In the gym locker room today I overheard some girls trash-talking another girl. “Yeah, she has lost soooo much weight. She is like, sooooo thin. I bet all she eats are salads.” Hey!Wait a minute now. Don’t take your lady aggression out on a poor defensive bowl of lettuce, I thought. I mean, it can’t even defend itself!
The reason I got so bristly is because I love salads. I would (and often do) eat them for both lunch and dinner. They are quick and easy, super good for you, and if you do it right, both versatile and filling.
I’m not much of a calorie counter, and my gym addiction leaves me with a healthy appetite, so I know that a plain old bowl o’ lettuce is going to leave my tummy talking. So if I want a salad (and I really almost always do want a salad) I know I need to stuff it full of filling veggies, grains and some fat. The fat is always my favorite part. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again–you don’t put an ass on with kale alone.
So sure, a salad isn’t filling in the same way as a big old burger or sandwich or pasta dish. But it does ensure I get all my nutrients in, and I know that when I throw in nearly an entire avocado, left-over brown rice and some pan-fried tofu, my salad is no longer so “salady.” It’s hearty. I also make my own dressing, which my dad taught me to do when I was younger. A good dressing is key.
Here are some examples of my go-to veggie/grain/fat/proteins.
Aside from my base (usually mixed greens) I add in:
Shredded cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, roasted veggies (sweet potatoes, asparagus, beets, brussels sprouts and broccoli are my favs), tomatoes, sprouts, apples (okay that’s not a veggie…)
Quinoa and brown rice are pretty standard for me
Yum! My salads always have a hearty dose of avocado, and I often add almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, tahini, olives…get in me!
Chickpeas, tofu, tempeh, seitan, HUMMUS
I can’t give out my spin on my dad’s awesome salad dressing recipe, but it’s basically a balsamic vinaigrette, heavy on the mustard and garlic, with whatever fresh herbs I can find.
Our iEG intern Callie recently wrote a great post about salads, and talked about some of her favorite mix-ins and dressings. Check it out if your salads are getting pretty blah.
Think salads are only for the waifish and always-on-a-diet type? Lemme know!