Salads use to feel like punishment for me. Like it was something I “should” eat and “should” enjoy. Through a whole lot of growth in the area of food freedom, challenging my perspective of what “healthy” food is, and committing to making it fun- I don’t feel this way at all now.
What I like about creating a ginormous salad is that there’s so much variety, that I can break it down and add all the components as a little taster plate for the kids (that they totally love), it’s bright, and feels so good to eat.
What Makes it Cleaner
Do I have to say it again? Fresh produce! Add all your favorite fruits and veggies, your favorite nuts/seeds, and get creative with cleaner protein like chicken, fish, or chicken sausage! Purchase organic when possible and soak in a veggie wash, too. My favorite is Branch Basics.
Also, make it seasonal! Add some watermelon or fresh strawberries during the Summer, swap for apples and roasted sweet potatoes in the Winter. Using fresh produce that is in season ensures not only that they’re more sustainable but also that there hasn’t been any excessive measures taken to produce this crop when it’s not it’s time to harvest.
What Makes it Simple
You can make this as easy or as complex as you’d like. In a pinch? Grab a rotisserie chicken on the way home! Pre-cook your protein or even pre-cut your veggies to throw together in 5-10 minutes! For the kids I love to have “dipping” options like a healthier ranch, hummus, guacamole, or peanut butter.
This recipe is soooo basic and is really more of guide. The measurements are minimal (if any) because it’s so heavenly dependent on your taste. You can change anything and everything about this, just follow the general guide of a mix of lettuce, fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables, healthy fats from avocado and seeds/nuts, and protein. If there’s something on there that’s not your favorite, swap it out for something similar!
Big Seasonal Salads
- Salad mix I love to mix spicy arugula with fresh spinach or springmix
- Blueberries and raspberries or other berry/fruit in season
- Carrot sticks can sub with cucumber chopped into sticks
- Chopped walnuts or preferred nuts
- Feta or preferred cheese
- Hemp Hearts or sunflower seeds
- 1 Tbs Balsamic Vinegar per salad
- 1 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Tasting Olive Oil per salad
- 4 Chicken breasts (swap for chicken sausage, rotisserie chicken, or even fish) thinly sliced length ways and sauteed
- 1 Tbs Avocado oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- My favorite way to cook protein is just a quick cook on a skillet. Slice the chicken or chicken sausage thinly. If you’re using chicken add some avocado oil to each side and then apply salt and pepper to each side and cook on the skillet for 5 minutes on each side checking for 165 degree temp in the middle.
- Add salad to bowl
- Add toppings to bowl
- Add 1 Tbs balsamic vinegar, 1 Tbs Olive Oil or your favorite dressing
- If you’re deconstructing for a kiddo, add all the components they love to their plate and show them how to eat and enjoy it! I usually swap feta for sliced cheese, I may add crackers or hearty pita on the side as well.