Today’s post is doing double-duty. Clients often tell me that they know they should eat more salad, but they just can’t find a way to like it. So today I’m going to share my tips for learning to love your salad plus the ingredients for my favorite raw salad. (Check out my previous post about the benefits of the Raw Food Lifestyle by clicking here.)
Learning to love any salad, raw or not, can be easy and fun. Here are my 5 tips to get you started:
1. Chopping the greens changes the texture of any salad and makes it so yummy, it’s probably my favorite tip to give people who want to learn to love salad. Most mixed greens are large and awkward to eat, so chopping them makes the salad much more enjoyable.
2. My favorite salads are about half chopped greens and half other stuff. A plain salad of just greens can get boring quickly, so chop it all up and add tons of your favorite healthy foods, veggies, fruits, raw nuts, seeds, etc.
3. Use a really good aged balsamic vinegar (or any other vinegar) – it’s sweeter and usually tastes better than the cheaper, younger versions. Spending a few extra dollars on a good-quality vinegar is so worth it because you use just a little at a time.
4. Use a healthy oil that you like the taste of and like. Try a little on a spoon and make sure you agree with the taste. Macadamia nut oil is incredibly nutritious and has little flavor, so it’s a good one to use if you don’t care for the strong flavor of extra virgin olive oil. My top 5 favorite healthy oils are macadamia nut oil, extra virgin olive oil, flax seed oil, hemp seed oil, and avocado oil. Always look for organic, cold-pressed oils when possible.
Stay away from store-bought and mayo-based dressings, they’re usually unhealthy and expensive. Vinegar + oil is much healthier, tastes better, and is much better for your budget. Even better, oil and vinegar keep in your pantry for long periods of time, whereas store-bought dressings usually go bad quickly.
5. The three macronutrients – carbs, fat, and protein – make any meal complete. Always add some kind of good protein and lots of healthy fats to your salad for a well-rounded, satisfying meal (the veggies provide your good carbs).
–Some examples of good proteins: beans, nuts, seeds, hemp, lean organic chicken or turkey, salmon, tuna, cooked quinoa
–Some examples of healthy fats: nuts, seeds, organic cold-pressed oil, avocado, unprocessed olives
My Favorite Raw Salad
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Makes 2 large servings
This is my personal favorite combo of raw ingredients, so feel free to add anything you’d like and make it your own. I eat this salad 4-5 days per week and never get tried of it!
- 3 handfuls mixed greens, medium chopped
- 2-3 large green kale leaves, medium chopped
- 1 medium carrot, shredded with a handheld shredder
- 2 tbsp finely chopped red onion
- ½ avocado, diced
- 8-10 grape tomatoes, cut in half
- 2 tbsp raw sunflower seeds
- 2 tbsp sliced raw almonds
- 1 tbsp raw hemp seeds
- Sprouts (if I have them on hand), chopped
- 2 tsp organic, cold pressed flax seed or macadamia nut oil
- 1 tbsp good quality aged balsamic vinegar
- pinch of fine sea salt (Real Salt is my favorite brand)
Add all ingredients to a large bowl, drizzle with oil and vinegar, add the pinch of salt and toss well to combine. I usually eat half for lunch right from the bowl, then cover and store in the refrigerator for dinner or the next day’s lunch. Every once in awhile I’ll add a tablespoon of raw blue cheese, too.
Have a favorite salad or tips you want to share with other readers? Share in the comments section below.