Let’s talk about salads because they do NOT have to be boring.

I get it, what can you really do with some leaves and dressing?  A lot.

I want to try an expand your horizon when it comes to salads, because I too was in the same boat. Eating the same salads, day in and day out, became extremely boring for me too. I needed some help with the preparation and when I found that, it all opened up for me.

There are literally thousands of different combinations, so please don’t think this is the end all. However, I have boiled it down to about 10 different varieties that keep my taste buds satisfied. Lets go by the numbers.

(1) First, choose your base. Try different versions including spinach, kale, spring mix, Asian cabbage, romaine just to name a few. Realize that it will all change the flavor of the salad.

(2) Add your veggies. I usually stick to fresh tomatoes, cucumbers , carrots and broccoli, but some people love beets, zucchini, bell peppers, jalapeño peppers, mushrooms etc.

(3) Choose a topping. This is where I used to go wrong… I thought croutons were the only topping. Boy was I living a sheltered life and no longer use them as most contain artificial stuff.  I’ve now changed it to walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, pine nuts and (my favorite!) cranberries.  If you’ve never tried a salad with cranberries you are missing out.

(4) Add a protein. I will usually add either chicken breast that I cook the Sunday before I go back to work, or an egg. I know others use lean meat, tempeh etc.  The important part is you have something with protein, as a salad really lacks on that macro nutrient. You want to try and have a protein with every meal if possible!

(5) Dressing.  Here’s where people go wrong. Stick with either home made dressings (the stuff at the store is horrible), avocado or salsa. Now if you’re going with the dressing or avocado, use it sparingly. A little goes a long way and fat is a fast way of racking up those calories. What kind of dressing? Check out the recipe for the dressing here.

Tonight I had a spring mix salad with tomato, cucumber, walnuts, cranberries and chicken breast. I topped it with a creamy garlic dressing. I can tell you it was anything but ordinary!

What kind of salad have you discovered is your favorite?

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