Salad: the ultimate healthy meal. You either love them or hate them, but regardless, here are four easy steps to take your salad from tasteless and boring to bold and mouthwatering. Whether you are making it yourself, or ordering one on the go, keep an eye out for these key essentials to creating the perfect salad.
Step 1: Lettuce
Spinach. Iceberg. Spring mix. Kale?! They’re all the same, right? Wrong! Believe it or not, the darker the leaf, the more nutritional value there is packed into those crunchy, green leaves that are the groundwork of your salad. If you are feeling like an extra health-motivated salad queen, go for the nutrient dense options like spinach or kale. Either direction you go in, remember: it is still a salad. You can’t go wrong!
Step 2: Veggies
Have you ever heard of the saying, “eat the rainbow”? Well, here is your chance, and I’m not talking about Skittles. Adding a tie-dye of reds, oranges, greens, yellows, or purples to your salad may seem crazy, but hear me out. Throw in some tomatoes, edamame, banana peppers, cucumbers, onions, olives, mushrooms, carrots, or chickpeas. And if you are really feeling adventurous, try out fruit in your salad- you’ll be surprised how grapes, strawberries, or even pear can sweeten up your plain-old same-old salad routine!
Step 3: Protein
Say it with me now: “keen-wah” and “to-fu”. Welcome to the world of your new and improved protein sources. Nowadays, everywhere you go you here the words “I’m a vegetarian.” So, when chicken or turkey just won’t cut it, its great to know we have other options as our saviors. So, vegetarian or not, pile on that protein, baby. In order for your salad to transform from an appetizer to a meal, protein is the key. Load up on some quinoa; the heaven-sent protein-filled grain, or tofu, salmon, shrimp, eggs — whatever protein source you feel like! The addition of cheese will also take your salad’s taste to the next level. Just remember to proceed with caution.
Step 4: Dressing
Salad dressing: the make or break factor of all salads. Do I want it on the side? Do I want it on my salad? What if I put too much on? No one wants a soggy salad drenched in the oily swamp of balsamic vinaigrette. Surprisingly, a little goes a long way with salad dressing. If you want a lighter taste, stick to oil based salad dressings. The yogurt or cream based dressings may weigh your salad down, leaving you feeling icky for the rest of the day, which is the opposite of what salad is supposed to do for you. In our opinion, always opt for dressing on the side. That way you can have complete control and dip, pour or sprinkle flavor at your own pace!