Salads are an easy side dish, but creating a meal out of them can be tricky. Here are some tips and tricks to make your salad more filling, nutritious and satisfying!:
Step 1: It’s All About The Base
First off, you need a good base of greens for your salad. Dark leafy greens such as organic kale, spinach, chard, arugula and collards are high in nutrients, antioxidants and minerals. Romaine is also a good choice if you’re looking for a lighter choice with high water content.
Step 2: Load Up On The Veggies
The more, the merrier! Cucumbers, radishes and celery are great add ins for a hydration boost and fiber, while bell peppers, tomatoes, onions and carrots will add a pop of colour along with a boost of more nutrients and immune boosting properties.
Step 3: Select Your Lean Protein
They key to boosting your side salad to a meal is all about the protein. The protein provided from lean meats like chicken and turkey, or vegetarian options like eggs, beans, lentils or quinoa, will help keep you fuller longer. Protein is made up of amino acids which can even help boost your energy and overall mood!
Step 4: Fatten It Up
Adding ingredients that contain essential fatty acids, such as nuts, seeds, cheese and avocado, will also help you feel fuller, potentially boost weight loss, and improve brain and heart health. Nuts are also high in minerals that are beneficial to our health.
Step 5: Add More Texture
Want to bring your salad to another level? Add another layer to it by putting healthy ingredients in that have different textures, like chewy dried fruits, toasted whole grain or sourdough croutons, or crunchy low-salt tortilla strips.
Step 6: Dress it Up
There are plenty of options for dressings that contain fatty acids, nutrients, antioxidants, and more! If you’re looking for creamy, try an avocado or Greek yogurt blended dressing. Or keep it light with a fruity balsamic, or even just lemon juice and olive oil! (Hint: don’t forget to season your dressings!).