Step Up To The Salad Bar
May is National Salad Month! I know, I know – salad. It’s boring and you’re sick of it, right? It’s what dieters and rabbits eat and seriously, you want “Man” (or “Woman”) food. Not so fast! Who says salad has to be a bowl of spinach with a dry chicken breast thrown on top? If that’s what you’re eating day in and day out – no wonder salad ‘leafs’ you with a bad taste in your mouth! In honor of National Salad Month ‘lettuce’ toss out the notion of the boring salad and mix things up! Here are some ideas to help you craft a Paleo Power Salad:
The “Bases” Are Loaded: If your salad is a regular blend of spinach and romaine get ready for a game changer! Try something new! Maybe you’ll find that it really is greener on the other side of the fence! Here are some options:
- Beet and/or Dandelion Greens
- Bok Choy
- Butterhead, Romaine and/or Leaf lettuce
- Cabbage (red and green)
- Spinach and baby spinach
Until We “Meat” Again: A salad without meat is what we refer to as an ‘appetizer’ – adding meat makes it a meal. And, by ‘meat’, I am not referring to the all too familiar dry chicken breast. Change it up and add some ‘beef’ to your bowl. Some things to try:
- Beef, bison and/or Wild game – steak strips, ground beef (especially good in taco salads), leftover pot roast, it all works!
- Chicken – venture beyond the breast, try chicken thighs, drumsticks, shredded roasted chicken. This isn’t the dry piece of shoe leather you’re used to! Grill, roast and season your meat – give it some flavor!
- Duck, turkey, and other poultry
- Eggs – hard-boiled, fried, scrambled (make a breakfast salad with eggs and bacon or sausage!)
- Fish – tuna, salmon, cod, sardines, anchovies, etc.
- Pork – ham, bacon, shredded/pulled pork, loin, etc.
- Seafood – shrimp, scallops, oysters, crab, lobster, etc.
- Sausage – try slicing natural, flavored sausages onto your creation (chicken & apple sausages are great!)
What Else Ya’ Got? Here’s the fun part! This is where you get to add your ‘flair’ and personal flavor. Mix up colors and flavors – the choices are ENDLESS!!! It can be different every day and try roasting and/or grilling veggies also! Here are just a few ideas to get you started:
- Avocado, apple, asparagus, artichoke hearts
- Broccoli, berries, beets (not the canned, sugar coated stuff – think FRESH)
- Carrots, celery, cucumber, cauliflower
- Tomato, hearts of palm
- Grapes, oranges, pineapple, mango
- Roasted sweet potatoes, butternut squash, Brussels sprouts
- Jicama, onion, zucchini, radishes
- Spice it up! Basil, cilantro, oregano, etc
- Mushroom, peppers (red/green/yellow/purple), kimchi
- Olives, moderate amounts of nuts/seeds, shredded coconut
“Dressed” for Success: Olive oil and lemon juice not cutting it? If you’re more than bored with the standard sauce try something new! There are LOTS of recipes online for great paleo friendly dressings – check some of them out and if making your own seems like a lot of trouble; here are some ways to jazz up the ‘old standard’.
- Olive, avocado oil, walnut oil, etc. (go easy on the nut/seed oils due to the high omega-6 content)
- Flavored vinegars (be sure to check labels for added sugar!!)
- Coconut Aminos
- Salsa (make your own or check the ingredients!)
- Guacamole (make your own or check the ingredients!)
- Juices from cooked meats
- Lemon and lime juice
If you find yourself staring at yet another boring salad, step up the Salad Bar and ‘toss’ some of these ideas around.
Happy National Salad Month!
What’s in your bowl? Leave us your ultimate salad creation in the comments!