Work mate Johnny asks: "Hey Sally, what did you bring for lunch today?" Sally responds: "Meh- just a salad." If Sally made one of my salads, Johnny wouldn't even get a response because she'd already be in the staff room scarfing it down.
Salads have such a bad rap in the world. People generally hate salads, not because of flavour, but because they don't keep them full, and salads don't keep them full because salads are made up mostly with lettuce, and lettuce is made up mostly of water.
The keys to a good 'FULL-FILLING' salad are as follows:
Use hearty greens as your base
Kale, chard, and spinach are good examples of hearty greens. These kinds of greens have more fibre and they are just overall more robust and chewy. (they're also more nutrient dense- more bang for your buck)
*Side note: I recommend a massage session before consuming hearty greens- and I don't mean YOU go get full body a massage- I mean actually massaging your hearty greens. Just rip them into bite size pieces (without the stems), throw them in the bowl undressed, put both hands in and start kneading each leaf. This helps to begin the breakdown process making them easier to chew and digest. I HIGHLY recommend this step.
*Another side note: use as many vegetables as you can on top of the hearty greens and lettuce. The more colourful the better. Variety is key.
*One more side note: a julienne-er is a little kitchen gadget that I couldn't live without. (see image below) It looks like a peeler, but it has little teeth. I run it over beets, carrots, and zucchini- turning them into little shoelace type shapes. Making them so much easier to eat- rather than chopped chunks.
*Last side note: you're beautiful.
Add ingredients that are high in macro-nutrients
Fat, carbohydrates and protein are macro-nutrients, they fill us up. Avocado, quinoa, nuts, seeds, flax oil, wild salmon, and olives are all examples of foods high in macro-nutrients. So build up your salad with some of those goodies and you will stay fuller for longer.
It's all about the dressing
Isn't that the truth? Dressing is what gives a salad flavour. Flavour keeps us fuller, longer. When something is full with all five flavours (sweet, sour, bitter, salty, unami), our tastebuds are satisfied and we aren't left craving something else. Here's how to ensure a dressing covers all your flavour bases:
- a vinegar or citrus juice (sour)
- an oil (bitter)
- honey (sweet)
- sea salt (salty)
- miso or nutritional yeast (unami- which is a 'meaty' kind of flavour).
This mix is a good base, from here you can add anything else- garlic, ginger, cilantro, lime. See my post on dressing here.
Salads don't have to be 'meh', they can be a really fun time and they can be really satisfying. My photography needs some work, but check out mine......
Tell me that wouldn't satisfy your taste buds and your belly? The beauty alone is enough for me!