How anyone thinks a few lettuce leaves, a couple of tomatoes and some onion and dressing is going to keep their body and brain powering through a whole afternoon, without creating a desperate panic for a brownie by about 3pm, is beyond me. Here are some ideas to get more satisfied mileage from your salads.
Top salad soup ups
1. Left over roast veggies – sweet potato, zucchini, potato (with skins), pumpkin and onions are all gorgeous when roasted, so roast way more than you need for your dinner one night, and keep the rest to pack into your salads the next couple of days. What you get is a much more exciting salad, without more work: Fabulous!
2. Eat like a bird: pepitas, chia seeds, flax meal, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds have a massive variety of nutrients and just by having a stash of these and sprinkling liberally onto salads, you will be adding things like omega oils, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc and dietary fiber. Not bad, hey? Although organic packets of these might seem expensive, they last brilliantly when well sealed and give you a whole lot of nutrition for your money!
3. Fresh curds and cheeses: Goats curd, labna yoghurt cheese and many other types – to me these are truly exquisite treats in a salad, and packed with goodness and enzymes to help you digest because they have their cultures in tact. They bring their protein & calcium in abundance into your salad bowl so if you’re not dairy intolerant, enjoy!
4. Healthy fats: Half an avocado, a dressing made with creme fraiche, a hollandaise sauce on a warm steamed cruciferous salad, macadamia or cashew nuts sprinkled liberally, pesto, a dressing made with nut butter… These are really going to ramp up the nutrient density of your salad and provide satiety.
5. Grass fed meats: Again, cook a little more than you need at dinner, and then use the cold meat in your salad. Quality animal protein and fats are a powerhouse of energy and nutrition, and a fabulous way to soup up your salad. For beef and lamb, I always suggest grass fed is more important than ‘organic’ because even organic grain is not a good diet for these animals. For pork or chicken, definitely try to aim for organic as we want to avoid genetically modified feed, which organic certification helps us do.
6. Quinoa or amaranth: If you’re going to go near the grain family, these ancient grains have a fair case for them. Packed with protein and both gluten free, these puppies are fabulously healthful. A couple of cooked heaped tablespoons through your salad will definitely nudge you toward satiety!
Making a dressing in a jar and keeping it in the fridge, it will last a good couple of weeks. Do not buy commercial salad dressing. Poor quality vegetable oils, additives and msg often lurk and it’s just not worth it for the 2 minutes it takes to prep a batch to last you a fortnight.
In a glass jar of around 400ml in size, so there’s room to shakey shake, place the following:
My Punchy Dressing Recipe
- 60 ml organic apple cider vinegar (health food store)
- 30 ml red wine vinegar
- 100 ml olive oil or macadamia oil
- 15 ml flax seed oil (cold pressed is essential. health food store)
- 15 ml sesame oil (cold pressed essential. health food store)
- 1/4 tsp celtic sea salt (real salt is good for you!)
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp soy sauce or tamari (wheat free soy, available at all health food shops)
- 1 tsp rice syrup or honey
- Once all ingredients are in the jar, simply pop on the lid, shake it up and either serve straight away, or pop in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. You may find if it’s a little sharp for you, you might like to increase the oil component by 30ml, with the olive oil or sesame, but don’t taste on it’s own, taste on a salad leaf, so you really know how it tastes!
Dressing Variations for even more flavour and cheeky benefits:
- Instead of the tamari, do a teaspoon of your favourite mustard.
- Add a finely chopped garlic clove
- Add a table spoon of finely chopped herbs of your choice
- Add a pinch of chilli flakes – great for metabolism!
- Add a finely diced eschallot – also a great metabolism booster!
- Add a teaspoon of maple syrup, rice malt syrup or honey for a sweet kick.
So there you have it. Go forth and turn a drab salad and dressing scenario that leaves you hungry, into a sensational treat to punctuate your day and makes you feel alive!
Any other ideas you guys have?
Real food. Real energy. Happy afternoon.