Now let’s face it, Salad is Salad. A salad does not and will not taste like a good juicy hamburger. It will never taste like a fresh out of the oven lasagna with hot cheese oozing out of it.
So why do we eat it?
To be healthy! Duh! Now hear me out. Obviously a salad is not meant to taste amazingly awesome. It didn’t make the World’s Top 50 Most Delicious Foods list (I checked). The best we can do is make it somewhat edible, something that makes you think: “Hmm…this is not so bad.” So here’s my proposal. Why not go the extra mile? With all the grilled chicken and walnuts we add to an otherwise boring salad, it will never become a stuffed crust pizza. So why not make it healthIER?
Here’s some things you can throw into whatever salad you are making to give it an extra “boost”.
First of all, salad greens.
What are our go to salad greens? LETTUCE
How many nutrients does lettuce have? ZERO!
Replacement # 1 : Rocket leaves/ Arugula
Makes your salad “pop” if you will, give it some life, personality even (snagglepuss) . Arugula is super healthy, reduces the risk of Cancer, great antioxidant and detoxifying agent and a rich source of vitamins. Also, boys…this ish is good for you! *wink wink*
Replacement # 2: Spinach leaves (raw ofcourse)
Also an antioxidant, great for your Heart, packed with Iron, Folate, Magnesium along with many other nutrients. Rich source of Vitamin C too!
Add any kind of seeds to your salad (not the ones meant to go in the soil) and you can’t go wrong. Flax seeds, Sunflower seeds, Chia seeds, you name it! They all have the good kind of cholesterol and essential fatty acids. Plus, it gives your salad a lot of flavor and texture.
Girls: Flax seed is good for your skin!
Girls with Keratosis Pilaris (KP)/ Chicken skin like me: You should be worshiping Flax seeds!
Yes, Barley! Boil some in like a cup or two of water until cooked through. Drain the water out IN A MUG…and drink it! Yes! this stuff is good for your heart, your skin and is also a cancer preventative (especially breast cancer) . It lowers Blood sugar and controls glucose levels in your body. So, those with insulin resistence, diabetes or PCOS need to have lots of barley. Those with high levels of uric acid, need to worship this stuff. After drinking the nutrient packed barley water, take your barley and toss it into your salad. It doesn’t taste like crap and personally, I like those mushy little fellas between my teeth =D
Fruit? Yes? No? Maybe so?
I like to throw in the occasional sliced oranges, pomegranate seeds, chopped mangoes, dried apricots. I say why not? Why the heck not? If your salad has Arugula in it, adding the sweetness of a fruit to it is always a good combination.
Walnuts, pine nuts, almonds, cashews….
They are a rich source of Omega-3 Fatty acids and help in reducing bad cholesterol. Almonds are good for your heart, boost brain activity and improve your memory. I think. Or so I was led to believe whenever I couldn’t memorize something for school and my mom would bring over a handful of almonds to munch on.
Grilled meats…GRILLED meats! Not chopped up left over kebabs from last night.
This is what gives body to your salad so that it becomes your main meal. This is maybe the only “Happy” ingredient in your salad. Your friend, someone you recognize, someone who helps you get through the pain of eating… a SALAD!! So go ahead, add it! No one said it’s bad for you. When its deep fried in batter that’s when it’s bad. But oh soooo goooodd!
Disclaimer: I’m sure there’s tonnes of other, possibly better things you could add to a salad. But, these are just some of the things I have actually tried and liked myself. Let me know if you have any other super great ideas to make a healthy salad super healthier!