3 Ways to Boost Your Salad
Whoever said you can’t make friends with salad? Salad is the perfect – and perfectly nutritious! – way to fill up your tummy when it’s just too hot to turn on the oven. While not all salads are created equal (iceberg lettuce with ranch dressing, we’re looking at you), with a little help your greens can quickly become gourmet!
Try these three tasty ways to boost your salad:
1. Load Your Base
Salad doesn’t have to be a few leaves of bland iceberg lettuce with a couple of cherry tomatoes! For a hearty base try using an assortment of greens such as: lettuce, spinach, arugula, baby kale, or beet greens. For a little spice, mustard greens make a fantastic addition!
Layer those greens with a variety of your favourite fresh veggies. Elevate the old standard of tomatoes and cucumber by adding shredded carrots, fresh peas, and radish, or try cooked veggies such as steamed beets or sautéed zucchini.
For added flavour, experiment with your favourite herbs. If they’re fresh, even better! Add herbs such as basil, parsley, mint, cilantro, dill, or chives for an incredibly fragrant, flavorful salad.
For a summery take on salad, try fresh fruits: berries, chopped apple, orange slices, or avocado.
2. Dress It Up
Packaged dressings are often calorie bombs full of added salt, sugar, preservatives, and unhealthy fats. Whipping up your own takes just a few minutes and gives you the benefit of fresh ingredients and added nutrients. Try this healthy Lemon Vinaigrette to support your metabolism – and dress up a delicious salad.
For a creamier dressing without all the bad stuff, mix up some homemade guacamole or hummus and thin with water. Or, go super simple with olive oil and apple cider vinegar, topped with a dusting of nutritional yeast.
3. Top if Off
From dried fruit to toasted nuts, salad toppers are a great way to add crunch – and extra nutrients – to your salads.
Chickpeas are a protein-packed addition to any salad – try them cooked and cooled, or even roasted! Don’t stop at chickpeas: mix and match legumes such as lentils and kidney, navy or black beans.
Because who doesn’t love cheese! While you want to avoid loading your salad with grated cheddar, cheese can be a great way to add a little protein, healthy fat, and flavour. Toss in a few spoonfuls of crumbled feta or goat cheese to add a touch of tang to your salad.
Nuts & Seeds
Pecans, walnuts and almonds add nutrients along with a satisfying crunch to any gourmet garden greens.
Seeds, such as chia, flax, hemp and sunflower, are sources of healthy omega-3 and -6 fatty acids, amino acids, fibre, and important vitamins and minerals. A little goes a long way, so you can add plenty of nutrients with just a sprinkle.
Power up your salad with lean proteins such as salmon, tuna, or grilled chicken. Looking for a meat-free option that still packs a protein punch? Boiled eggs are an excellent way to take any salad off the sidelines to the main event.
These tips should help you get the creative juices flowing in the kitchen. We’d love to know – what are your favourite ways to boost your salad?