The last week has been a hot one and, as such, has been a study in healthy salad ingredients for me. I’m always telling guys to add salads to their meals. “If you want more food, a salad’s your go-to.” Then, I’ll top it off with, “They’re not just iceberg lettuce, and they’re definitely not just pasta or potato salads, bro. That’s thirty years ago!” Then, when dinnertime comes around, like the hypocrite every member of the human race is at some time or another during the day, I think about salads, and my lip curls.
Healthy Salad Ingredients Make the Meal Taste Amazing
Salads have really had a number done on their reputation. Healthy salad ingredients taste incredible. As a meal, salads let you create exactly the dish you want, with precisely the portions you love from every topping. I know this. Bree reminds me constantly (thank heaven). Still, if you say the word “salad,” I’ll inevitably think of sad, flavorless iceberg lettuce with a sliced watery tomato on top, possibly with a passable-but-not-great dressing.
To be fair to me – and everyone else in my situation – I ate a lot of those iceberg/tomato/dressing combinations when I was growing up. That’s what that dish consisted of. We never added chicken, pulled pork, or even nuts and seeds. There were two textures with a flavor consisting mostly of water except where the dressing happened to stick.
So, I’m here to break away from that mindset for good. I’m hoping I’ll help you to do the exact same thing. This dish is good for fiber, nutrients, weight loss, muscle preservation, hunger satisfaction, and pretty much everything else you can want from food. You just have to get it right and feel free to pile on the healthy salad ingredients while you’re at it!
My Top 6 Toppings for Salads You’ll Actually Want (a lot)
Use these ideas to inspire your healthy salad ingredients to turn this meal into something you’ll actually crave.
- Chopped raw veggies – Tons of them. Greens (microgreens, kale, spinach, lettuces, sure), but also brussels sprouts, snow peas, shredded carrot, green onion, red onion, bell pepper, mushrooms, celery, cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower. Love a raw veggie? Add it!
- Nuts and seeds – These add crunch, protein, and healthy fats. My favorites include almonds, pumpkin seeds (pepitas), sunflower seeds, walnuts and pistachios. Chopped or whole, it’s up to you.
- Whole grains – Cooked quinoa, brown rice, or barley add texture, flavor, fiber, and a heart healthyheart healthy blast of nutrition.
- Beans and legumes – These healthy salad ingredients make this meal filling, more protein packed, and more fiber dense.
- Fresh Fruit – Cherry or grape tomatoes, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, whatever other berries are in season where you are…they all add flavor, sweetness or tanginess, and antioxidants that are critical to your nutrition.
- Protein – We’ve already got beans and legumes in there, but if you eat animal protein, you might find you also like boiled egg slices, shredded or sliced chicken breast, fish like salmon or tuna, or even some shellfish like shrimp. On truly hot summer days, I treat myself to a bit of pulled pork as an extra topping on my salads.