When you are talking about eating healthy, the first thing that comes to mind is a salad. It is cool for about a week and then the infamous quote, “I need to find something else to eat besides a salad!” So we are here to make sure you are getting your money’s worth when you are making these healthy meals!
When you make a salad, it is the same way you approach any type of other food that can be prepared many different ways. Take chicken for example. If you simply boiled chicken, and added a little black pepper every time, most of the country would eventually hate chicken. It would become a bland taste with no kick or excitement! However, by simply cooking the chicken on different surfaces, you get a completely different experience; and this is before you even add seasonings or toppings! Salads are the same way. Different types of greens, vegetables, proteins, beans, seeds, nuts, fruits, dressings, seasonings, and on and on. The mistake sometimes is that people try to put everything on at once! That creates a MASSIVE salad and in the end, usually not too healthy. So let’s walk through and and try to come up with as many recipes to mix it up as possible!
First off, you want to decide what type of salad you are going to create. A simple side salad is very much different than a salad you are going to have as your main course. So being that you should always be able to simplify and create a small side salad, we are going to focus on full-sized salads. So let’s start with the greens. When many people make a salad, they begin with iceberg lettuce. Although any vegetable is better than none, iceberg lettuce is the beginning to a very bland salad. Therefore, try some of these instead.
Romaine Lettuce, Spinach, Argulua, Kale/Spinach Mixed, Bibb Lettuce
Okay so now we have a nice bed of greens!
Next, let’s decide if we are going to add any animal protein to it! If not, no biggy! Adding some sort of animal protein to the salad usually helps it feel more like a meal. The meaty aspect helps give more volume as well. However, be sure not to add too much. A 6-8oz portion is plenty. The truly healthy ingredients come next, so save room! Here are some simple choices for animal proteins.
Shrimp, Ground Turkey, Ground Beef, Chicken, Fish, Steak, Seafood, Eggs
If animal protein is not your type of thing, don’t worry! We can get all your needed protein from other sources! Try adding some of these to your salad!
Black beans, garbanzo beans, edamame, tofu, quinoa
Now it is time for the most import part of the salad; fresh, raw vegetables! This is where most of your vitamins and minerals will come from during this meal! The more the better! Always remember; the more colorful the better! Try some of these raw veggies on for size!
Bell peppers; red, orange, yellow, or green, Celery, Cucumber, Tomato (yes it’s a fruit!), Onion, Carrots, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Snap Peas, Salsa, Corn, Radish, Beets,
So we have our healthy greens, protein, and vegetables. Next in line is healthy fats! Remember, we are not adding everything to it! Choose a few here and there. Healthy fats include:
Avocados, Raw Nuts and Seeds (almonds, cashews, macadamia, walnuts, pecans, sunflower/ pumpkin seeds), Raw Olives, Flaxseed
After all of these amazing additions, what else is left? Actually there is one more addition that can give you a large amount of vitamins along with great taste too! FRUIT! Many salads have small pieces of fruit, or berries, added to it. These are usually paired with a correct dressing so do a little research on what goes well with what. Try adding some of these fruity treats to your meal!
Blueberries, Raspberries, Blackberries, Strawberries, Mandarine Oranges, Granny Smith Apples, Pears, Watermelon, Pineapple, Peaches, Nectarines
Finally, we add some seasonings and dressings! Although these may seem unimportant, adding too much of the wrong thing can ruin the entire salad. For example, small bits of bacon may add a lot of flavor, but a few too many tablespoons and the health aspect of our meal went out the door! Same goes for a taco salad with sour cream on top. No Bueno! For seasonings we stick to the basics like some fresh ground black pepper! Also, as you may have noticed, there was no cheese put onto our salad. If you are a cheese lover, nutritional yeast is a great substitute. But no dairy on this salad! For a dressing stick with that same principle and use either a vinaigrette of some sort of keep it simple with oil and vinegar or some fresh squeezed lemon juice! Also, a few croutons here and there won’t hurt anyone, but again, BE CAREFUL! Only a few does the job!
What does your ALTERA Life look like?