When I am left to my own devices, I could eat a salad twice a day, every day. I really LOVE salad. When I tell this to most people, they look at me, puzzled. “Doesn’t that take a long time to make?” “Don’t you get tired of that?” The answer to both, is NO. I have been a salad lover for so long that I have come up with ways to keep them quick and interesting. So here I will share some of my tips to help you get more salad into your life!
1. Used pre-washed mixed greens: This eliminates a huge chunk of time. Forget washing and chopping and buy a large container of Earthbound Farm mixed greens either plain or with herbs. There are all different types of greens in there and they are ready to go.
2. Add Leftovers: Usually on Sunday or Monday, I make a big batch of…something. It doesn’t really matter what, honestly. Maybe it’s a stir-fry, or some steamed vegetables. Or my favorite braised cabbage recipe. Whatever it is, I make a lot of it. That way, I can enjoy it as a meal and then as an addition to my salads during the week. This add a different element that will make your salad unique. I also make sure not to make the same thing two weeks in a row. Don’t have time to cook veggies? Pick up a box of prepared veggies from the Greenstar Deli. I am a fan of the vegan coleslaw, korean spinach and kale salad…very delicious on a salad.
3. Think about Texture: I find the enjoyment of salads lies in all of the different textures they provide. There is a soft and crisp feel of salad greens, perhaps a soft and dense feel from cooked vegetables and then there always needs to be something crunchy. I often buy a bag of seasoned nuts from the bulk section, some pre-made kimchi and often, a container of sprouts. These all add something special to your salad.
4. Change Your Dressing: This is the key to not getting bored. I often look up new dressing recipes online and try them out. I make a jar of dressing for the week and bring it with me to work each day. If you are eating two salads a day, I recommend something different as a dressing on each. I am a real fan of simple olive oil, vinegar and a sprinkle of salt so, I alternate with that. I also buy bottled and pre-made salad dressing. Try the “Healthy Vinaigrette” from Braggs. Or, buy a bottle of Macro Mamas famous lemon poppyseed dressing at the Farmer’s Market. OR, you can also buy small containers of the Wings of Life dressings at Wegmans. A little goes a long way on those really flavorful ones.
5. Get a little “fancy:” This is a fun tip. There are little things that you can add to your salad that make a HUGE difference. I tend to associate these things as fancy because they are usually more expensive. For example, at Wegmans (sorry Greenstar!), you can buy a tiny bottle of black truffle flavored oil for $11. It seems like so much, but, the smallest dash of black truffle oil over your already-dressed salad, is LIFE changing. I swear. It adds a whole new dimension and that bottle with last you if you only use a little bit each time. I feel the same way about special salt/herb blends, balsamic drizzle, horseradish Veganaise, etc. Don’t be afraid to try something new!
6. Get Hearty: If a salad doesn’t sound “filling” to you, that’s ok. The more salad you eat, the more satisfying it becomes. But, there are plenty of things you can do to “bulk” your salad up. Try making a pot of quinoa in the beginning of the week to add to your salad. Or, roast a large tray of root veggies to add. Marinate and bake a sheet of tempeh and cut into cubes for salad topping. And then there is always my favorite, top your salad with a fried egg. This is a great option in the winter when you want your salad to be a little warm. Hard-boiled eggs are great for work and travel.
7. Assemble in Layers: Here’s how I do it. I put a big handful of my mixed greens into a bowl, this should be majority of your salad. Then I add a layer of my cooked vegetables. Then comes my crunchy layer (sprouts, kimchi or nuts…or all of those things!), then my protein or grain if Im feeling really hungry. I add my dressing and a dash or dollop of “fanciness,” toss and enjoy!
This is something I feel very passionately about so please let me know what holes are here for you and what questions you have!
Happy Salad Eating to You!