I wouldn’t call my daily salad simple or quick, but I would call it great. It’s both great for you and great tasting. In this post I’ll tell you how I make my salad, how I keep a daily salad from becoming boring, and why I think my salad fits the definition of Paleo/Primal.
What Makes a Green Salad Taste Great
Top on the list for making a great tasting salad has to be FRESH ingredients. Straight from your own garden is best. If that’s not available then, in decreasing order of preference, try joining a local CSA, visit the farmer’s market, or buy organic at the supermarket. If you have to buy at the supermarket carefully check the expiration dates and contents of the packages. Supermarket vegetables often travel long distances and you don’t want old produce. Pinch, squeeze, and give them a good inspection. Select the best you can find.
Variety makes for a great tasting salad. Cutting all the different vegetables into reasonably small pieces allows the different flavors and textures to mingle on your taste buds. My salad, pictured above, includes mixed greens, green pepper, radishes, shitake mushrooms, green onions, red onions, cucumbers, habenero peppers, dried tomatos, kale, carrots, sunflower seeds, seaweed, dried cranberries, and feta cheese. A little dried fruit, or fresh, adds a wonderful taste enhancement to a green salad.
If you need to store extra ingredients put them in ziplock bags with a paper towel to absorb excess moisture. Remove as much air as possible before sealing the bag. These two steps will add significant shelf life and freshness to your vegetables.
How to Keep a Daily Salad from Being Anything But Boring
How can you eat the same thing every day without becoming sick of it? The trick is to NOT eat the same thing every day. Yes, it’s a green salad, but that doesn’t mean it has to taste the same.
The secret is to keep changing it. Greens are one of the best ways to completely change the taste of your salad. I always use at least two varieties of greens and sometimes buy variety mixes. Spinach is best when young. Arugula adds a spicy, peppery flavor. Buttercrunch is a good garden variety and sweet. Romaine is mild and delicious. The options are endless.
I also like to challenge my taste buds by adding vegetables I’ve never eaten before and even vegetables I might not like. A funny thing about those vegetables you don’t like is they often become your favorites! Taste adapts very quickly and new foods rarely have overwhelming appeal the first time they’re eaten. Challenge yourself!
The Best Dressing You Ever Ate
I know is’t a bold claim, but you’ve got to try this. Poor some cold-pressed, extra-virgin olive oil in a small container. I use about a 1/2 ounce per salad. Add a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar. Now add a 1/2 teaspoon of your favorite pre-mixed, organic spice. Garlic and herb is one of my favorites. That’s it. So simple and so good. Just stir it with your fork before eating.
Can a Green Salad with No Meat Really be Paleo/Primal?
First, let me be clear, I’m a big fan of grass-fed beef and free-range chicken. I just don’t happen to like it on my salad. One reason I don’t is I make a really big salad. It starts with 3 cups of greens and then I add 14 more ingredients including healthy fats and proteins from seeds and cheese.
Paleo/Primal fans are often so enthralled with the guiltless consumption of meat and healthy fat that they ignore the paleo emphasis on large quantities of vegetables. After all, vegetables are the base of Mark Sisson’s Primal Blueprint Food Pyramid. In his book, “The Primal Blueprint” Mark says “Don’t follow the example of restaurants that serve skimpy vegetable portions seemingly just for decoration, serve yourself heaping portions that crowd everything else on your plate!”
Why Eat a Daily Salad?
The daily salad I’ve described above is a nutritional powerhouse. It’s loaded with phytonutrients, antioxidants, carotenoids, vitamins, and minerals. This combination supports just about every function in your body and offers serious protection against a host of chronic illnesses. I challenge you to eat a salad this big, this fresh, and this healthy and not feel both full and fantastic!
This post is part of Fight Back Friday, Monday Mania, and Real Food Wednesday.
Written by Peter Wright
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