I’ve been a salad lover since I was a little girl. I was the kid who wanted a salad at Wendy’s instead of a burger (really). Something about fresh raw crunchy vegetables and a good vinaigrette (the best part!) has always excited my taste buds and put a smile on my face.
Knowing my healthy reputation, you might think that vegetables have always been my thing (nope, hold the broccoli says my young self). Let’s just say my love of all things green and growing from the ground is a more recent development.
Even though I’m all about the veggies now, salads are still my first love. Especially in the summer when it’s too hot to cook. My salads can be super simple or incredibly complex. Usually, I like to make a hearty salad that is incredibly nutrient-rich by making sure to include proteins and healthy fats.
If you’re already faithfully eating lots of salad and you’re still having trouble losing weight, let’s look at a few of the mistakes you may be making (don’t worry you’re not alone):
- Eating salad for lunch without any healthy fats and/or just a little bit of dressing (healthy fats fill you up!)
- Eating a simple green salad without any protein (protein keeps you full and energized).
- Dressing your salad with store bought or cafeteria dressing – ranch, caesar, etc. (too many calories!)
These choices stem from the ‘Dieting Mindset’.
Because you really want to lose weight (and eat healthy!) you eat a small breakfast, try to make it until lunch without snacking and then have salad (you’re being so good). Unfortunately by mid-afternoon or early evening you’re STARVING and can’t help but eat everything in sight (forget about those good intentions – give me that cookie!). Tomorrow will be a fresh start, right?
Is there a better option? Yes!
- Eat a HUGE salad for lunch with a good amount of healthy fats and protein (don’t worry, I’ve got ideas for you).
- Make your own salad dressing so you know exactly what’s in it and you can splurge on those yummy healthy fats like avocado :).
How to make a Deliciously Hearty Salad that will fill you up for hours (plus a delish dressing to put on top).
- Salad Greens - mixed greens, romaine, baby arugula, baby spinach, etc.
- Toppings - cucumber, peppers, tomatoes, grated carrot, grated beets, grated daikon radish (slimming!), snow pea pods, avocado, fresh herbs, sprouts.
- Protein - almonds, cashews, walnuts, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, chickpeas, hummus, feta cheese, hard-boiled egg, chicken, salmon or tuna.
- Whole Grain (optional) - quinoa, wheat berries
- Start off with Salad Greens. Add your choice of toppings, protein and perhaps a whole grain.
- Make your own dressing (see recipe below)
- Have you included healthy fats? avocado, nuts, seeds, olive oil.
- Eating out? Bring your own salad dressing. Or stick to olive oil and vinegar. Salad dressing can be a hidden source of calories and bad oils.
- 1 cup tahini (unroasted)
- 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic (optional)
- water to desired consistency
- salt and pepper to taste
- Blend ingredients in a blender or a bowl with a whisk until combined. Add more water to thin it out until you reach the desired consistency.
- Variations: Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and/or 1 teaspoon Tamari or Nama Shoyu
p.s. Want to know what’s in the salad pics?
Top – Kale, napa cabbage, cucumbers, chickpeas, green lentil sprouts, heirloom tomatoes and quinoa (very hearty!).
Bottom – Romaine lettuce, heirloom tomatoes, avocado and Thai lemon basil (not as hearty – but delicious).