Salads...where do we even start? I have usually one a day with dinner, it's the perfect side dish for anything we're cooking. But I must admit sometimes I'll toss a few leafy greens together in the morning with eggs on top, for a protein packed breakfast.
There are many ways to make it less boring, tastier and without compromising the nutritional value.
Choose leafy greens you like as a foundation. Personally, I prefer spinach and arugula. The darker the color of the leaf the better, as they contain more antioxidants such as anthocyanins & flavonoids, that goes for every vegetable or fruit.
Secondly, add fresh vegetables, and you can get as creative as you want, that's what makes it less monotonous and repetitive. My favorites: tomatoes, bell peppers, radishes, scallions, cucumbers, grated carrots, avocados, mushrooms. In fact some of my salads omit leafy greens all together...like this.
There is no such thing as too much, I am not talking about a side salad here, our salad is 30% of our meal! The point being all this roughage will fill you up and leave you less likely to over eat starches. It may take a little bit of chopping and grating but it's all worth it. Mix your ingredients in whatever ratio you prefer. I was reading an article in which someone said that a salad shouldn't have more than 4 components...to me that is just limiting how amazing your salad can be!
Don't forget trying veggies, olives & pickles. I also love garbanzo beans occasionally in my salad, but any will do, black beans, kidney beans, white beans, corn or lentils. A salad with beans as a foundation is great once in awhile.
If you want more crunch, try nuts and seeds, walnuts are a favorite in our kitchen. And of course some cheese, feta works wonders in a salad.
I'm not saying you have to use all these ingredients at once, but sometimes we need to get inspired and reinvent basic dishes, so start experimenting and get creative.
When it comes to dressing, there is nothing better tasting in my opinion than good olive oil, a pinch of salt and a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette.
Everyone can make a salad, wash, dress and toss...but with a little care and imagination, you can have different flavors and textures every time. And serve it as your heart desires, as is, or with a protein of your choice next to it, bon appetit!
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