7 Tasty Foods You Need to Buy for a Healthier and Tastier Salad
Salads are often seen as the go-to diet food. But they can get pretty boring and repetitive. And when ordering a salad from a restaurant or fast food spot, these salads can quickly become anything but healthy with unhealthier dressings and toppings that stack up to create an unhealthy salad.
I love a good salad. I love nothing more than a poached egg on a massive pile of arugula and spinach to start my day. Here’s what I buy every week to make healthy (sometimes quick & last minute) salads:
Shredded Veggies: And I don’t just mean carrots! I buy shredded cruciferous vegetables, found in the lettuce mix section. These mixes typically contain at least shredded brussels sprouts, kale, and cabbage. These shredded veggies are a timesaver, making it easy to grab a handful and throw them in with my salad mix.
Seeds & Nuts: I’ll admit it, there’s only one nut I won’t eat, and it’s Macadamia nuts. Why? Well, for starters I don’t like the taste and I’m thrilled that they’re also just as unhealthy as a bag of chips, well actually worse than a bag of chips. No wants or needs a nut with little to no nutritional advantage that packs 1000 calories per cup. Back to the nuts and seeds, I do eat...pumpkin, sunflower, walnuts, pecans, etc...I toss them with spices and a teeny bit of neutral oil (like avocado) and pop them in my air fryer for 1-3 minutes to get them a bit crispy and release their natural oils. You could also toast them on the stovetop or pop in a 350F oven if you don’t have an air fryer.
Mini Bell or Sweet Peppers: These bags of little peppers are amazing! They can add bright color pops to your salad and either chop them up or eat them whole. And if you are a gardener like me, they make an excellent addition to your veggie garden and grow well in pots.
Feta or Sliced Parmesean Cheese: Feta is my preferred salad cheese topping because it adds a saltiness without adding excessive salt and it doesn’t get mushy or absorb other flavors if I pack my lunch. Sliced parmesan is also a favorite for these same reasons. I use my veggie peeler and peel off a few slices from a block of parm.
Fruit: Lots of fruits belong in salads including sliced apples or pears, blueberries, strawberries, even melons can balance out the flavors. If I’m making a packed salad, I pack the fruit separately so they stay fresher and can prevent browning. Try strawberries and goat cheese in your next lunch! It’s a seasonal favorite. Fruit can balance the flavors and drive up the antioxidant power in your salad.
Golden or White Balsamic Vinegar: Traditional balsamic vinegar is thick and more like syrup. White and golden are less aged and processed resulting in less coloring and intensity of flavor. Which makes them a perfect solo dressing. Solo meaning, no oil, no sugar, no juices, or anything else. A tablespoon or two is all you need for an amazing dressing.
Everything but the Bagel Spice Mix: A half teaspoon or less of this mix can add the taste of garlic, onion, and give extra crunchiness when you get a poppy or sesame seed. And if you forgo (or forgot) the dressing, this spice mix can really help brighten your salad. This is a favorite spice mix of mine that finds its way into many of my quick meals.
What are your go-to ingredients for a healthy salad? If you liked this content, subscribe and get access to my subscriber-only content for living a healthy and sustainable life.