If you like to eat salad, you know that it is an art to come up with the perfect blend of greens, veggies, and toppings. Building a salad that you will love to eat isn’t difficult if you follow some basic steps. You will find that you are more likely to eat it, look forward to it, and get the nutrients that you need to stay healthy.
Here is how I build my perfect salad.
Start With A Green Base
The first thing you should do is pick your greens. Whether you want to do mixed greens, kale, romaine, arugula, or something else altogether, greens make up the majority of your salad. Don’t be afraid to move away from your iceberg lettuce.
Try kale if you are going to use a creamy dressing because it is stronger. Add spinach in for some iron and protein. Romaine is crisper and closer to iceberg, but a bit healthier. Arugula can help to add a spicy quality to your salad.
For me, I like to mix my greens together and get a bunch of them. This helps to keep salads interesting.
The more veggies you have in your salad, the better it will be. If you want to get 5 servings of vegetables or fruits every day, this is a great opportunity to do it. You can add plain veggies or something with a bit of flavoring.
For me, I like to add broccoli, onions, radishes, cauliflower, cucumbers, and peppers. Some other people will add corn, carrots, cabbage, mushrooms, and pretty much any other veggie you can imagine.
Truthfully, there is no wrong way to add veggies to your salad.
You May Want To Add Some Protein
If you want to remain full from your salad, you should add at least some protein. While not everyone likes to each chicken or meat in their salads, there are plenty of other options.
I tend to switch off between a flavored tofu and chickpeas. You can also add seeds of your choice, like raw pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds.
If there is any step you can skip, it is this one, but I still suggest some protein.
Other Filling Ingredients
Some people like to add more filling ingredients to their salads. You may want to add some quinoa or rice for warmth, some potatoes or farro to bulk it up, or even a good slice of bread.
Of course you can also add some sides to your salad. Pair it with a sandwich or a bowl of soup if you are looking for a more filling meal.
Add Some Unique Flavors
There are just some ingredients that will make you look forward to your salads. For me, it is some good feta cheese. However, people like to add dried fruits, different cheeses, or even crackers to help add flavors.
Of course, croutons are the most basic examples of this additional flavor. Just be sure that you don’t overpower your salads with these ingredients as they tend to be a bit more calorie-dense.
Top It Off With Dressing
Finally, add some salad dressing to your salad. There are so many different types out there – from something as simple as a nice squeeze of lemon to ranch or green goddess dressing. I like to make my own dressing with vinegar and oil, but I also don’t say no to sesame dressings.
One thing to keep in mind is that you can change up your salad as you like. With so many possibilities out there, it seems silly to always eat the same thing!