As my wise sister once said- “A salad is only healthy, when it’s healthy”. What is more, a salad is only filling, when it’s filling.
My salads are all… plantified, as might be expected by now. A healthy salad does not have to be fat-free; on the contrary, a good dose of healthy fat will add to the nutritional value of your lunch and help satiate you. Some vitamins are even better absorbed in the presence of fat. But we are talking healthy fats here, so definitely think avocado rather than bacon bits, and a creamy home-made almond-based dressing rather than a shop-bought sour-cream affair.
As for being filling; obviously leaves and most vegetable-fruits are quite high in water and you need to eat more of them to feel full. Add some denser things like grated root vegetables, crumbled up walnuts/pecans, seeds, an avocado, or make your dressing a bit more satiating than just salt and balsamic. (By satiating I mean fatty!)
The other thing you can do is make a cooked grain salad; I don’t mean white pasta, I mean a grain, like it grew in the earth; quinoa (Okay, it’s a seed), cooked wheat berries, wholegrain rice or bulgur wheat (okay, okay, bulgur wheat is processed. But it’s similar in taste and texture to couscous but more nutritious, as couscous is white unless otherwise stated) Then balance your cooked grain with lots of raw vegetables for colour, crunch and lovely-jubbly antioxidants and vitamins.
Of course if you are feeling particularly earthy and plant loving, you can make a sprouted grain salad instead of cooked grains. You won’t be able to sprout most shop rices or barleys because they have been blanched, or bulgur wheat (it’s not a whole grain and it’s been partly cooked) Try wheat berries or quinoa, though quinoa, being so tiny, is kind of….crunchy when you sprout it. Almost gritty. Not cool. Wheat berries are chewey, and I really like them now.
- 1 cup sprouted wheatberries
- 1/4 cup of dried apple pieces (Did I mention I love my dehydrator?)
- 1 cup chopped kale
- 1 cup chopped Romaine or Little Gem lettuce
- 1/4 red onion
- 1/2 cup grated carrot ((optional….as is everything in a salad isn’t it?)
By the way, I love having a nearly-two-year old. They don’t turn their noses up at anything! Isaac was eating raw kale, wheat sprouts, red onion….it was a beautiful bonding moment.*sigh*….