When people talk with me about 'eating healthy' they usually bring up salads and, " I can't live on salads all day" or, "I get bored with salads" or, "salads don't fill me up". i get it. Now that I've seen how some people do salads and I'm here to say, there's a ton of taste beyond the salad bar. So, let's talk about how I build salads.
In the photo above is one of the most satisfying salads I've made in a long time. Romaine lettuce, artichokes, raw bi-color corn (typically not modified -yet), red leaf lettuce, arugula, a small handful of shredded parmesan cheese ( the powdered stuff is pretty unsatisfying) and an olive based dressing.
First, I go by what appeals to me on the produce shelves and farmer's markets. My tastes can change day to day and week to week. I go with it because this keeps variety in my diet. I often shop by color inspiration. This keeps pleasure in the shopping experience.
If you work well with recipes, do that. If you need to make your choices based on what you're feeling, do that. It's just as valid.
Here are some ideas to get you started.
Lettuces. I prefer variety in color and texture. Butter, romaine, sorrel, leafy greens and red. Kale chopped or finely sliced.
Herbs. Basil, cilantro, dill, mint, tarragon, parsley, chives, lavender (just a bit of this goes a long way in a dish). These add texture which is a super important part of satiety. They also add a depth of nutrient nourishment that the lettuces may not be able to supply.
Vegetables. Carrots, peas, snow peas, celery, beets, garlic scapes (sauteed if you like), kale (raw or sauteed), artichokes (featured in the photo above), asparagus, corn( I love eating raw corn sliced right off the cob. If you prefer cooked, cook it and add it to your salads.)
Fruit. Berries, pineapples, apples, pears, avocado, mango, nectarines, tomatoes (in season! Don't waste your taste buds on out of season tomatoes), olives.
Edible flowers. Nasturtiums are wonderful and often available in the refrigerated herb section of your big box grocers) rose geranium, hibiscus, dandelion, marigolds, squash blossoms (these are amazing in soups and fried.) *Only buy flowers to eat from a pesticide free retailer/farmer. If you know how to source wild plants safely, okay, but, if you don't have this skill, only buy from trusted sources that are harvesting these flowers specifically for eating.
Nuts,legumes and seeds. sliced almonds, cashews, walnuts (crushed) lentils, peanuts, sesame seeds (black and white - roasted and raw), hemp seeds, quinoa (a secret seed), pumpkin seeds...
Beans. Black eyes peas, black turtle beans, red beans, garbanzo, cannellini beans...
The cut of your vegetables and greens can change the way you experience what you're eating. Try it. Grate your beets and carrots. Finely chop your tougher greens like kale and collards. Add a handful to your salads and notice how it fills you in a different way.
“People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they're not on your road does not mean they are lost."