One of my favorite things to eat for lunch these days is a big ol’ salad. In my humble opinion, raw veggies are not all that tasty (or satisfying). Here’s what I like to add to kick my salads up a notch, in terms both of flavor and nutrition.
[We’ll assume you’re starting with a big bowl of greens, preferably an organic mix that contains spinach. I try to keep a good supply of this on hand at all times. Wegmans’ big tub of (reasonably priced) organic mixed greens is my favorite!]
1. Something crunchy
I always keep the pantry stocked with a good supply of crispy nuts and sunflower seeds, as well as a bag of matchstick carrots in the fridge. This makes it easy to throw a few crunchy ingredients on top of those greens.
2. Something wet
Tomatoes and avocado are my favorite “wet” salad ingredients. Adding something wet really balances out the crunch of the greens and other crunchy ingredients. [See picture at very top.]
Meat! As I stated here, making large batches of whatever I’m preparing for dinner allows me to keep a good supply of leftovers in the fridge. There is almost always some sort of meat available to throw on top of my salads. Whole Chicken in the Crockpot, Raspberry Basil Chicken, Marinated Steak Bites, hamburgers, Coconut Crusted Salmon and Herbed Salmon are some of my favorites.
4. Flavor (& nutrition) boost
This awesome salad booster has completely revolutionized my salads. It’s packed full of good-for-you ingredients like seeds and sea veggies, plus it’s got sea salt which really brings out the flavor of the salad. It’s a little pricey at $5 for a small bag, but I only use a little bit at a time.
At one point I actually set out to make my own. Then I discovered that good quality sea veggies are pretty expensive, and when I started doing all the math, it became clear that $5 for a bag of pre-made salad booster was actually pretty reasonable. I’m currently toying with the idea of buying it in bulk directly from their website, which yields a small discount. (Any local friends want to try some?)
5. Quality oil & vinegar
I’ve mentioned my favorite top-quality balsamic vinegar before (here and here). It’s absolutely amazing on a salad. My easy, delicious recipe for salad dressing is: quality olive oil + Ariston balsamic vinegar + a few drops of regular stevia. If you don’t use Salad Booster, add some unrefined sea salt to the dressing.
I never really measure the ingredients, so it always turns out a bit different. The loose proportions are “mostly oil” with “a little bit of vinegar.” 🙂 In the picture below, you can see two tiny bottles that work just perfectly for transporting single servings of dressing for my on-the-go salads. For at-home purposes, I mix up a larger batch of the dressing and store it in a recycled, glass oil bottle–one that has an orifice/pour-spout-y thing.
Check out this awesome tip for How to Keep Homemade Salad Dressing from Separating.