salad is it? Trust me, it gets better. I like to use a combo of greens.
Next add your protein. I eat about 4-6 ounces of protein in any given salad. The protein not only helps me to stay full longer, but it adds flavor and texture to my salad. My go to protein is “turkey meatballs“. I make a huge batch, freeze them in individual portions (2 giant meatballs) and then defrost them as I need them. Usually I take out one portion the night before so it’s ready the next day. I also like to roast up a whole chicken for dinner some nights and I use the leftover chicken the next day. I’ve heard of some people buying a bunch of rotisserie chickens and freezing individual sized portions for later. Just be sure to read the label to make sure it has quality ingredients. My local food co op has quality rotisserie chickens. You could also buy a bunch of chicken and cook it up with all your favorite spices and some sea salt or Himalayan salt. Whatever you do, be sure to get in a good portion of yummy protein. I never get tired of turkey meatballs so I never get tired of salads.
Add some healthy fat. I don’t always add fat but when I do I make sure it’s healthy. Seeds are a great option (pumpkin, sesame, chia etc…). I know most people love avocados. I’m not a huge fan but they are a wonderful source of healthy fat.
Choose your dressing wisely. I am not a fan of dressing. I just don’t like the taste. But I do LOVE salsa so I often add salsa to my salads to dress them up. But if you like dressing go easy on it and be sure to read the labels. Most store bought dressings have added sugar, unhealthy oils, and other unfavorable ingredients. At Thrive Market they have a Paleo line of dressing that seems legit. I haven’t tried any since (like I said before) I don’t like dressing but you might want to give it a try. It has wonderful reviews. I’ve also heard of some people enjoying apple cider vinegar on their salad. Doesn’t sound too wonderful to me but I may have to give it a try and let you all know what I think. You could also make your own. Just search “paleo dressing recipes” and you will find a plethora of recipes made with healthier fats.
Add more veggies. More veggies will add more texture and flavor. I love cucumbers, shredded lettuce, tomatoes, shredded cabbage, peas and more. Not only will added veggies increase the micronutrients you are taking in but you get more bulk so you will feel fuller without all the excess calories. I’m not about counting calories but I am about portion control and you can eat a much bigger portion of veggies than say tortilla chips. 😉 Veggies are much better for you as well.
Don’t forget your carbs. Carbs are not all bad and can make a good salad great! I like to eat carbs in my salad if I’ve just lifted heavy. I like to stick to unprocessed carbohydrates. Some of my go to carbs are roasted sweet potatoes, brown rice, or quinoa. A little goes a long way. I usually eat about 1/4 cup of rice, or quinoa or 1/2 cup of black beans or cubed cooked sweet potatoes. I cook them up in one big batch and save the leftovers for salads and sides.
Fruit for the sweet tooth! I don’t often eat fruit in my salad but sometimes I like a nice fresh spinach, chicken, walnut and strawberry salad. Other options are raisins (watch the sugar) or blueberries and feta. Yum! These are usually additions I make on occasions but not in my every day salads. Cheese is not a food I eat every day since it doesn’t always agree with my stomach and can cause stalls in my fitness goals. But if you can eat cheese without problems, go for it! Raw cheeses from grass fed cows are best!
So there you have it. Salads don’t have to be boring. Mix it up or stick with your favorites if you have a good thing going. I eat turkey meatball and salsa salad almost daily since I never tire of it.
What is your favorite salad combo? Feel free to comment or ask questions in the comment section below.
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