5 Tips To Help You Build A Better Salad

I think that it is so unfortunate that salad has such a bad reputation.  Who among us has not heard someone unlovingly admit that they were dieting and had to eat “salad” (spoken in the saddest, most depressing tone of voice known to man)?  It is totally possible to create hearty, delicious, appealing, and completely satisfying salads and today’s Tip Tuesday is going to help you do just that.

Here are 5 Tips, that will help you build a better (NON BORING) salad!

  1. Redefine your definition of the word, salad:  If iceberg lettuce leaves you less than inspired, redefine what inspires you.  Head for spinach leaves, collards, kale, pea shoot, sprouts, or mixed salad green options.  Don’t be afraid to branch out.  Bonus Tip:  Moisture is death to your salad greens.  If you want to help your greens stay fresher longer, add a piece of paper towel to the bag or container to draw the moisture away from the greens.
  2. Tap Into Your Creativity:  When building a better salad, creativity is key.  Mix up your texture and flavor options.  There isn’t a rule that says that everything in your salad needs to be a veggie.  There is also no rule that says everything needs to be raw.  Here are some great salad add in options.
    • Pickled veggies
    • roasted peppers
    • roasted beets or other vegetables
    • nuts/seeds
    • roasted chickpeas
    • beans
    • avocado
    • eggs
    • rice, quinoa, or other gains
    • tuna, salmon, or shrimp
    • caramelized onions
    • marinated or grilled mushrooms
    • bacon
    • shredded or grilled chicken
    • blanched string beans
    • goat, blue cheese, feta, fresh mozzarella, cheddar, or pepper jack cheese
    • grilled or fresh fruit.  (Peaches, strawberries, blueberries, apples, and raspberries all work great in salads)
    • grilled corn
  3.   Fill er’ Up:  While the fiber found in your veggies and greens will help to fill you up, nothing will do the job better than protein.  When you are building a better salad, protein is a MUST.  While chicken is usually the go-to protein for salads, there are other options.  Try adding in some grilled shrimp, fish, or steak.  Bonus Tip:  The next time you want to shred chicken for salads, use your mixed instead of forks and knives.  Add grilled or poached chicken to your mixer (fitted with the paddle attachment) and turn the mixer on.  Perfect shredded chicken in a fraction of the time.
  4. Don’t Forget To Dress It Up:  The last step to help you avoid boring bland salads, lies in how you dress for success.  You know that it is easy to just grab a bottle of salad dressing from the shelf at your local market, but you may not know that there is a lot of added sodium, sugars, and preservatives in those bottles.  Whipping up a quick, delicious dressing is incredibly easy and helps you take control of what goes into your dressing.   To get your started, try the quick Ranch Dressing below.
  5. Keep It Clean:  The final step towards building a better salad, is to keep it clean.  When you bring your fruits and vegetables home, go the extra mile to clean and prep them to make it even easier to use them through the week.  Bonus Tip:  To make your own fruit and veggies wash, combine 1 Tbsp. Lemon juice, 1 Tbsp. baking soda, and 1 Cup water together in a large bowl.  Soak your fruit and vegetables for 5 minutes.  Take them out of the cleaning solution and rinse.

These tips will save you from boring, typical, uninspired salads.  Summer is a great time for fruits and vegetables, use these tips to build a better salad!!

Ranch Dressing

Prep Time: 5 mins

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup Milk
  • 1 Tbsp. Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. Sour Cream
  • 3 Tbsp. Mayonaise
  • 1 tsp. chopped dill
  • 1 tsp. crushed garlic
  • 1/4 tsp. dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • Franks Hot Sauce, to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. In a mason jar, add all ingredients to the jar. Secure the lid and shake until well combined.
  2. Store leftover dressing in the refrigerator.

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