Salad is the best thing ever. Yes, I am daring to call it that, despite what my dad says, my husband says, or one of my best friends.
Let me use an analogy to explain this. Do you have an acquaintance you just hated, then by chance got to know them a bit, had an experience, and now you are BFF’s never to be separated?
That’s kind of what salad is. It’s that person in your class or at your job that you just seem to dislike, yet you don’t really know anything about them yet. You just have to take the leap, have an experience with them, create a healthy relationship where they help you grow, and you help them develop into something better.
Salad is that friend. You take one glance at it, and there’s something you don’t like about its chopped romaine lettuce, with pieces of tomato and cucumber. The only thing you know what to do with it is drown it in ranch and tell yourself that it will help you lose weight. This is an example of a bad relationship with salad.
Salad is the friend that you don’t want, but you need. In order for you to have a good relationship with salad, you need to “develop” it into what you need.
Now that you understand my point, here are some ways to “up cycle” your salad into something that you, dare I say it, crave:
MEAT: I’m not a vegetarian, and if you’re not either, this is the FIRST thing you and I need on our salad. Whether it’s chicken, fish and shrimp, or heck, even beef. I prefer chicken or fish because they tend to go with vinegar-based dressings much better. A personal favorite is throwing some chopped chicken in a frying pan with some Frank’s Hot sauce or Louisiana Hot sauce. Addicting.
CHEESE: Your options are pretty endless here. Cheddar, mozzarella, feta, goat’s cheese, swiss, and more.
VEGGIES: Other than the lettuce I mean. Change up your base from just romaine to spinach, butter lettuce, or kale, just to keep things fresh. And for pete sakes layer the shit out it with all the other veggies. Tomatoes, cukes, green or black olives, alfalfa sprouts, peppers, and even jalapenos. Keep your taste buds entertaining with assorted flavors. And don’t forget about capers 😉
SEEDS & NUTS: If you’re looking for something extra, there is plenty to add. From sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, pecans, almonds, and pine nuts. My only suggestion would be to keep it to one or two tablespoons because they are calorie-dense.
DRESSINGS: Stick to vinegar-based dressings, not creamy ones. I know it’s hard, but you won’t need the Caesar dressing when you have succeeded making your salad totally delicious on its own. Don’t just continuously visit the Kraft section in the grocery store either, there are some amazing and simple salad dressings you can make online, and they only take 5 minutes. Here is a basic dressing recipe with eight different variations to get you started.
HINT: Fresh basil and dill in your salad will absolutely change your life. That is all.
A CAUTION: Save yourself from croutons, craisins (dried cranberries), and candied anything. The calories are not worth it! Count the calories in your salads when you are making a meal out of them.
So what are you waiting for? Go make friends!