Salads are a great simple go-to lunch. It can be quickly thrown together and you can use up leftover ingredients in your fridge. However, we don’t want to eat the same spinach, chicken breast, and dressing combination every day. There are numerous ways to change up your salads with different textures and flavors without requiring extra time in the kitchen.
This is what a salad typically contains:
Vegetables – Lettuce, leafy greens, roasted, grilled, pickled, etc
Crunch – Croutons, nuts, seeds, granola, etc
Dressing– Vinaigrettes, olive oil + lemon juice, etc
Protein (Optional) – Chicken breast, fish, tofu, cheese, etc
Extras (Optional) – Rice, quinoa, herbs, fruit, etc
Change Up Your Greens
This is the bed of your salad. Eating spinach salad after spinach salad can get boring. Mix it up with some romaine if you want some extra crunch. There are also many other options like kale, dandelion leaves, butter lettuce and kale. If you’re feeling adventurous, throw together a mixture of several greens!
Grill or Roast Vegetables
Add in some cooked eggplant, squash or zucchini for an interesting smoke flavor to your salad! Just because it’s a salad does not mean everything needs to be raw.
It’s more enjoyable eating a salad when you get to enjoy all the different textures. Throw in some sliced almonds, walnuts, granola or roasted chickpeas.
Smooth It Out
Crunch is great, and the perfect counterpoint is something smooth to balance it out. Add some avocado slices or some hummus on top.
Dress It Up
I personally think this is the most important part of a salad. A dressing can completely change the entire character of a salad. Olive oil and lemon juice is convenient, but changing it up with other dressings can change the flavor. Vinaigrettes are easy to modify by changing vinegars or adding other spices. You can also try a creamy or spicy dressing to give your salad an extra kick!
Sweeten The Deal
Depending on your preference, a hint of sweetness to a salad can give a boost of flavor. You can add honey to your dressing or fresh fruit. Berries, watermelon, peaches, and citrus are all great additions, depending on your salad.
It’s best to prepare ahead of time. Buy a variety of salad toppings. Buy pre-washed salad greens. Wash and chop up your raw salad toppings, put them into plastic containers and place them in your fridge. Make homemade dressings in bulk and place them in a jar in your fridge. Now you’re ready for a variety of salads for your next couple meals which will take just several minutes to make!