Thursday, May 22, 2014

My 10 Basic Salad Essentials: Simple Staples for Orgasmic, Health-Boosting Salads


A salad a day sounds banal, but with planning it's absolutely never boring. The trick is playing with the textures for diversity, and beautifully enough, all the flavor-boosting ingredients below are also incredibly health-promoting! Use the shopping list below to keep your fridge and pantries stocked with everything you need to make your salads exciting.


1) Greens: Your base. Use kale, romaine, spinach, romaine, micro-greens, or mesclun
2) Nuts or Seeds: Use a couple tbspns of raw sunflower/pumpkin seeds or raw almonds for protein
3) Sprouts: Adds great texture and ample protein
4) Nutritional Yeast: Delicious cheesy flavor and packed with vitamins
5) Chipotle, Cayenne, Black Pepper: Boosts metabolism and adds smokey, spicy flavor
6) Cherry Tomatoes: Simply cut in half and toss on your salad, adds sweetness and a lycopene boost
7) Olives, Sauerkraut, Kimchi or Capers: Adds tang, salt and probiotics for healthy digestion
8) Shredded Carrot: More tasty texture and nutrients
9) Avocado: massage your greens with half of an avocado for a creamy, dreamy "dressing"
10) Olive Oil and Apple Cider Vinegar: Stir 3 tsps vinegar with 1 tbspn olive oil for a classic vinaigrette.

Play with different mixes to come up with unique flavors and textures for your salad. Try Kimchi and almonds on a bed chopped bok choy for an Asian-inspired salad or slice basil on a tomato, olive and romaine mixture for something Italian-style. I love fresh corn, tomato, nutritional yeast, and avocado for a Mexican-inspired salad. The possibilities are endless! It's a fun and delicious way to add nutrition to your day.

Do you have any salad favorites you can't live without? Or dressing recipes? I'll update with more dressing recipes into the future. I love making creamy honey mustard, ranch, and other staples, naturally.
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13 comments:

  1. What a great to spice up a salad. We have both been on a salad kick lately (bringing one to work each day). I love the different textures. Monica is more apt to keep her salad healthy. While I love things like carrots, chick peas, alfalfa sprouts, etc, to add different healthy textures, I am not above adding non-healthy things like russian dressing, croutons and bacon bits. Kind of takes away from the nutritional value of my salad, doesn't it? (Rob)

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    1. Well at least the greens/veggies are in there for the nutrition boost? Better a salad than none bacon or not.

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    2. as a former weight watchers member, i periodically hit a "salad overland" and have to take a break. but this post came at a great time because i am thinking about making them for lunch again! I'm not vegan but i really want to try out nutritional yeast. I've heard so many good things My salad favs are green apple chunks, walnuts, strawberrise and blueberries, etc. I've also been a fan of throwing dinner leftovers over lettuce in a pinch (leftover taco meat, Soyrizo, chicken and broccoli, etc) Seriously...you can make anything into a salad. PS- i really enjoy your food related posts and always look forward to more!

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    3. Nutritional yeast is aaaamazing, definitely give it a go. I like the fluffier stuff usually in bulk-buy from health food store. A co-worker of mine from the raw vegan kitchen eats lots of nutritional yeast, she got her bloodwork done (she's vegan) and it was perfect, she even had a surplus of B vitamins which nutritional yeast is high in :D chomping down a salad full of the yeast now, so good.

      I used to do the dinner leftovers over salad too, it's awesome :D

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  2. You are totally right about texture, I just realized my salads never have any. I haven't eaten sprouts in forever, must go get some. Cheers!

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    Replies
    1. Do it, they're amazing. Chomping down on some now.

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  3. I love nutritional yeast on popcorn.

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    1. Me too. Soooo good. Gotta have that for a movie night soon.

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  4. Publix carries a few mixes called something like "super 7" It has kale, shredded brussel sprouts, radicchio and a bunch of other powerful delicious greens. It comes with cranberries and pumpkin seeds and a really good dressing. I know that homemade is always better, but for those on the go, its a great staple to keep in the fridge. And it tastes amazing! Their other Super Salads are also really good. There are in the bagged salad section.

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    1. I'm spoiled by being able to buy staples in bulk from my raw vegan kitchen job so it's way cheaper for me to assemble it all at home. Will have to check out their super 7 mix though, sounds interesting. Thanks for sharing! I grew up on the whimpy bagged salads with the Caesar dressing ;) haha my mom would serve it with frozen pizza often.

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  5. I always use olive oil and vinager in my salads but the last weeks i really adore balsamic vinager :)
    What about some organic salad dressings for next post? hehe

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    Replies
    1. Yep, definitely have lots of different healthy salad dressing posts planned. Try the greens rubbed with hass avocado instead of dressing, too. It's AMAZINGLY good.

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I love reading your comments. Thank you for adding to the discussion! I always reply to any and all questions.

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