The Art of Constructing a Big A** Salad
I know some of you probably think this is super annoying, but I HONESTLY love a good salad. I probably eat salads 6 out of 7 days of the week, and chances are if I'm out to eat, I'm ordering a salad. I truly enjoy the taste of fresh veggies! And yes, there are definitely ways to make a salad unhealthy, but I typically avoid all the higher calorie add-ins and stick to mainly veggie toppings. Ultimately, the truth is, you can get a really well-balanced meal out of a salad, and if it's BIG, you're getting a ton of food volume to keep you feeling satiated for longer periods of time.
Ordering a salad at a restaurant every day can get expensive. I've been there. I used to go to Newk's so often, they knew my order when I walked in, even with all the substitutions I make ;). To keep my wallet a little happier, I started buying my own ingredients and making salads at home. This is a great option for me also, because I can pick exactly the mix-ins that I want. With a little prep work ahead of time, you can grab all your ingredients, throw them in a large tupperware, and take itnon the go with you. If you struggle to get lots of veggies in during the day, I HIGHLY recommend trying out the big ass salad approach.
Let's get down to business.
Step 1: Pick out a big ass bowl. Yes, this is a large mixing bowl. Yes, it is amazing. No spilling of salad toppings for me.
Step 2: Pick your greens. I typically do a mixture of spring mix and arugula, but any lettuce type is good here. Pick your fave!
Step 3: Add in ALL THE VEGGIES. Lately, I've been enjoying shredded carrots, broccoli slaw, cucumbers, beets (buy them pre-cooked for easy chopping), and ALWAYS red onions. I throw in mushrooms, shredded zucchini, shaved radishes, peppers, etc when I want to change it up.
Step 4: Pick your protein, weigh it (I usually do 3-4 ounces), chop it, add it in. Pro-tip- go to the deli counter at the grocery and ask for your meat shaved thick for cubing. It makes it SUPER easy to cut up quickly and throw into a salad. You can also add in chopped up boiled eggs if you're into that!
Step 5: Add in healthy fats. This CAN also be your dressing. I typically keep my fats toppings to a minimum because I LOVE the Primal Kitchens dressings made from avocado oil, so I save my fats for that. Other options can be your favorite types of cheeses- I love crumbled goat cheese or feta, nuts or seeds (for added crunchiness and a healthier option than croutons), or sliced avocado.
Step 6: Arrange salad so it looks beautiful for a picture.
Step 7: Add in dressing. Like I said above, I love the Primal Kitchen brand, ESPECIALLY the ranch and the honey mustard. You can pronounce every ingredient listed on the label, and the base is avocado oil. Another option is to be super simple and add a touch of olive oil and vinegar. Otherwise, find your favorite healthy dressing, measure it out, add it in. Word of advice: try measuring your dressing for a while. It is VERY easy to add tons of calories by going overboard on high-calorie dressings. Check your serving sizes, don't go crazy.
Step 8: Mix that shit up! This is why having a big ass bowl is great. You can be a little more aggressive with the tossing step with all that extra room.
Step 9: ENJOY the deliciousness.
Do you love a big ass salad as much as I do? If not, try making one like I do, and DEF give the Primal Kitchens brand a try. You might surprise yourself with how much you love veggies now.