I love salads, they are fast, healthy, and virtually limitless. You can be so creative with a salad from your base to your dressing. Some salads ingredients are so awesome a dressing isn't even required.
I do believe building a good salad is an art though. The difference between a boring house salad and a wow oh my goodness I've died and gone to heaven salad is just the willingness to try new things. I can tend to be a salad snob though and while I love them in theory, I don't often order them when I go out because I tend to get disappointed. Salads shouldn't be boring, but that's often case. Paying $10-$12 for a plate of dullness really upsets me.
While I try really hard not to make multiple meals in my house, sometimes it's unavoidable when the main course for my guys is meat, and I simply don't eat it.
This is when healthy fast food, like a great salad comes in handy. You can be as intricate as you want and the more ingredients, the more interesting. Balancing the right veggies, proteins, and dressings is a fun process. Don't be afraid to mix raw with cooked. I always like to when possible mix some of my homemade lacto-fermented veggies into my salad to boost flavor and nutrition.
Some of my favorite added ingredients are:
Raw Nuts & Seeds
Fermented Veggies (sauerkraut, beets, carrots)
Organic Sweet Bell Peppers
Organic Grape Tomatoes
Pastured Chicken (if you eat it)
Capers (gluten free of course)
Avocado (my favorite food ever)
Wild Caught Sockeye Salmon
Grass Fed Steak (if you eat it)
Free Range Eggs (hard boiled or fried)
Your Green Bases
Rotate your greens in your salad. For optimal nutrition allow a wide variety of greens to grace your bowl. Try to keep your leafy greens organic to avoid nasty pesticides and GMOs. Try baby spinach, mixed greens, bok choy, arugula, kale, chard, mustard, and collards.
Rule number one: do not buy them! They are toxic messes full of junk not needed. If you go organic, yeah it's a step up, but totally not necessary. Seriously, take 5 minutes to drizzle some quality extra virgin olive oil and freshly squeezed lemons over your salad with good salt and pepper, your taste buds will dance.
For easy, awesome homemade salad dressings keep the following items on hand to whip up yummy dressings:
Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar
High Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Fresh Organic Lemons/Limes or Lemon/Lime Juice
Fresh Organic Oranges
Fresh or Dry Organic Spices/Herbs
Organic Maple Syrup
Organic Local Raw Honey
Organic Mustard (gluten free; yellow/Dijon)
In the picture below I threw together a miso dressing for my salad. I didn't measure (sorry for those of you out there that must measure everything). I'll try to give you approximates.
2-3 Tsp Braggs ACV
1 Tsp Organic Chickpea Miso Paste
1/2 Tsp Organic Ginger Powder
2 Tsp Organic Maple Syrup
2-3 Tsp Creamy Almond Butter
1 Tbsp Organic Untoasted Sesame Oil
I just mixed everything in that glass bowl and put it on my salad.
As for the salad itself I just pulled things out of the fridge that I had there: organic fermented beets, organic baby spinach, and kelp noodles. What on earth are kelp noodles, you ask. Well simply stated they are a brown based seaweed providing a natural source of iodine. They are a good source of fiber and very filling. So yes they are gluten free!
I probably used 1/4 of the bag. I cut them with kitchen scissors. I bought mine locally at Whole Foods, but you can order them here. I promise they are safe and healthy although as my son has stated they look "plasticy." They take on the flavor of what you put with them. No, they are not fishy tasting.
I prefer soaking mine in warm/hot water for 5-10 minutes before eating them. I enjoy the texture after soaking them and eating them with my salad.
I really enjoy the change of pace the noodles provide to my salad regimen. Do you like kelp noodles? Have you tried them? Tell me below.
Helping you to be a good steward of your health!~Marie A. Ligorria, HHC
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