I love salads. And so many people seem to hate them or associate them with a “diet.” But salads are such repairing, cooling, refreshing and nourishing dishes, I make sure to have one every day. One of the most significant changes I made in my health and diet years ago was choosing a salad nearly every time I ate out. When my leaves and greens replaced my bread and pasta, my weight, waistline and digestion all felt the benefits!
Salads do not have to be boring, and they certainly don’t have to be consistent. I know some people who try to make the same type of salad every week with certain meals because it “goes with the meal” or who bring it to work when they’re “trying to get healthy.” But I’ve found that when we get on “health kicks” or are “being good this week,” we just end up overeating other not so healthy foods at the end of the day or week. Trust me, you’re probably doing it and you don’t even realize it.
Here are a few of my current favorites. The first one I eat almost every time I make a salad at home, and add a few variations:
-Bed of lettuce base: Baby greens, romaine, baby kale
-4 oz chopped chicken (see my marinade recipe here)
-Sprinkle of feta cheese
-1/3 chopped cucumber or 1 baby cucumber
-1/2 chopped avocado (best part!)
Variation: added 1 TBLS hemp seeds, chick peas, or 2 TBLS cooked, shelled edamame
Dressing: mix 1/2 to 1 TBLS olive oil and squeeze of half a lemon, sometimes I add a little salt and pepper but honestly, if I forget or just skip it, the flavor of the feta, lemon juice and chicken is plenty!
LEMON is my GO TO favorite flavor for all of my meats and veggies! I love it!
In this photo, I have another salad variation as well. My man likes a salad that he gets from a local salad spot and I told him I KNOW I can make it for him just as well:
-Bed of baby greens
-shredded carrots (I’m not good with measurements, just go with what feels right)
-chopped red or yellow pepper (or any color!)
-chopped grape tomatoes
-cooked, shelled edamame
-chopped cooked, marinated chicken
-a FEW croutons (whole grain for bonus points)
Pesto Dressing: 1 TSP of olive oil blended with 1 TSP of already prepared pesto (you can make your own or grab some in a jar at the store, ours is from a local farmer’s market)
Shake it up and eat! (add the croutons before eating, not when you make it, to avoid soggy croutons.)