Build a Better Salad

Lunch is something that I like to be able to throw together quickly. I want it to be filling and I want it to be flavorful. Salads often get a bad reputation, as most people stick to the simple iceberg or romaine lettuce, tomatoes, carrots (maybe) and ranch.

Salads are so much more! For me, they're more of a "garbage disposal" for various foods that I have in my fridge.

In order for my salads to be satisfying, I always have a protein, healthy fat, veggies (not just lettuce) and a complex carbohydrate. The carb i will either add to my salad (example: beans, quinoa, brown rice) or I'll have a sweet potato on the side.

View my recent lunches at the bottom for combination inspiration!

Use this template to help you build the perfect, satisfying, nutrient-dense salad!

SALAD BASE (mix and match)

- mixed greens

- arugula

- kale/baby kale

- power blend

- shredded collard greens

- romaine

- cabbage

PROTEIN (3 to 6 ounces) V= vegetarian protein source

- chicken (roasted, ground, deli sliced)

- beef (steak, ground, roast beef)

- turkey (roasted, ground, deli sliced)

- shrimp

- salmon

- scallops

- tofu

- eggs (2)- V

- edamame- V

- cottage cheese-V (don't discount this on a salad--it's filling AND taste's good)

Here are some of my recent lunches to give you inspiration.

- beans- V

HEALTHY FAT (1/2 to 1 ounce)

- avocado (my FAVORITE)

- cheese (goat, feta, cheddar, etc)

- nuts/seeds (sunflower seeds, walnuts, pine nuts, almonds, pepitas, hemp hearts, etc)

- oil (olive, avocado, walnut, flax, hemp, etc)

VEGGIES (go crazy)

- Standards: lettuce, tomato, cucumber, carrots

- Green veggies: broccoli, asparagus, cilantro, parsley, roasted zucchini, green pepper

- Purples and red veggies: beets, purple cauliflower, roasted eggplant, radishes

- White veggies: cauliflower, mushrooms, roasted turnips or rutabaga

COMPLEX CARB (1/2 cup)

- Rice (black, brown, wild, basmati, jasmine, red)

- Quinoa

- Beans

- potato (purple, red, sweet, regular---i like them all roasted)

- fruit! (strawberries, apples, figs, pears, blueberries, oranges)

FLAVOR ENHANCERS- I'm not much of a dressing person. I never have been. However, I definitely like to jazz up my salads with the following:

- Vinegar (Balsamic, Red Wine, Apple Cider, White Balsamic)

- Coconut Aminos

- Salsa (red or salsa verde)

- Nutritional Yeast (great source of protein and B-Vitamins in addition to adding flavor)

- olives, capers, garlic

- fresh squeezed citrus (lemon, lime, orange)

Here are some of my recent salads. Each one is very different AND used leftovers of what I had at home. Salad's don't have to be boring!

Base: mixed greens + cabbage

Protein: ground turkey

Veggies: sauteed yellow squash

Healthy fat: avocado

Complex carb: brown rice tortilla (not pictured)

Flavor: coconut aminos + curry seasoning

Base: mixed greens

Protein: scallops

Veggies: golden beets (the flavor without the mess!)

Healthy fat: goat cheese + a little avocado oil

Complex carb: Okinawan purple sweet potato (not pictured)

Flavor: sea salt

Base: mixed greens + cabbage slaw

Protein: roasted turkey

Veggies: mushrooms

Healthy fat: avocado

Complex carb: brown rice tortilla (on the bottom)

Flavor: salsa verde + nutritional yeast

Base: mixed greens + kale

Protein: ground turkey meatballs (i crumbled them)

Veggies: beets

Healthy fat: olive oil

Complex carb: Okinawan purple sweet potato (isn't it lovely?!)

Flavor: balsamic vinegar + sea salt

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