Shake up your salad

Ever find yourself in a salad rut?

I don’t, because I know the way to make a salad delicious and different each and every time I make one.   I didn’t always do this.  Back when I learned about calories and calorie counting, I wouldn’t put anything but veggies and light or fat free dressing on my salads.

But if you hate your salads because they’re the same old thing, you’re not going to want to eat them day after day.  Adding just a bit of fun ingredients goes a long way to making salads delicious and this makes eating tons of veggies easy.

Here’s how I make my salads yummy every single time.

Peppery Filet Mignon Salad

1. I add my favorite form of protein.  Think salmon, grilled chicken, nutty spicy tofu, or insert your favorite here.

Strawberry salad with goat cheese and balsamic vinegar reduction

2.  Add some delicious fresh fruit. I’m partial to strawberries but I also like blueberries, raspberries, figs, apples, pears, or dried fruit.

Green Caprese Salad

3. Sprinkle with some good quality cheese. I’m in love with cheese.  Some of my favorites: feta, goat cheese, buffalo mozzarella, goat cheddar, blue cheese…I could go on forever.  Cheese isn’t bad for you, just pay attention to serving size.  I like to use a scale for cheese and other calorie dense goodies.

4. Use leftovers as a topping. I used leftover smoke turkey with barbecue sauce in the photo above, but you can use anything: ravioli and other pasta dishes, curries and other rice dishes, the insides of a hamburger.  Just about anything tastes good on a big bed of greens.  It’s also a good way to use up just a wee bit of leftovers that don’t quite make up a complete meal.

5. Add some nuts or seeds.  I like walnuts, pecan, pistachios, almonds, soy nuts (pictured above), cashews, sunflower seeds.  If it’s nutty and it crunches, then I’m going for it.  Nuts and seeds don’t just add extra crunch and flavor, they also provide good fats which will keep you full until your afternoon snack.  Who wants to eat a salad if it’s going to leave you empty and raiding the office snack machine at 2 pm?

How do you keep salads interesting and delicious? 

15 Responses to Shake up your salad

  1. Instead of typical salad dressings, I like to use cottage cheese or hummus for extra protein and a little goes a long way!

  2. Lee

    I like to put hummus on my salads.

  3. I love fruits in salads, figs especially. Here are some ways I spruce up my salads: Make my own dressings. I like to experiement mixing different spices & oils to get different tastes. Add avocado, hummus, baba ganoush or guac instead of dressing. Add homemade croutons.

    I’m a firm believer of having one salad a day!

  4. Jen

    I love fruit in salads! My favorite combo is similar to one you noted above: strawberries, spinach, goat cheese, pepitas, and balsamic. So good! I also love adding pineapple to salads, but I know you’re not a fan ;)

  5. I try to replicate the ones I see at restaurants- a lot of places have great ideas, but they end up being so much healthier at home.

  6. I love trying new summer salads! Scallops or pan-seared sashimi tuna are some of my favorite proteins to pair with arugula or mixed greens.

    And you’re absolutely right: It’s such an easy way to get a big dose of vegetables. I’ve tossed in sliced grapes, pears, pecans, lemon zest…there’s no end to the ingredients you could combine to make a new salad.

    Love it, Kelly!

  7. Katherine

    One of the best salads I ever made included a bed of raw kale topped avocado, roasted fennel, roasted sweet potato and capers. It sounds bizarre, but it was so delicious and so filling.

    • Oh how I love roasted sweet potato on my salad! But for some reason, I cannot get into raw kale. I like it steamed, turned into kale chips, or blended in my smoothie best.

  8. I loooove putting hummus on a salad (let’s be honest… pretty much anything tastes good with hummus). I also love putting leftovers on salads.. helps give ‘em an extra “oomph”!

  9. Thanks for the tips! I love building delicious salads with whatever I have around… I usually use greens, cheese, hard-boiled eggs, fruit, nuts, and a vinaigrette. Can’t wait to try these ideas too!

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