If you prepare them the right way, salads can be super tasty, appealing to look at and the perfect way to get your vital nutrients. Plus, they are so quickly to make! So, if you want to make the perfect salad, but don’t know how, here are the 6 steps you need to follow.
1. Pick your base
If you can, try to use leafy dark greens, such as spinach, rocket lettuce, or kale rather than iceberg or cos lettuce varieties. Darker greens usually have more nutrients, such as vitamins A, C, and K just to mention a few.
2. Pick your grains
I think we have all once experienced the feeling of being hungry or wanting to snack right after we are done eating a salad. A good way to avoid this annoying feeling is to include grains into our salads. Grains are a great source of healthy carbohydrates, which supply our bodies with a little energy boost. Besides, they are a great source of fibre which can be very filing and is full of nutrients. Don’t know which grains to add? Try couscous or quinoa, besides being super healthy, they are full of flavor!
3. Add three vegetables
If you are not so experienced when it comes to eating salads, then I recommend that you first experiment with your veggies and the way you prepare them to see what you like. Don’t be afraid to experiment, remember that there is no right or wrong veggie combination and there is not an exact recipe to follow when it comes to salad prepping. Put together something you like, but make sure you at least add 3 vegetables. This will add more flavor to your salad, more nutrients, and more texture which will make it much more enjoyable to eat. If you have no idea which vegetables to add besides lettuce, here are some tips. Try tomato, onion and mushroom, or carrot, cucumber and capsicum. If you are feeling creative, you can also add some color to your salad by using veggies like purple onion, yellow tomatoes or purple carrot!
4. Choose your protein
Protein helps you feel fuller longer which is why it is important that you make sure that you include some in your salad. Adding grilled chicken to your salad is one of the most common ways to make sure you get your intake of protein. However another great option is grilled salmon or tofu. Salmon is a great source of Omega 3, which is great for your skin and helps fight against inflammation. Hello flat tummy!
5. Add some dressing
In my opinion, dressing can either make or break a salad. The important thing when it comes to dressing is to add it in the right amount. Once I drowned my salad in balsamic dressing, making it completely inedible. The same counts for that time I forgot to add any dressing to my salad, it was simply too dry and it felt like it was missing some flavor.
Another important thing to keep in mind is that some dressings are full of calories and preservatives. So, it's always a better idea to make your own dressing. If you can’t make your own, make sure that you choose a fresh dressing with fresh ingredients and healthy oils like vinaigrette instead of something creamy, like ranch for example.
6. Add your healthy fats
While most people fear fat, our bodies need it! Of course there is a huge difference between trans-fat and healthy fats. Our bodies need healthy fat. Healthy fats help regulate our moods and blood sugar. Foods such as walnuts, chia seeds and flaxseeds are full of omega 3 which help our bodies regulate blood pressure as well. Incorporating fats into your salad is the easiest thing. Just sprinkle over some chopped walnuts, some chia seeds, or add some diced avocado and there you go! Not only will you make sure that you get your dose of healthy fats, your perfect salad will also taste extra delicious after adding these!
Now that you know how to prepare the perfect salad, all there is left to do is get your ingredients, go prepare it and enjoy!