Food Hack : 5 Ways to Yummify Your Salad - MumsVillage

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5 Ways to Yummify Your Salad

Ok, I admit it, as much as I encourage salad eating, I have not always been a raw veggie fan. In the past, the widely proclaimed advice of eating straight-up spinach leaves with freshly squeezed lemon as “dressing” made me want to skip eating altogether and go hungry instead.

When I finally did give veggies a chance, I realized that there can be a compromise, in which you don’t have to totally give up taste for good nutrition. In my opinion, its not realistic to expect most people to just enjoy plain veggies. The ones who do enjoy plain steamed veggies likely have been eating lots of veggies for a long time and have grown to like that taste.

But rarely people love it just like that. They may need to start with a little butter or sprinkle of cheese. So what? The alternative is skipping the veggies and going for worse starches and sweets later. With a few quick rules, you can make a delicious salad that will, well, make you want to actually eat it! Here are some tips for you:

 1) Start with a ton of greens as a base (at the bare minimum iceberg lettuce, but add in mixed greens, spinach, rocket etc) and chop it up.

Rather than having to STUFF LEAVES into your mouth, the chopped-ness of the salad makes it so that you can even eat it with a spoon. Sooo nice. Plus, you can also fit waaaaaay more greens in effortlessly.


2) Add as many and as much fibrous veggies as you want.

Don’t limit things like broccoli, cucumber, onions, peppers, mushrooms, olives, carrots, cabbage, chopped tomato, celery, etc. Pile as many fibrous veggies as you want on that thing.


3) Add 1-2 servings of protein.

To make it faster and easier to make my salads, I opt for convenience options here, like pre-cooked and sliced grilled chicken breasts or rotisserie chicken meat pulled from the bone. Some canned tuna or quickly fried minced beef. Sometimes, I have a cup of lightly spiced boiled beans or lentils. If you are feeling adventurous, you can try grilling or dry frying some tofu.

Add enough lean protein to make you feel full. I usually do the equivalent of two small chicken breasts (250 grams total). No counting, just eye-balling. I don’t stress about “too much protein” or calories from the protein because I know that if I eat to feel satisfied, then I won’t need anything else later.




4) Add 1-2 dietary fats.

When I eat salads, I normally opt for dietary fats INSTEAD OF STARCHES. Why? Because they help me to feel more satisfied and fuller for longer (the taste, plus they slow digestion). Choose 1-2 of the following to add on top: 1/2 avocado, sprinkle of cottage cheese or parmesan (remember the harder cheeses will be better fat-loss wise, moderate the fetas and blue cheeses in general), few strips of bacon, hard-boiled eggs or nuts (not the ones covered in honey).


5) As for dressings, choose a vinaigrette variety as often as possible.

The vinegar helps blunt the insulin response of the meal and the oil will slow digestion. I also like oil-based dressings because a little goes a long way and you can (actually) get away with the recommended 2 tablespoons. Other options are lighter dressings like Italian or Greek. Mustard-based dressings are usually fine too. Skip the heavy stuff– mayonnaise, bleu cheese, creamy Italian, ranch, or thousand islands. However, if you find you can’t do anything but a creamy dressing, fine, but have it on the side to dip, instead of drenching the whole salad. Usually, we don’t need as much as we think.


Bonus: Often the best salads have a texture we enjoy, so add a lil’ crunch to your salad.

Best ways to add crunch: raw cabbage, a sprinkle of slivered almonds or other nuts, or a sprinkle of seeds, even a small amount of bacon bits. Skip croutons (no one needs hard, stale bread), dried fruit, and granola-ish items. The chopped nature of the salad helps here too.

So that’s it! Go forth and yummify those salads! There’s no excuse for not eating a huge salad every single day now and getting your requisite 5-8 servings of fruits and veggies. And if anyone asks you why you’re eating a salad as large as your head, just tell them I said it’s ok.

You might also like: Healthy Homemade Sausages

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