Nutritious and Delicious Salads

When I was little, my first memorable foray into the kitchen was making something I dubbed Salad Sandwiches. It was nothing more than salad mix on rye bread from our favorite bakery topped with ranch dressing. Not the most majestic of meals and I'd probably still eat it, however, my salad game has greatly improved since then.⠀

That odd lettuce/bread combo thing I had going on is what I would now consider a wimpy salad. A salad can be a hearty, filling meal if done right. Here's the basic "formula" I use for a nutritious salad that will leave you feeling satisfied. ⠀

You don't need to follow this exactly. It's purpose is to provide a framework. You can mix and match as you please to suit your tastes, but it's a good jumping off point. ⠀

Sick of boring salads? Up your salad game and incorporate several components aside from greens and dressing (though they're important, they are just the beginning). Chopping your salad into smaller/bite-sized chunks is ideal. It helps with flavor and allows the dressing to coat better. Plus, it's easier to eat! Toss with dressing just before eating.⠀

Greens: options include kale, spinach, romaine, field greens, Swiss chard⠀

Proteins: beans, lentils, roasted chicken/turkey/tofu⠀

Grains: rice, farro, quinoa, barley⠀

Vegetables: load up on a variety of vegetables, the options are endless; they can be roasted, raw, pickled, whatever way you like them⠀

Extras: seeds, cheese, dried or fresh fruit, croutons, frizzled onions⠀

Dressing: homemade or store-bought; a simple vinegar/oil mixture will do; or look for yogurt-based creamy dressings in the refrigerated section of the grocery store⠀

Leftover portions of salad generally keep pretty well for a few days, especially with tougher greens such as kale or chard. Eat as is or inside of a wrap to switch it up.⠀

Tara Felser