We all know about the various stages of eating salad. You’re so high and mighty, then you’re full (of water), then you’re hating yourself and craving a burger. The only way to avoid this is to ensure your salad is full of goodies. You need those tasty proteins, fibres and healthy fats to make the salad lasting and delicious. There’s salad and then there’s salad as a meal.
Check out DIY salad bars like Urban Herbivore and Freshii abound in Toronto. Here are some key ingredients to make your salad dirty delicious, filling and flavourful.
Listen, avocados are delicious. If you’re not into these guys before they’re mashed into submission guacamole style, you should still be eating them. Get this, they’re full of good fats, lower cholesterol, make your brain work better, help your body absorb nutrients and are full of dietary fibre. And if you’re preggers, they’re handy too.
Stop using iceberg lettuce, you’re essentially chewing sugary water as far as we’re concerned. Mix it up with kale, arugala, spinach or other dark greens. They’re full of nutrients like iron, antioxidants, Vitamins A B, C & K (depending on the green), fibre and anti-inflammatory goodness. Believe it or not, these dark leafy greens are often a good source of calcium as well. Get back, osteoporosis!
Protein is key to making your salad into a viable meal. Try meats that are lean or offer protein with good fats like chicken strips, fish, shrimp or bison. Not into meat? Nuts, beans, tofu, boiled eggs and cottage cheese are all great vegetarian alternatives. Don’t forget to sprinkle on some farro, bulgur or freekeh.
Whatever, cheese is just the best. Pair a strong cheese like blue or aged cheddar with apples and pears or a creamy, gentle one like havarti, provalone or buffalo mozzarella to a spicy, intensely flavoured salad. We’ll call this one a source of calcium. For you poor dairy free people don’t forget about Daiya products, they’re awesome.
If you’re wishing you could eat it with a fork and knife, you should throw it into your salad. Corn, squash, yams, mushrooms, peppers, green beans and yes, potatoes… all great options to add to your salad for flavour, texture and health.
Finally, for the love of all health conscious fads, make your own salad dressing. Premade salad dressings have so much crap and sugar in them you’d be shocked.
The more colourful the salad the better as far as we’re concerned. Go graze and prosper, Fatties.