Tasty salads and vegetable wraps are a great way to eat more vegetables daily.
Let’s start with tasty salads…
Done right, healthy salads can be a great source of nutrients that keep you energized and satisfied. Unfortunately, most salads are bland and boring with sugary dressing, chewy protein, and lifeless lettuce. Don’t worry, you can spruce up your salads and benefit your body.
Healthy Salad Tips
Want to know how to make a salad? Start with these tips…
1. Go Green
Grab a bowl and start building a green base for your healthy salad. Start by adding lettuce or leafy greens such as spinach, romaine, arugula, mâche, frisée, and watercress. Rich in antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, darker greens contain more nutrients than lighter varieties.
2. Create Contrast
What are good things to put in a salad? Create contrast with your tasty salads by including a variety of ingredients below.
- Vibrant veg: greens (lettuce, spinach), tomatoes, carrots, peppers, cucumber, radishes, etc.
- Flavorful fruits: apples, oranges, berries, cherries, pears, peaches, pomegranate, etc.
- Quality proteins: legumes, beans, chicken, turkey, salmon, beef, nuts, seeds
- Natural fats: avocado, olives, EVOO, avocado oil, nuts, seeds, etc.
- Additions: herbs, spices, salsa, guacamole, hummus, and dressings
3. Pick Quality Protein
Want to make more filling salads? Don’t forget to add protein to increase satiation and reduce cravings. See quality proteins above. Look for organic, hormone-free, and antibiotic-free proteins. For more anti-inflammatory omega-3s and immune-boosting conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), select pastured, free-range or wild sources.
4. Dress With Success
Pssst… the secret to creating the tastiest salad, and a healthy one, is to make your own dressing. If you’re short on time, you can also buy a store-bought one made from whole-food ingredients. But, steer clear of most supermarket dressings. They’re loaded with harmful ingredients. Dress your salads with success with a Super Simple Vinaigrette. Combine these ingredients and mix well: 2 cloves minced garlic, ¼ cup citrus juice (or apple cider vinegar), ¾ cup extra virgin olive/avocado oil, sea salt or seaweed flakes, and black pepper.
You’ll love these popular salads with a healthier twist! Each recipe yields 4 servings. But you can always double the recipe for sharing with others. These are easy salad recipes for a crowd. Taste and adjust the seasoning (black pepper and sea salt or seaweed flakes) before serving.
Tasty Salads #1… Greek
- Toss 4 cups mixed greens, 1/2 thinly sliced red onion, 1 diced cucumber, and 4 sliced tomatoes with Garlic Tahini Dressing
- Add about 1 pound of diced, cooked chicken or salmon
- Top with 12 Kalamata olives
- Optional dairy: crumbled feta
Tasty Salads #2… Caesar
- Toss 3 sliced romaine hearts with Vegan Caesar dressing
- Add about 12 oz sliced, cooked chicken
- Top evenly with 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Tasty Salads #3… BLT
- Toss 1 sliced romaine heart and 2 cups arugula with Vegan Ranch
- Add about 12 oz cooked chicken or turkey
- Top evenly with 1 sliced avocado and 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
Tasty Salads #4… Waldorf
- Toss 4 handfuls mixed greens, 2 diced apples, 2 sliced celery stalks, and 4 cups shredded carrots with Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
- Add about 12 oz cooked, diced turkey or chicken
- Top with 4 thinly sliced Medjool dates and 1 cup chopped walnuts
Tasty Salads #5… Taco
- Blend the dressing: 3 TB olive oil, 2 TB lime juice, 2 garlic cloves, 1/4 cup cilantro, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp cayenne, and 2 tsp chili powder
- Slice and toss 2-3 romaine hearts with dressing
- Add 2 cups of cooked black beans and 8 oz sliced steak
- Time saver tip: use leftover meats or rotisserie chicken
- Topping options, 1 cup: sliced avocado, guacamole and/or salsa
- Optional dairy: shredded raw milk cheddar cheese
Are salads healthy?
It depends on your ingredients and the dressing you use. But, yes! They certainly can be. Stick with mostly vegetables in your salads and you’ll be off to a great start. And make your own dressings to include healthier, less processed ingredients.
What is the healthiest salad?
The healthiest salad is one that is packed with nutrient-dense, whole food ingredients, especially vegetables. You want your ingredients to be fresh, colorful, and organic.
How to meal prep salads…
You can meal prep salads ahead of time by preparing all of your ingredients except the lettuces, greens, avocado, and other quickly perishable foods. You can prep proteins, fats, and longer-lasting veggies such as cabbage, carrots, and cucumber. Add dressing just before serving.
Tired of salads? Turn your tasty salads into vegetable wraps!
Vegetable wraps are an easy way to eat more vegetables. They are also fun to make and eat with your hands. Although they can be a bit messy, they’re well worth it for the mouth-watering flavors and nutrient-packed ingredients.
How do you eat more wraps? Swap grains for greens by choosing wraps made from lettuce, leafy greens, cabbage family veggies and sea veg. Dark greens, such as spinach and kale are rich in antioxidants, iron, fiber, and vitamins A, K and C. Greens also alkalinize the body, support the liver, and promote healthy gut flora.
Wrap It Up
- Best: collards, kale, spinach, cabbage, lettuce, & sea vegetable sheets
- Alternatives: coconut tortillas or brown rice tortillas
- Protein: hemp hearts, lentils, beans, legumes, chicken, or fish
- Fats: avocados, nuts, seeds, nut/seed butter, or olives
- Vegetables: tomatoes, peppers, carrots, cucumber, celery, etc.
- Fruits: berries, pears, apples, pomegranate, oranges, etc.
- Herbs & spices: garlic, ginger, basil, parsley, cilantro, dill, etc.
- Dips: salsas, guacamole, hummus, pesto, and dressings
Pretty much any salad can be turned into a wrap and vice versa. Both tasty salads and wraps are an easy way to eat more vegetables every day. Here are some delicious wraps to try…
- Kale wrapped chicken with hummus, red pepper & olives
- Collard wrapped turkey tomato, avocado, sprouts & Ranch
- Romaine lettuce with shrimp, peppers, onions, guacamole & salsa
- Lettuce wrapped black bean burger with sweet potato & onions
- Endive leave “boats” with shrimp, pineapple salsa & guacamole
- Kelp wrapped salmon with cucumber & avocado
- Radicchio wrap with chicken, chickpeas, lemon, basil, & carrots
- Coconut wrap with sweet potato, peppers, onions, & sprouts
- Brown rice tortilla wrap with lentils, spinach, onions, & tomatoes
- Spinach rolled steak with raw milk cheese & tomatoes
That’s a wrap! I hope you enjoy these tasty salads and wrap recipes. Feel free to turn them into your own mouth-watering creations!