Lil Miss Fitness Freak

"And though she be but little, she is fierce"

How To: #SaladBeast Edition

37 Comments

Hey Friends 🙂

Happy Saturday!

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 wonderDo I look like that?

 Check it out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=WRiLYu0etJg

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”

NO!

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.

https://i2.wp.com/chelseaeatstreats.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/salad.jpg

A fellow Chelsea know’s what I’m talkin about. Volume baby!

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! 😀

Thai anyone?

Powerbowl Salad  including baby spinach, baby spring mix, kale, chard, zucchini, squash, broccoli, red onion, beets, silvered almonds, roasted garlic, quinoa, blueberries, chicken, a boiled egg, artichoke hearts, lentils, black sesame, and an avocado vinaigrette.

Or maybe fruity is your thanng….

See grains can go in salads too!

Rockin the veggie patty and hummus!

Gettin squashy with it

Seafood! Drool…

Can I get some salsa with that Mexican beauty?

So now the question is…

Do you even Salad?

-Chelsea

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37 thoughts on “How To: #SaladBeast Edition

  1. Another post!?! OH YAY! I love when you have days off 😉

  2. YESSS! I HATE GIRLS WHO ORDER A MEASLY SALAD AND CONVINCE THEMSELVES ITS A MEAL

  3. How do you cope with those days when you’re at the gym & things are going on & on & on forever,..then you realize you’ve only been there for 5 minutes?

    • hahaha sounds like cardio to me 😛 I can’t say that happens to me though when I’m training. It seems the opposite for me aka-> “oh crap it’s already been an hour and a half..I’m not done yet?!?!”

      If it’s cardio that is gettin to you try HIIT. It’s too intense for you to have the time to get bored. If it’s weight training then perhaps you are not doing something you enjoy doing and should search for something less ‘chore-like.’ You never want to be stuck hating your exercise or you won’t ever look forward to it.

  4. Inspired by you, I made a salad BEAST for dinner (I normally just east salads as a side). A glorious salad beast with grilled salmon and asparagus, segmented orange, caramelized onions, cheese and orange soy vinaigrette.I was surprised (in a good way) that you advocated for using cheese- I LOVE cheese, but I thought it was not healthy.

    • YAY my first salad beast maker! Asparagus…caramelized onions…Sounds awesomely yummy!. I wish I could do salmon (tummy doesn’t like it :’-() as it makes for the best salad protein (love trout in my salad which is my ‘salmon’ as it’s very similar) so I hope you enjoyed it thoroughly for me!

      As for the cheese, I never advocate restriction. I choose not to eat certain things but I would never tell someone else to not eat something that is natural and wholesome if they have no reason (ie allergies, etc) to avoid it. 🙂 Dairy has been hit recently as there are issues regarding the quality of our dairy and the fact that it’s often inflammatory in our bodies (ie we have a sensitivity to it and it causes inflammation which is bad). If you don’t feel any negative affects after eating dairy then why force yourself to not have it? I would recommend buying organic dairy where you can though as, like I said, these days dairy can be suspicious due to our collection tactics-> pumping the cows full of antibiotics and such.

  5. I’ve been eating lots of salads lately! Nothing fills me like a brimming bowl of fresh vegetables with lots of mix-ins. I use up all the leftovers from my dinners throughout the week. I’ve been known to lay my favorite hot meatballs and marinara on a big bowl of greens.

  6. ps- I want to get a flat tummy what should I do?

    • Ahhhh the big question! Ha. I will keep this short.

      Diet is a big part of having that “flat stomach” BUT this concept is very subjective. Overall, if you’re looking to loose some inches off the waist then there has to be an overall reduction in weight as there is no such thing as spot reduction (ie. I want to be rid of a muffin top). The body loose weight where it sees fit and what follows your genetics. I DO NOT EVER RECOMMEND cutting foods out or going on a diet but instead, perhaps take a look at some of the foods are eating. Some may cause excessive bloating (gassy foods, sugar, heavy carb meals, processed and fried foods, salty foods, etc) which can lead to your tummy to protrude more. Over stuffing yourself can obviously cause your tummy to stick out. Ensuring your drink enough water throughout the day to flush out toxins and keep digestion humming away will also always be beneficial.

      Exercises targeted at the core will help to develop lean muscle and contribute to weight loss in a small way (along with a healthy diet) but in order to show it you have to be mindful of the foods you are consuming. I hope that helps!

  7. Hi Chelsea, First and foremost, let me tell you that your blog has given me faith that I can look at food in a healthy and happy way in the future. Thank you for that! Your thoughts and view of all the yummies in life have me inspired. Now to introduce myself! I’m 20 years old and a recovering anorexic who previously LOVED food (and still do, but need to overcome that dang fear!). I would love a response on how you managed to regain your comfort and diminish that fear of food (that I’m still struggling with). Although my situation is different than yours, I feel like I can relate so much to your experience. Any advice or words from you would be endlessly appreciated!
    Thanks so much,
    E

    • First off, thank you so much for feeling enough trust in me to share your story. Your honesty means a lot to me! I am suuuper happy that you have become inspired by my posts and I hope I can continue to help you see food the way you once did. I know it’s hard! I am going to email you regarding your question so hold tight and I will chatter with you asap 🙂 Keep treking, those thoughts are just that. Thoughts. You can talk louder than they can. ❤

    • Hey I tried to email you but it didn’t work. Shoot me an email at c_cross20@hotmail.com and we can chat more! 🙂

  8. I really appreciate the way you broke down each element of the salad so we can build our own, following your formula. The possibilities are indeed endless! I am very inspired by your blog! Thank you.

    • So glad you found that useful! I know that some people really enjoy a full break down so I made sure that I laid it out like that. Hope you make some good saladbeasts and I would see them on facebook 😉 Thanks for your kind words!

  9. I tip my hat to you. You make something that seems so mundain sound so fantastic. And those pics would make a die hard meat eater crave one of those salads. How do you do it?! 🙂

  10. I actually really hate salads. And vegetables, except for the starchy ones, of course. However, I am trying to do better and have eaten two salads for lunch this week. I love all of your great suggestions. I will try them out and hopefully be able to eat more greens!

    • I’m so glad you found this post helpful and inspiring. I don’t want you to force yourself to eat something you don’t like but if you like the starchier veggies try throwing roasted squash or sweet potatoes into a salad OR you can even go crazy and top a simpler spinach salad with homemade chili or something like that to up the veg factor while stile getting your greens.

  11. LOVE LOVE LOVE my SALADS! I am the exact same way! But I always find it hard for the dressings! You have just inspired me to once again restart our salads!! Thank you! Thank you for your inspirational site! You are beautiful!

    • Thank you for your kind words! 🙂 I’m glad I can inspire you and I hope some of the dressing ideas helped! I generally always stick to my go-to homemade dressing (1 tbsp coconut vinegar or lemon juice, touch of olive oil, dried chili, rosemary and cracked black pepper, tbsp or two of water depending on how liquidy I want it and enough tangy frenches mustard to combine and thicken it all up!). Dressings are definitely a deal breaker so search around and try to find a homemade one that you love 🙂

  12. Haha. I am JUST now becoming a salad fanatic after realizing I’ve been doing it wrong for years. Trying to force myself to eat a bowl of just veggies was painful and basically everything would go bad! (though tasty, not something I am willing to do everyday). The BEST thing I ever bought myself was a salad spinner. I am LOVING throwing my leftovers onto lettuce for a fresh, filling lunch. Whole wheat pasta – another favorite to bulk up my lunch… i’m actually looking forward to my lunch tomorrow! Thanks for all the fun ideas 🙂

    • YAY for looking forward to your meals! And I can totally see why salads weren’t appealing before hand. A bowl of lettuce is the most snore worthy thing…I don’t know how some people do it! Glad you liked the post ❤

  13. Hey,

    Found your blog yesterday and read it all (or almost :p); i loved it for all these little things, so true, that people talking about “going healty” usually choose to omit, and that you mention with honesty and humour.

    Really liked this article, cauz i’m a salad addict, so lovin’ the concept 😀

    Thanks for the “happy mood” of your writting and the recipes ideas 😀 And have a beautiful, wonderful day!

    • Hey! Welcome 😀 I’m so glad you are enjoying what you see so far. I love getting feedback! I hope you have a wonderous day yourself and glad you are on the saladtrain…it’s a goody 😉

  14. My favorite salad is a greens-free salad. Tomatoes, red bell pepper, red onion, grilled corn (cut off the cob), and avocado with a drizzle of olive oil and a dash of salt and pepper. SO delicious and satisfying.

  15. What inspired you to start this FABULOUS blog!

    • Wow interesting question! And thanks for calling it fab 😉 well I love talking about fitness and nutrition and since I have for days about it, I thought that blogging could be just the cure! Plus I love being able to help others with any questions related to healthy living

  16. Chelsea, I can’t ever imagine feeling full on a 1200 calorie day. Ever. But I also know I overeat. How do you reduce your calorie intake in a way that sets you up to succeed ( ie., doesn’t take a high-speed turn from so-stuffed-I’m-carrying-a-food-baby to STARVING )?

    • If you did feel full on that low of cals then it means that your body has adapted and slowed your metabolism down because it thinks you’re starving. I have never had to reduce my cal intake (only go up lol) but when you’re starving try your hardest to eat slower so you body has a chance to realize you’re full. Take breaks while eating for same reason. I hope that helps

  17. Alright, it’s finally time to break my silence. I found your blog earlier this week and just absolutely love it. Honestly, it’s restored my hope in the weightloss/health blogging world. I began blogging over 2 years ago, weighing in at 352lbs and although my passion for weight loss has not stopped and I’ve lost 158lbs, my interest in reading and keeping up to date with blogs really was squelched. You & your blog have reignited that fire for me. It’s so refreshing & reassuring to be able to identify with someone who’s line of thinking is so similar to mine in regards to diet/ nutrition.

    In short, you’re amazing & please keep the amazing posts coming!

    Tiff

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