A big bowl of leaves with a few dribbles of salad dressing sitting sadly at the side of your plate. It this what you picture when I say “salad”.
Lucky for you, salads can be much more than a boring pile of plant matter. A salad can actually be a meal unto itself, if you know what to put into it. And, in contrast to popular wisdom, you can make a salad that is both delicious and nutritious, without having to resort to sugary, expensive commercial salad dressings.
The most important thing to keep in mind when making your salad is to include things you like. If you do not like romaine lettuce, don’t put it in, it’s that simple. There is no reason to feel you “need” to put something in that your don’t like.
By the same token, don’t limit yourself to what you think a salad should be. A salad, technically, is any collection of ingredients. So, if you only have sliced cucumbers and tomato, that’s a salad. If you have a bowl of black beans, chicken, and sliced carrots, that is a salad as well. The only limits to a salad are your imagination.
Salad dressing is the topper to most salad. It adds another layer of flavour and helps to elevate the flavours already in the salad. If you are game, we have a generator for dressings as well.
While experimenting make notes about things that worked or didn’t work. Once you discover a variation you love, create your own recipe card so you won’t forget what you did. We have free printables to lend a hand.
Step 1: Select your Greens: Bitter Greens, Mixed Greens, Romaine, Arugula, Spinach
Step 2: Add Grains and/or Pasta: Quinoa, Small Pasta, Rice, Farro, Chieas, Black Beans, Pinto Beans, Couscous, Millet
Step 3: Add Fruits and Vegetables: Apple, Orange, Bet, Tomato, Carrot, Avocado, Peppers, Celery Mushroom, Cooked Squash, Onion, Cucumber
Step 4: Add Proteins: Cooked Meat, Ham, Fish, Tofu, Cooked Eggs, Beans
Step 5: Add Flavours: Herbs, Parmesan Cheese, Cheddar Cheese, Olives
Step 6: Add Crunchy Garnishes: Seeds, Nuts, Bacon, Croutons
- There is no need to add something from every row. Skip rows if you want a simple salad.
- Use cooked or drained and rinsed canned beans.
- Experiment with different combinations of flavours and make note of the ones you love