Wednesday, March 26, 2014

An 'Everything You've Got' Salad - Learn to Love it :)

My favorite part of my day when I have hours upon hours of class is when I get the opportunity to whip out my salad!!!! Sounds lame....and ridiculously healthy, I know. But seriously, when you make a salad THE RIGHT WAY (as in my way ;) ) you will get just as excited as I do.

A salad doesn't seem like a hard thing to make - in my opinion at least - because I literally throw in almost everything I've got in my fridge/cupboard (I try not to overdo it and switch it up from day to day :) ) But I always have people comment on my salads [as well as my boyfriend Justin - I can't take all the credit since he does give me a lot of ideas] and ask me how I do it. So here are some ideas!!!!

Start with your base:

Large serving of a spring mix or 50/50 mix (I usually buy the 'organic girl' bins @ Whole Foods)

Then add any combination of the following. I try not to include EVERYTHING. But it's nice to switch it up and use different vegetables - keeps it interesting:

Sliced cucumbers
Shredded carrots (instead of cutting the carrots into large pieces, use a peeler to give you nice stringy pieces of carrot - easier on your teeth/jaw :) )
Any color bell pepper (green, red, yellow, orange) - cut into smaller pieces
Red onion - be careful because your breath will smell!!!!
Beets - don't be afraid to try! Gives your salad a sweeter taste and pairs really well with some sliced green apple
Raw broccoli
Hard boiled egg (although I don't use eggs because many people are allergic to them)
1/2 avocado
If you eat meat: a little bit of ground beef or 1/2 a chicken breast will taste great

Other interesting goodies that make my salad taste AWESOME:

Hemp seeds - I absolutely love these! 2-3 tablespoons
Other Dried fruit - cranberries, blueberries
Sauerkraut - such a great probiotic!
Pumpkin seeds
Flax Seeds
Raw Cheese

Dressing/Topping ideas:

Olive oil and balsamic
Squeezed lemon
Hummus - 2 small dollops, not too much
*Sometimes I honestly have a little bit of each of these toppings on my salad [some of them may seem strange, I know!] and it makes it taste great but you definitely don't need to go overboard

Avocado and/or guacamole, and hemp seeds are a MUST for me. Can't do without! I'm also a huge fan of beets with apple slices and then some pumpkin seeds. Beets are intimidating, smell gross, and taste like dirt on their own but I absolutely love them in my salad. 

Don't be afraid to try new things - as foods sometimes taste different in combination with others and our taste changes as we age. 

You'll also be surprised as to how filling a large salad is and it won't give you that afternoon crash - you'll be feeling great and have a satisfied tummy all at the same time :) What a great combo! Enjoy. 

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