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How to Make an Awesome Salad Every Time!

How to Make an Awesome Salad Every Time!

I used to hate salads!  But then I realized there was a simple equation that could result in a super yummy & filling salad: mix healthy ingredients that you love with some protein and good fats, to accompany all those veggies!  In a couple easy steps you will be able to make the most AWESOME SALAD, I promise!

1.  Start with a Leafy Green or mixture of various Greens that you like - Iceberg, Romaine, Spinach, Swiss Chard, Baby Kale, Arugula, Mache, Boston Bib, Endive, Radicchio.....

2.  Add a Fruit - fresh is typically best, but dried, or even canned (think mandarin oranges) can do the job

3. Add a Nut or Seed – this will provide Protein and some nice crunch!  Pistachios, Cashews, Peanuts, Sunflower Seeds, Sliced Almonds, Walnuts...the list is endless.

4: Add Avocado or a Cheese or Beans – a little creaminess is great to balance out the ‘roughage’ aspect of a salad.  Obviously you can use more beans, than you would cheese, and I typically will use 1/2 Avocado per person (it is good for you!)  You can take the salad in 100 different directions with cheese since there are so many options.....Goat, Feta, Cheddar, Mozz, Parm, Gouda, Swiss, Blues....

Step 5: Add all the Veggies!  3 or 4 is ideal.  Since you already have the “yumminess factor” covered with the fruit, cheese & nuts, it’s time to add the low calorie and nutrient dense powerhouse of fresh vegetables to the bowl.  
Now is a good time to look at your salad and think of what colors would complement what you already have going – 
Carrots, Peppers, Tomatoes, Zucchini, Beets, Artichoke Hearts, Mushrooms, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Green Beans, Brussels Sprouts, Eggplant, Cucumbers….the list seems endless.  Add as many and as much as you’d like!  And don’t forget the jarred options like Capers and Olives and Sun Dried Tomatoes or marinated Veggies (while keeping an eye on sodium of course) for all sorts of variations.

Step 6:  Add something from the onion family:  Sweet Onions, Garlic, Red Onions, Scallions, Shallots etc.  Just 1 will do it; a little goes a long way and makes all the difference in the flavor of the salad.

Optional Step 7: EXTRA Protein:  If you want to add more protein or heft to a salad consider all the types of Beans/ Nuts that exist, as well as Peas, Lentils, Quinoa, Tofu, in addition to the standards of  the meats and fish: Chicken, Grilled Steaks, Shrimp, Salmon, Bacon, White Fish, Tuna and Hard boiled eggs etc.


Final Step: Dressing:

Pick an Acid:  Fresh Lemon or Lime juice, or any type of Vinegar you like (Balsamic, Rice, Wine, Cider etc)

Pick an Oil:  Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Canola, Peanut, Sesame, Sunflower, Avocado, Walnut etc.

Optional: Consider adding an additional ingredient to the dressing for a little Zip:  Mustard, Honey, Pesto, Salsas (fresh or even jarred), fresh Herbs, spice blends/ salt etc.

And for days when you don’t have time or ingredients to make a homemade dressing, have a healthy go-to bottled option at hand.  Don’t be afraid to add some fresh Lime or Lemon juice to a store bought dressing, it adds a nice freshness, flavor and zing!

Toss and serve this Awesome Salad; I dare you to not enjoy it!

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