Salads have a pretty bad reputation, and it’s completely understandable as to why that is. Most of the time they’re boring, they don’t satisfy you, (Like, why am I still hungry?) and they lack creativity and flavor.
Well, we’re here to change that. Sure, if you’re not in the mood for a salad, you’re not in the mood. But what if you could ACTUALLY make salad delicious and satisfying? We have a few ingredients and tips that will help you get over that “blah” feeling when it comes to salad. (Plus a few delicious salad recipes at the end of the list!)
1. Make your own vinaigrette.
THIS is my number 1 game changer for salads. I understand how complex making your own vinaigrette sounds but let me assure you, it’s SO easy. My go-to vinaigrette is made of 3 ingredients mixed together: lemon juice, olive oil and apple cider vinegar. I like to make more than one serving so I can use it multiple times, so the recipe is:
1/4 cup Olive Oil
2 TBSP Apple Cider Vinegar
Juice of 1 Whole Lemon
Pinch of Salt
The beauty of this vinaigrette is that you can add or supplement what you don’t have. Instead of apple cider vinegar you can use white vinegar, and instead of olive oil you can use basically any other liquid oil. (Vegetable oil, Grapeseed oil, Canola oil, etc.) It’s very forgiving, and it completely elevates your salad. (Here’s another great recipe!)
2. Add Protein.
Notice how protein is a little vague? That’s because the possibilities are endless. It doesn’t have to be meat. It can be beans, like black beans or garbanzo beans. (Here’s a delicious recipe with garbanzo beans!) Or it could be cheese, like feta or cheddar. Get creative with your proteins! If we’re picking a meat to add, I’d go with either a rotisserie style chicken or steak.
3. Don’t be afraid to add fat!
Healthy fats sustain us, aka makes us fuller longer. And they’re DELICIOUS! Healthy fat comes in the form of avocados, nuts and seeds, olive oil, and so much more. It adds dimension to your salad, while adding lots of healthy benefits. (Hello yummy avocado caprese salad!)
4. Add a crunch factor.
The biggest mistake I’ve made in the past on salads is not having enough crunch or texture. My salad consisted of flat, floppy spinach, cut up lunch meat, cheese and dressing. Now, if you love that combo good on you! But to me, that screams boring. Where’s the crunch? Where’s the excitement? You can EASILY elevate a salad by adding croutons, nuts or seeds, fruit such as apples or pomegranate seeds and various salad toppers like fried onions. You can also try chopping up raw cabbage for a fresh crunch. Here’s a great recipe for easy, homemade croutons.
5. Get creative with your lettuce!
If you’re only trying 1 or two different lettuces, maybe step out of your comfort zone. The type of lettuce greatly effects the type of salad you’re striving for. Try kale for more structure and crunch. Try arugula for a peppery punch. Try chopping up romaine for a delicious chopped salad. And don’t be afraid to mix different lettuces together! Also….who says a salad has to have lettuce? Hello quinoa salad!
We know salad creating can be overwhelming, so we took the liberty of linking some of our favorite salads below.