• Kate Woolsey

How to Build the Perfect Salad

In the summer, it’s natural to gravitate towards fresh, raw produce and salads. But how do we keep it from being sad, uninspired and boring? Just follow these steps to build a tasty, nutritious salad.

My best tips for making delicious, satisfying, nutrient rich salads are right here!

Start with greens. They provide excellent phytonutrients and fiber to your diet, and bring a wonderful, bright crispiness to your dish! I love spinach, romaine, butter lettuce, kale, arugula.

Add some protein! Canned tuna, smoked salmon, hard boiled eggs, chickpeas, lentils, chicken, shrimp, steak, pulled pork - the sky is the limit. Protein helps to fill you up, fuel your body and keep your hunger under wraps until your next mealtime.

Fire it up. Try roasting or sautéing a vegetable to add another level of flavor and texture to your salad. I love to use cauliflower, zucchini, eggplant, broccoli or asparagus. You can used leftover roasted veggies from an earlier meal or chop and sauté while you prep and assemble other components.

Add healthy fats. Avocado, olives, a drizzle of olive oil and a handful of nuts all help to add flavor and keep you feeling fuller, longer.

Freshen it up. Add fresh herbs like chopped parsley, mint, basil, chives, cilantro or tarragon for extra freshness and flavor.

Season well. Skip the store-bought salad dressing, which can be laden with hidden sugars and chemicals we don't need. Instead, use herbs and seasonings. Salt and pepper is essential. Also try chili flakes, minced shallot, a squeeze of lemon juice, a dash of coconut aminos - whatever is calling to you in the moment!

Top it off. Sprinkle added seeds or ingredients for texture and bonus nutrients. I rotate chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp hearts and nutritional yeast to add an extra boost.

Experiment. Use what you have on hand! Don’t be afraid to experiment with new ingredients: sauerkraut, chopped dill pickles, fresh peaches, cherries, sunflower seeds and berries. Get creative!

Enjoy!! Revel in your flavor combos and remember the winners for next time.

Now, tell me: what are your favorite salad ingredients and combinations? Let me know in the comments.

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