I’ve never been a huge salad girl. I like the occasional fancy side salad at a really nice restaurant, and every now and then I crave a huge bowl of greens, but salads have never been in my daily meal rotation. Eating a salad has always felt a little bit like, well, a chore.
But yesterday, I had a revelation.
I was feeling a little queasy, so I made myself a big bowl of kale, mixed greens, red pepper, carrots, and beans, all tossed with a squeeze of lime and a splash of olive oil. Then, I added two of my favorite foods in the world: avocado and cheddar cheese. It was delicious–I loved every bite. And it hit me like a ton of arugula:
The way to love a salad? Add something you love to it.
It’s so simple, but so revolutionary! If you add something you truly love to a salad, you’ll look forward to every single bite. And suddenly, you’re no longer forcing down mouthfuls of kale, you’re hunting for every last delicious lime-splashed chunk of avocado and every creamy cube of cheddar. Mmm. Who cares if it’s indulgent? You’re eating a salad!
Here are some ways you can revolutionize your salad routine. Let me know if I’ve missed any great salad additions in the comments below!
Add fats. Eating a salad shouldn’t be about deprivation, it should be about enjoyment. To this end, add your favorite cheese, a handful of nuts, or a sliced avocado. And before you start worrying about fat content, get this: adding fats to your salad actually helps you to better absorb nutrients from the vegetables! Pass the Parmesan/goat/feta cheese, please!
Add crunch. One of the characteristics of a really great salad is textural variety. So get your crunch on: tortilla chip strips, sesame sticks, roasted chickpeas, or any sort of crunchy snack mix-y thing.
Add berries. Nestled on a bed of greens, paired with a good balsamic…berries will transform your salad. Splurge on your favorite carton of berries, and you’ll be in salad bliss all week.
Add herbs. Nothing wakes up a salad like a generous handful of fresh basil. Or parsley. Or a sprig of rosemary. Or mint. Get yourself to the herb aisle and go crazy!
Add something intense. Make every bite an experience. Your favorite olives, pickled garlic, peppadews, sliced jalapenos, a drizzle of tahini, bleu cheese crumbles, bacon–whatever really rocks your flavor boat.
Add citrus. Winter salads are practically crying out for wedges of grapefruit or blood orange, especially when paired with arugula, fennel, and a little goat cheese.
What’s your favorite salad indulgence?
Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of and copyright Free Range Stock, www.freerangestock.com; photo by Freerange Stock Archives