When it comes to making your own salad at home, not all recipes are created equal. Some are bland and boring, while others can be filled with unnecessary calories.
Create a salad that is both healthy, and delicious by knowing exactly how to construct your meal from start to finish. All it takes is five simple steps to build a satisfying and tasty salad.
The best part? The details are completely up to you! Making your own healthy salads at home is all about adding flavors and tastes that you love to make a meal that is truly your own. Here are five easy steps to creating your own perfect salad.
1. Choose A Base
You can’t have a salad without a base. While this usually comes in the form of some sort of lettuce or leafy green, a salad’s base can also be quinoa, beans, chickpeas, etc. This base creates the foundation for your meal, and acts as an amplifier for all the other flavors. Here are a few healthy, filling options to use as your base.
- Romaine Lettuce, Spinach, Spring Mix, Arugula, Bok Choy, Kale
- Quinoa, Orzo
- Black/Pinto/Navy Beans
- Zucchini Noodles, Soba Noodles
2. Add Protein
Adding protein to your salad is an easy way to ensure that the meal is going to be filling. Now, this doesn’t mean that the protein has to be meat. If you have dietary restrictions, then simply craft your salad choices around those needs. However, the more protein you add to the meal, the longer you’re going to feel full. Here are a few tasty ways to add protein to your salad.
- Chicken, Fish, Salmon, Shrimp, Steak (Leaner Pieces), Tuna
- Hard Boiled Eggs
3. Choose Your Fruits And Vegetables
Spice up your salad to include fruits and vegetables that are filled to the brim with healthy vitamins and minerals. This not only gives extra flavor to your salad, but it also helps to meet your daily dietary needs. Here are some yummy additions that you could add to your salad.
- Carrots, Tomatoes, Parsnips, Radishes, Peppers, Watercress, Summer Squash, Asparagus, Corn, Broccoli
- Cranberries, Oranges, Strawberries, Pears, Grapefruit, Blueberries
4. Pump Up The Flavor
As they say, variety is the spice of life. Mix up your day-to-day salads by adding some of your favorite healthy foods into the recipe.
Use this step as a way to personalize your salad. If you’re looking for some crunch, add tortilla strips. If you’re looking to make things creamier, add some avocado.
This is the time to really transform your salad from bland and boring to yummy and exciting. Here are some suggestions to really highlight the flavors of your salad.
- Avocado, Kalamata Olives, Dates
- Tortilla Strips, Crackers
- Cheese (Brie, Feta, Gorgonzola, & Goat Cheese are healthy options), Cottage Cheese
- Granola, Hummus
- Sunflower Seeds, Chia Seeds
5. Add Dressing
Salad dressing is a key factor to the taste of any salad, however, it can really make or break the overall health component of the meal. In order to keep things calorie-friendly, avoid heavy cream-based dressings.
Those tend to be full of calories. Instead, choose light, fat-free, or low-fat alternatives. Here are a few ways to dress your salad without adding dozens of calories.
- Olive Oil + Red Wine Vinegar
- Lemon Juice
Voila! With five easy steps, you have created a filling, healthy, and delicious salad that is perfect for any occasion.
Photo by Jhong Dizon | Photography