Hey Friends 🙂
What did you all get up to on this dreary, blow-you-off-the-face-of-the-earth, start to your weekend?
Okay so not soo cheery but that’s what enters my brain when I’m attempting to ride my bike in these angry conditions. I just had my workout!
Sometimes this is how I feel -> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYw2q-eSGGY
On the topic of wind, I found the most random YouTube video of what a person’s face looks like when attacked by a wind machine. Kinda cool…Kinda weird. Makes you wonder…Do I look like that?
So anyways, back to what I was actually wanting to chatter about…I thought it might be an interesting idea to do some “How To” posts to give you guys just another couple of ideas or provide inspiration for when you are trying to throw together quick, healthy and yummy meals. What do you think about that? Yay or Nay?
Since I have been on a major #SaladBeast kick lately I thought it would only be fitting to do a…
How To Make An Epic SaladBeast!
Basically these are like the easiest and most delicious things you can throw together using really anything you have on hand OR you can be cool like me, and make everything you want to throw in your #BowlOfStuff #GarbageBowlSalad right then just cuz. Of course, although this may sound simple, some individuals may be stuck on what can actually go in a salad…
ANYTHING and EVERYTHING your heart desires!
All bets are off with salads which makes them awesome!
Hot with cold?
Different temperatures add fun texture. I ALWAYS throw hot stuff in with a raw base salad!
You nuke your salad? Whhhaaaatt…
Yes, yes I do. Only for a minute or two because I like the dressing to get all runny and my roasted goodies and protein sources to get warm. Think of a warm spinach salad BUT the raw things I have in there like peppers and snap peas stay crunchy. Textural bliss all!
Fish…Meatballs…in a salad?
Yup. Switch up your proteins to make it fun and new every time!
Still not so sure what to throw in there? Let me help ya out with some steps eh?
BUT before I do that let’s just get one thing straight…
that is NOT a salad…
What is that?
Not a #SaladBeast!
I take my salads very seriously so repeat after me
“I shall never make a bowl of lettuce and call that a meal”
You need sustenance. You need flavours. You need colours. You need textures.
So, once again…
Let me help ya out by assisting in making a salad you can truly be proud of…and be full after eating.
One that is as big as your head! 😀 Good on ya Chels!
Okee-dookey so, let’s begin constructing shall we?
Step 1: Pick your base.
I would suggest not one type of lettuce to start off with, but rather two or three to give you variety and plenty of nutrients! Here are some great options:
- Dark Greens: Kale (raw or massaged with a lil oil and/or lemon juice), toasted kale (just cut some kale up and toast until crispy), spinach, arugula, swiss chard (use those stems for some crunch and colour!), cabbage, romaine, mustard greens, etc.
- Other Leafy Greens: Iceberg, bok choy, frise, red leaf, etc
- Herbs: Herbs are amazing in salads trust me! Rip up some fresh herbs such as thyme, basil, dill, lemon herbs, cilantro, mint, etc and they will add a touch of brightness and pop to your dish. As you know, I love my pesto in my salads!
- Other Mixes: Use up some pre-mixed salad blends like mixed herbs and greens or veggie mixes to add extra crunch and flavours
Step 2: Pick your veggies.
Now I like to have a mix of raw and cooked as I LOVE LOVE LOVE roasted vegetables in a salad to add warmth and comfort, while also having raw ones for good crunch and freshness. I would pick a few from each of the categories.
- Standard Raw Veggies: Carrots, celery, cucumber, broccoli, peppers, tomato, etc, etc
- Cooler Raw Veggies: snap peas, snow peas, brussel sprouts, bean sprouts, zucchini, pickled beets, etc
- Cooked veggies (non-starchy): roasted or sauteed mushrooms, onion, asparagus, brussel sprouts, beets, corn, etc
- Fruit: Yes, I said fruit. If you like the sweet savory combo try adding orange segments or mango in a Thai inspired dish or perhaps strawberries or pomegranate arils for a summery punch. Of course there’s also avocado for a rich and creamy factor.
Step 3: Pick your “premium toppings.”
These are some of the more expensive and special ingredients that you will savor in your salad. If you eat dairy, add some cheese. Nuts and seeds also fall into this category too. Select a few for some great character.
- Cold: Olives, marinated eggplant, artichoke hearts, hearts of palm, sundried tomatoes (ahhh my favourite!), etc
- Warm: Roasted peppers, sauteed mushrooms, roasted tomatoes, etc
- Cheeses: Again anything goes…goat cheese (my favourite!), feta, brie, sharp cheddar, blue cheese, etc
- Nuts and Seeds: Any will do and I would suggest roasting or toasting them for the best flavour!
- Superfoods: Chia seeds, hemp seeds, sprouts of any kind (alfalfa, broccoli, etc), etc
- Sweet notes: dried fruits like cranberries or cherries add tartness.
Step 4: Pick your carbohydrate source.
Again we are looking for a filling salad here peeps. You need some starchier things in there too if you want it to hold you over for more than 5 minutes. Grains, starchy veggies or a mix of the two are all great options!
- Grains: Rice, quinoa, buckwheat groats, bulgar wheat, millet, etc. Even pasta noodles can work too!
- Starchy Proteins: Chickpeas, lentils, beans, etc
- Starchy Veggies: Roast these guys up for the best flavour! Squash of all kinds (kabocha is my favourite!), sweet taters, pumpkin, mini potatoes, etc
Step 5: Pick your protein(s).
Don’t be shy with your protein as this will help to fill you up and make your salad a #PowerBowl! Also, don’t be afraid to mix proteins too. Want animal and plant based proteins? Have both!
- Meats: Chicken, turkey, beef, ground meats, homemade meat balls and burger patties (go crazy!)
- Fish: Anything goes! Shellfish, fish, etc. Have them smoked, baked, seared, cold, whatever you want.
- Plant Proteins: Tofu, beans, lentils, eggs, tempeh, vegetarian burger patties, etc
Cheese and nuts/seeds can also fall under this category too.
Step 6: Pick your dressing.
A dressing, I find, can make or break a salad. Pick one that goes with your ingredients if you have a theme going OR be like me and just put your go-to dressing with the majority of your salads. Here’s a few examples:
- Classic: Oil and vinegar. Each one is up to you. This is great for Italian style salads or any general one.
- Pesto: OMG have I mentioned I love pesto in salads. Make it runnier by adding water, vinegar or oil to make it the main dressing OR just throw clumps of it in your salad as I always do.
- Peanut: Great for Thai inspired dishes. Here’s a great example: http://peachypalate.com/2014/02/21/peanut-butter-wonder/
- Salsa and/or Guacamole: Great for Mexican style salads.
- Hummus: Great protein option for vegetarians.
- Fruity Dressings: Great for summery or spring inspired salads. Can be sweet (like raspberry vinaigrette) or tart (think citrus)
- Nooch. Or nutritional yeast is a protein loaded, mineral powerhouse that gives a slightly cheesy note to your salad when sprinkled on top. OR you could use it in a dressing as well. Vegan approved!
The options are endless but just try not to go for those extra heavy and creamy store bought dressings if you can as they are filled with nasties.
So there you go! How to make an epic salad bowl of your own! Here’s some extra inspiration…aka SALAD PORN! 😀
Or maybe fruity is your thanng….
See grains can go in salads too!
Rockin the veggie patty and hummus!
Gettin squashy with it
Can I get some salsa with that Mexican beauty?
So now the question is…
Do you even Salad?