Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you are all having a great and happy holiday this weekend! I know it’s hard to stay on track and eat healthy during this time of year. As tempting as it may be to stuff your face, it’s important to eat a balanced diet loaded with nutrients, and to indulge in treats sparingly. I’m sure you all know by now that I’m a huge salad enthusiast! I eat it just about every day and it’s a great way to load up on veggies while keeping hunger at bay. I realize however, that in the colder months salad may be the last food you want to eat. Today, I’m giving some great salad tips to make this dish a little more interesting, especially if everyone around you is eating drumsticks and pumpkin pie.
What Greens Are You Eating?
Have you been making the same salad out of romaine or spinach day after day? Then switch things up! Not only will alternating your greens help you get a variety of nutrients, but it will definitely beat boredom! Try making a salad out of arugula, swiss chard, or mixed field greens instead of your standard lettuces. Don’t be afraid to through some herbs in there! A few springs of parsley, cilantro, or even basil and dill can take a salad from mediocre to magnificent. The take away here is don’t be afraid of other lettuces. I guarantee that switching things up will absolutely make your salad taste better.
Go For Color
As much as I place emphasis on leafy greens, they’re certainly not the only ingredient in your salad. Don’t forget to add other healthy vegetables (and even fruits) to your salad. The wide variety of colors will look much more appealing, not to mention the crunch will give your salad a better texture and taste. Some ideas are:
- Grated carrots
- Strips of red, yellow, or orange bell peppers
- Cucumber slices cut at an angle
- Shredded purple cabbage
- Alfalfa sprouts
- Cherry or grape tomatoes
- Chopped fresh avocado
- Sliced red or orange beets
- Broccoli or cauliflower florets
- Sliced strawberries
- A handful or blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, etc.
Remember, these are just suggestions! You don’t need to include any or all of these ingredients in you salad. The point is to pick 2-3 vegetables that have a high nutrient density, but won’t pack a lot of fat or calories.
Include a ‘Fun’ Ingredient
I’m love adding an ingredient or two to jazz up a salad. Whether it be a few raw nuts, a sprinkle of rice cheese, or even some dried fruit like cranberries or golden raisins, the combination of sweet, salt, and crunch will make your salad taste much more better. Just don’t go overboard with special or fun ingredients. As great as they taste, they often have extra calories, fat, and artificial ingredients. So pick one fun ingredient and save the rest for another salad.
Try A Non-Traditional Salad
We often forget that salads don’t need to be made entirely out of lettuce. There are plenty of grain or non-leafy green salads out there! Try making a salad out of quinoa or bulgur. Use chickpeas or brown rice pasta with grated carrots and pomegranates in a tangy creamy dressing for a spin on traditional salad pairings.
Like I always say, it’s your salad and your body. Try one, two, or all of these suggestions for your next salad!
Oh what the hell. It’s Thanksgiving. I know none of you will be eating salad today. Regardless, have a great holiday.