Last week was Boring Water. This week it’s all about making a snazzy salad.
Summer is right around the corner & with it comes warm, ok, hot weather.
Your body tends to go for cooling foods during the warmer months & a great go- to is a salad.
Now hear me out. I’m not saying eat “bird food” as I’ve had it put to me. And the last thing you need to do is think of the iceberg lettuce, red cabbage, julienned carrot bagged salad mix like you’ll find in a school (or hospital) cafeteria is a salad. That is NOT a salad!!! See what I mean. Oh so sad!
Salads are so much fun to make & I want you to look at them like a work of art.
Take this approach to building your salad & you’ll turn it from monochromatic to a colorful eye-catching meal that has everyone wanting to dive in. There’s really nothing to it, but just in case you need help, I’m going to walk you through some steps so you can make your own snazzy salad. (Jazz hands here. Haha)
How to Make a Snazzy Salad:
1. Think of your greens as the base you’re building upon. Your canvas, if you will.
I recommend a mixture of greens. You get more nutrition from darker, more colorful greens. My favorites…Baby Romaine (pictured), Romaine, Spinach, Arugula (adds a little bitterness), Red/Green Leaf Lettuce & sometimes Swiss Chard (pictured). I Never use Iceberg unless it’s all that’s offered somewhere.
2. Next comes a little splash of color.
Your adding to your base. Think of Jackson Pollock or Andy Warhol’s pop art here. I’m not sayin’ sling your veggies. If you do that’s your mess to clean up. Can’t help you with that!
Use a range of colors. Make it pop! It should make you say “Whoa!”. Plus, a range of colored veggies will give you a range of nutrients.
3. Texture is next up.
I love to see works of art that aren’t “flat”. I don’t, but I always want to run my hands over a painting that has texture. It just draws me in.
When you eat a salad, it should be enticing! I love having the creaminess of an avocado, the crunch of a bell pepper and a little bit of snap with softness from berries. The thought of a salad should make you want to dive in with the fork(s) at the ready!
Now that you’re “ready”, let’s go for it.
Toppings For Your Snazzy Salad:
They should Always be your priority since they’re very nutrient dense, can fill you up, & have the fiber most American diets lack.
- REDS—Tomatoes, Red Bell Peppers, Roasted Red Peppers, Radishes
- PURPLES (some can be considered Reds, but they’re more purple in color)—Red Onions, Roasted or Shredded Beets, Shredded Purple Cabbage, Roasted Purple Sweet Potatoes, Purple Bell Peppers, Roasted Eggplant
- GREENS (add these last b/c you will already have green in your base)—Green Bell Peppers, Broccoli, Green Onions, Shaved or Roasted Brussel Sprouts, Zucchini, Cucumber
- ORANGE/YELLOW—Carrots (I’ll go ahead and tell you I’m not a fan of carrots in a salad. They’re just too hard to poke/eat & usually end up flying across the room), Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Roasted Butternut Squash, Orange/Yellow Bell Peppers, Yellow Beets, Yellow Tomatoes
- WHITES/BROWNS—Onions, Cauliflower, Mushrooms, Jicama (starchy & crunchy), Parsnips (best roasted first), Fennel, Kohlrabi (tastes a lot like broccoli stems)
Next up for your Snazzy Salad:
Fruit adds a dimension veggies just don’t bring. I know not everyone loves fruit on a salad, but give it a try. Plus, they add so much flavor you can usually skip the dressing.
- REDS—Strawberries (Love, love, love them on a salad!), Raspberries, Pomegranate Seeds
- BLUES/PURPLES—Blackberries, Blueberries. You just gotta try them. Grapes are pretty good too!
- GREENS—Grapes, Kiwi
- ORANGE/YELLOW—Oranges, Mango, Papaya, Persimmons, Peaches, Pineapples
- WHITES—Apples, Pears
Optional toppings for your Snazzy Salad:
(Adding a little ground pepper can make a world of difference in taste & appearance!)
- GREENS—Pumpkin Seeds, Herbs (Dill, Mint & Oregano top my list), Avocado.
- BLACK—Chia Seeds (you won’t need much to add a lot of crunch), Black Sesame Seeds, Black Beans
- WHITES/BROWNS—Walnuts, Pecans, Almonds (sliced usually work best), Sesame Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Hemp Seeds or any other nut/seeds. Protein can be chicken, fish, shrimp, steak or eggs.
- OILS & VINEGAR/JUICE—Some great oils (if you don’t use nuts, seeds, or avocados) are Extra Virgin Olive Oil (adds the most flavor), Avocado Oil & Macadamia Nut Oil. For an added boost of flavor feel free to squeeze some lemon or lime on top or drizzle a couple of teaspoons of apple cider or balsamic vinegar.
Whew! That’s a lot of salad ingredients. It’s a pretty comprehensive list too, but there may be something not listed you want to try or add to your snazzy salad. If you need inspiration, I hope the pics help. I Really do love making my salads appealing. I could even dress up that pale lookin’ iceberg! Haha.
Remember…Build it (and they will come) one layer at a time. Step back, take a look & dig in to that baby!
Tell me below what YOUR favorite salad addition is. Post a pic on Instagram & tag it #nourishtoflourishcoaching. I’d love to see your work of art 😊