Diet

A four-step formula to make the perfect salad

There's more to a salad than iceberg lettuce and dressing -- this quick guide to choosing ingredients is an easy way to get a salad into your diet every day without getting bored

salad, avocado, greens, vegetables

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When I tell people that I am vegetarian, their response is often “Oh, you must eat a lot of salads.” The answer is yes, while it’s not all I eat, I do eat a lot of salads.

But I’m okay with this, because I love salads. This is because I make them fun, flavourful, and interesting – not just a bowl of pale lettuce with a wedge of tomato. I make each salad enticing and unique enough that no two are ever the same.

There are many different salad combinations you can put together to do just the same. Try your best to eat at least one salad a day because they are raw, fresh, cleansing and can be filling enough to enjoy as a meal by itself or complement another meal.

A formula for making a daily salad
1. Greens: Start with a base of greens, mixed greens, spinach, arugula, baby kale, leaf lettuce, or Boston lettuce – anything leafy and green will work!

2. Texture: Add something else for texture – almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, cashews, hemp seeds, sun-sprouts, apples, jicama, or raw crackers all work.

3. Colour: Add colour with carrots, cucumber, beets, mango, squash, goji berries, sea vegetables, or fresh herbs.

4. Protein: Bulk it up with sliced avocado, sprouted beans, chopped nuts, or sprouted grains like quinoa or millet, wild rice, or marinated tempeh.

Remember to add a delicious homemade dressing like the one in the recipe below.

Simple homemade salad dressing

Ingredients
½ cup organic hemp oil or olive oil
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp raw tahini or Dijon mustard
1 tbsp maple syrup or pure honey
1 tsp lemon juice
Pinch of Himalayan rock salt

Put all the ingredients in a jar, screw on the lid and shake to emulsify. Store any leftovers in the fridge.

Tip: Salad greens are especially delicious when you can pull them all right from your own garden! Even if you don’t have a garden, you can set up little pots around your home and have fresh salads all year round. Otherwise, you can buy fresh greens from a farmer’s market and your local health-food stores.

Marni Wasserman is a culinary nutritionist in Toronto whose philosophy is stemmed around whole foods. She is dedicated to providing balanced lifestyle choices through natural foods. Using passion and experience, she strives to educate individuals on how everyday eating can be simple and delicious.