How to Make a Salad (that actually tastes good!)

You rarely hear someone say, "oh man, I would kill for a salad tonight!".  And I can't say I'm surprised, for most of our lives we've been eating iceberg lettuce with shredded carrots topped with gooey dressing that comes from a plastic bottle and calling it a salad - yuck!  

Luckily, for you lettuce-lovers, times are changing!  It's easier than ever to find a variety of salad options worthy of securing one of your coveted three daily meals.  Whether you're ordering off a menu, or making a salad at home here are a few tried and true tips for creating a swoon-worthy salad that packs a nutritional punch.  

Red and green romaine lettuce, coquillo olives, sprouted beans, brown rice, avocado, tomato, and radishes drizzled with olive oil and white wine vinegar

Red and green romaine lettuce, coquillo olives, sprouted beans, brown rice, avocado, tomato, and radishes drizzled with olive oil and white wine vinegar

  1. Choose fresh, dark, leafy greens.  A few solid options include kale, arugula, romaine lettuce, swiss chard, and spinach.   Although iceberg lettuce is the most popular lettuce (each of us eats 17 lbs/year on things like hamburgers and in taco salads) it's almost entirely devoid of nutrients so choose a darker variety for more nutritional bang for your buck.  To learn more fun facts about leafy greens check out Leafy Greens Ranked and Rated.
  2. Add something that tastes decadent (at least by salad standards) and fills you up.  Here are a few ideas:
    • Organic cheeses like feta, parmesan, blue cheese, or goat cheese
    • Nuts and seeds like almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds
    • Avocados, hummus, or beans 
    • Leftover grains like quinoa, barley, or brown rice
  3. Add something extra that gives your salad a punch of flavor, crunch, or zest
    • Fresh seasonal fruit like pears, apples, berries, oranges, or grapes
    • Olives or banana peppers
    • Scallions, radishes, sprouts, or red onion 
  4. Make your own dressing (it's easy and tastes so much better than that gooey bottled stuff!).  Here are 8 different vinaigrette variations to get you started. 

If you're looking for a little more inspiration, check out my Kale and Avocado Salad with Sesame Seeds.  It's one of my favorites because it tastes delicious and can be kept for 2 - 3 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  

What are your favorite salad combos?  Please share in the comments below!