March meal-prep: how to make the best salad

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Whatever happened to that “salad” with marshmallows that my aunt used to bring to thanksgiving? Luisa Brimble via Unsplash

The Ides have passed, Caesar’s out!

Have you ever heard someone say “the brighter and more colourful your meals are, the better they are for you?” I totally believe that saying when I am taking time for myself to make a salad for a lunch or a supper – and when I say a salad, I do not mean a bowl of cut-up lettuce with some veggies and dressing on top.

For me, a salad is so much more than that, and I have been eating salads for a long time. There was a bit of a learning curve, but I now enjoy making and eating salads on a regular basis. So, today I am going to talk about all the things that I add to a salad to make it fun and enjoyable to eat, and I hope it encourages you to try this too!

You will need some basic greens for a base layer. Some great options that I have used are spinach, green salad mix, lettuce, or coleslaw. Depending on these options and what you choose, the size of leaf will change. For me, the bigger the leaf, the better. There is no need to cut up the spinach, and make sure your lettuce has nice big chunks; this well give your salad that crunchy feeling, taste, and sound when you are biting into it.

Once you have a base layer, some classic veggies do the trick for me. Grab some peppers (red peppers are the best), carrots (either shredded or in chunks), cucumbers, or baby tomatoes to add some sweetness. When you make a salad, do you just involve vegetables? See, that may be the issue! For me, getting some fruit in the salad makes all the difference. Add some chopped up apple, raspberries, or strawberries. All these fruits help add sweetness which makes every bite tasty!

Now that you have some fruits and vegetables, you have the start of a pretty good salad – although those ingredients won’t keep you full for that long. It is time to add other ingredients to make the satisfaction long-lasting. Now, what keeps your stomach satisfied? Some protein, carbs, nuts, and other tasty toppings.  

Basic proteins that I add are cottage cheese, salmon, shredded chicken, hard-boiled eggs, and thickly-cut bacon. Some benefits from protein include aiding in muscle growth, maintaining a healthy body weight, and it can help reduce muscle loss.

Carbs that go great in a salad are croutons, quinoa, crushed-up crackers, and beets. Carbs help with your heart health, give you quick energy, and can help with focus throughout the day.

Nuts are the next step which help to provide antioxidants, reduce body inflammation, and are a great source of fiber. Some great nuts to add to your next salad are almonds, walnuts, cashews, and pecans.

Now that you’ve got all the nutrients, it is time to add some toppings. My go-tos are dried cranberries, chia seeds, hemp hearts, pickled beets, and cilantro among others. Basically, what I am saying is that salads do not have to be boring each time, and this is how you can eat them multiple times with tons of variety in taste and the benefits they bring!


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