I enjoy a good salad and know I should eat them more often. So, why don’t I? My biggest obstacle to making a healthy salad is preparation. Fresh ingredients require some planning and preparation, and I seldom have the time to put them together to make a healthy and filling salad. I came up with some tips that help me to have all the necessary ingredients ready to throw together lunch in a flash.
1. Cut and wash vegetables in bulk.
Cut enough lettuce for a few salads and leave it all in the salad spinner after washing it. Keep it in the fridge and grab a bowl full when you’re ready to make a salad. Also, wash and chop extra veggies that will keep well (carrots, celery, cucumbers, etc.) and keep them in the fridge too.
2. Cook proteins in bulk
I don’t see the point in eating a salad without a hearty protein unless it’s a side salad. I’ll never feel full with only roughage. My favorite salad protein add-ins are grilled chicken, egg whites, and steak. I suppose some people put beans in their salads, but haven’t taken a liking to that. Problem: all these require cooking. So grill up triple and keep them in the fridge to have a few days of salad proteins on hand.
3…Or Use Leftovers
Save that last lonely burger for tomorrow’s salad or triple the meat in your dinner recipe so you can use it in your salads. I even make extra chicken nuggets for my salads when it’s dinner for the kids.
4. Use healthy pantry items
Keep on hand some favorite non-perishable salad add-ins so it’s not just another boring lettuce-and-chicken salad. My favorite pantry salad add-ins are sliced almonds, sunflower seeds, hearts of palm, olives, and pre-packaged beets.
5. Learn how to make dressing
Have you ever made yourself a salad, then reached for the dressing on the door (that you haven’t used in quite a long time, evidently) and found that it’s expired? I have many times. My advice is to learn how to make your favorite dressing so you’re never stuck without it. My favorite is a balsamic vinaigrette that I don’t even mix ahead. Instead, I splash the ingredients on top of the salad and toss.
Quick Balsamic Vinaigrette
Splash of blasamic
Splash of my best olive oil
Dash of garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried basil
Salt and pepper to taste