When people think of a salad they most often think of lettuce leaves, a few tomatoes and maybe if it´s a crazy salad some olives. But when I and (I´m sure) other foodies and nutritionists think of a salad, we think of a delicious bowl of goodness filled with protein, nutrients and satisfaction.
Here are some simple steps for making the most epic salads!
Step 1: Choose a base
Your base can be in the form of a grain, beans and legumes or both! I usually buy beans and legumes organic in a can for convinience but you can also by them dry to cook yourself. Choose 1-2 foods from the lists below as your base:
Rice (e.g. brown, white , wild, purple)
Beans & legumes:
Red kidney beans
Lentils (black, brown or green)
Step 2: Use colour
Adding colour to your salad is not only so that it looks amazing but it is a great way to up your nutrient and carbohydrate intake. For the best results either roast or grate your vegetables of choice. This gives them a delicious taste and creates different textures that your taste buds will love!
Butternut/ pumpkin (roast)
Aubergine (eggplant) (roast)
Carrots (roast or grate raw)
Beetroot (roast or grate raw)
Red pepper (paprika)
Step 3: Get a green
Greens are often boring vegetables to eat alone but are an important part of nutrition providing a vast variety of nutrients. By sneaking them into your salad you are making them so much tastier and it´s a great way to sneak more greens into your partner´s or kids diets without them really noticing!
Mixed salad leaves
Step 4: Add protein
Although certain grains, beans & legumes do provide some protein, I recommend adding an extra source to reach a more adequate intake, especially following a workout or if your other meals in the day have lacked protein.
Smoked salmon pieces
Step 5: Fat it up
Adding a healthy source of fat provides you with essential fatty acids needed to regulate inflammation and hormones, moisturize skin, hair and nails and aid cognitive function and health. They are not only an essential part of health but can be used as a great substitute for creamy sugar and preservative filled shop bought salad dressings!
Suitable oils to use:
Extra virgin olive oil
Pumpkin seed oil
Step 6: Add some acidity
Apple cider vinegar (personal favourite)
Lemon juice (from fresh lemons)
White wine vinegar
Step 7: Complete with toppings
Nuts (e.g. walnuts or almonds)
Don´t forget to get creative with it. Change it up each time to explore new flavours and combinations! Once you´ve completed these steps, I grantee you your salad will be epic!