Besides rabbits, let’s face it, no one really gets excited about salads. They’re green, ew, and healthy, also ew. To be honest, salads were never really my thing, but then I saw the Kardashians eating a giant-ass salad, so I ate a giant-ass salad, and gained a fresh perspective. Long gone are the days of ordering simple, delicate, and boring af side salads so your date doesn’t *gasp* think you actually have a healthy appetite. Today, ordering a salad doesn’t mean you’ll have to disappoint your taste buds. I’ve tested it, and it is actually possible to have a salad that doesn’t drive you to tears. Say goodbye to your basic supermarket salad, and feast your eyes on the many ways to make your salad not basic.
Make It Insta-Worthy
An essential step into making your meal appealing is to make it not look so sad. You eat with your eyes first, which gives a whole new meaning to the song “Hungry Eyes.” So make your salad worthy of not just eating, but most importantly, posting. Because let’s be real, half the reason for eating a salad is to brag that you are eating a salad.
Pretend your salad is a bag of skittles and get ready to taste the rainbow. Think of it this way, adding a variety of color into your bowl means you may actually get away with a true #nofilter. Remember, we’re giving life back to your salad, so it’s time to think outside the mixing bowl. Tomatoes don’t have to be red and peppers don’t have to be green. Shoot for the stars, kids.
Also, there’s a reason presentation is a third of the judging on Chopped. Plating is essential. Once you have nailed down the ingredients, the next step is to display them in true influencer fashion. Chic and stylish. The best advice? Layer, don’t toss. Martha Stewart probably said that once. What it means is to lay all your vibrant fixings atop of your greens versus mixing them in to start. You can always toss it all once you’re ready to devour, just get the glamour shot first.
Get Creative With Your Crunch
It’s time to ditch the classic crouton. It’s like the guy you went on a date with that wouldn’t stop talking about his “sick Mustang”…boring. Seriously, there are so many better
boys toppings out there. Dream with me here. This is the time to go nuts, literally. Nuts are not only a great way to add texture, but they are a rich source of protein. Walnuts have heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which benefits your cholesterol. Sliced almonds are another first-class nut to add into the mix; they’re full of vitamin E and promote healthy digestion. Not a nut person? Not a problem. Seeds may sound like bird food, but you seriously haven’t experienced joy until you’ve had a salad with pumpkin seeds with watermelon, arugula, and feta cheese. Trust me on this—you can thank me later by commenting fire emojis on all my Instagram pictures. Lastly, but certainly not least: cheese. More specifically, crispy parmesan bits. Delicious on their own, and a serious upgrade to traditional croutons.
Superfoods And Healthy Fats
Adding superfoods and healthy fats into the mix will actually help make you feel full, and not crave a deep dish pizza immediately after. Superfoods, aka annoyingly healthy foods, and healthy fats, aka not bacon, give you the nutritional boost that your body desperately needs. If you are anything like me and are treating your body like a temple, then Temple must also be the name of your go-to nightclub. Your body is craving omega-3s, protein, and fiber; give them to it.
Nuts make another beneficial appearance, by helping to burn calories and satisfying you better than your ex (sorry not sorry, Trevor). Also, avocados are not just for toast. They can lower cholesterol levels, boost anti-inflammatory properties, and improve vascular health. Basically, adding avocados is an avoca-duh (I’m a professional, and I stand by that pun). Now, olive oil is a staple in most salad dressings, and for a good reason. It contains anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants, everything you need in order to dress for success. Yes, that was another salad pun, and no, I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.
Time For A DIY
Time to channel your inner Martha Stewart, Bobby Flay, or Guy Fieri. If those names failed to inspire you, then you can insert your favorite cooking show cliche here.
Kale Salad With Lemon Vinaigrette: (servings: 4, effort level: 10 minutes)
- 4 cups chopped kale
- 1 avocado, diced
- ½ cup cooked quinoa
- ½ cup pomegranate arils
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- ¼ cup crumbled goat cheese
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon sugar
Mix the vinaigrette ingredients together, and assemble your salad components in a bowl, and remember what Martha Stewart probably once said, layer, don’t toss. Next, take a picture so all this was worth it, and then eat it, or don’t, but you probably should just eat it.
In conclusion, eat a salad, it won’t kale you (last one, I promise).