Each meal of the day gives you the opportunity to get in a ton of nutrients, including macronutrients like fats, proteins and carbs, but also micronutrients like vitamins and minerals.
Previously I’ve written about my Power Breakfast Smoothie Formula but today I wanted to add in a meal option for lunch or even dinner!
Tips for Salad Success
Prep Ahead of Time
I’ll often prep a 3-4 salads for lunches on one day! It means I’m more efficient with chopping everything all at once then have most of my lunches ready for the week! Make sure you layer it all properly though and have the dressing at the bottom, then add in things that won’t get soggy, with the greens at the top.
Choose what’s in season
Especially when it comes to fresh ingredients, there may be seasons where you can find them cheaper and tastier, so don’t buy strawberries in January for example because they’re barely red and so expensive!
Variety is the spice of life!
There are so many different options so make sure to switch things up and try a variety of combinations…the choices are endless!
Organic as much as possible!
If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you’ll know how much I promote organic produce as much as possible. If you can’t afford to do organic all the time, try to focus on only buying organic produce from the dirty dozen list and then buy conventionally grown produce from the clean 15 list.
Dr Shannon’s Salad Formula
Pick something from each category to make your delicious salad that’s ready to go!
The sky’s the limit for what kind of greens you can use for your salads. Mixing it up each week mean you’ll get in a variety of flavours and nutrient profiles.
- Romaine lettuce
- Spring Mix
- Swiss Chard (or rainbow!)
- Butter lettuce
- Dandelion Greens
Not only are we going to power-pack your salad with your greens, but you’ll get extra nutrients and fibre from adding in other veggies! If you struggle to digest raw veggies, you can even add steamed or grilled vegetables to your salads!
- Bell peppers
- Red Onions
- Broccoli or broccolette
- Brussels sprouts
- ANY OTHER VEGGIE YOU WANT!
Protein (and fats, see below!) are so important not only to provide your body with lasting energy throughout the day, but will help to stabilize your blood sugar levels so that you aren’t crashing hard in the afternoon.
- Wild Salmon (avoid farmed and canned fish as much as possible)
- Beans or other legumes like lentils
- Hard Boiled Eggs
Like our protein friend above, healthy fats will help sustain great energy throughout the day and are an important part of EACH meal! Contrary to past advice, fat is NOT the enemy!
- Nuts (cashews, almonds, pecans, walnuts, brazil nuts, pine nuts, macadamia nuts, etc)
- Seeds (chia seeds, hemp hearts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, etc)
- Hard Boiled Eggs
- Fatty Fish (like wild salmon)
Be a little bit careful with dressings, as some can add a WHOLE bunch of additional calories that may be a bit of a surprise. Here are a few links with some delicious dressings for you to try out! Here are some salad dressing recipes taken from the food network!
- Classic Vinaigrette:Whisk 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 2 teaspoons dijon mustard, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and pepper to taste. Gradually whisk in 1/3 to 1/2 cup olive oil.
- Dijon:Whisk 3 tablespoons each dijon mustard and champagne vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and pepper to taste. Gradually whisk in 1/2 cup olive oil.
- Mango-Lime:Purée 1 chopped peeled mango, the zest and juice of 1 lime, and 1 teaspoon each dijon mustard, sugar and kosher salt in a blender. Gradually blend in 1/4 cup rice vinegar and 1/2 cup vegetable oil.
- Creamy Italian:Blend 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons each sour cream and olive oil, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, 1 garlic clove and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt in a blender. Stir in 1 tablespoon chopped parsley.
- Maple-Walnut:Whisk 1/4 cup each mayonnaise and maple syrup, 2 tablespoons cider vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and pepper to taste. Add 2 tablespoons chopped toasted walnuts.
- Chocolate-Balsamic:Blend 1/4 cup each balsamic vinegar, olive oil and vegetable oil, 3 tablespoons cocoa powder and1 1/2 teaspoons sugar in a blender. Season with salt and pepper.
- French:Blend 1/4 cup each olive oil and water, 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons each tomato paste, ketchup and brown sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon each paprika and kosher salt in a blender.
- Creamy Vegan:Pulse 2 teaspoons each dijon mustard and cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/4 cup olive oil and 1/2 cup soft tofu in a blender until smooth. Stir in 1/2 cup mixed chopped chives, parsley and chervil.
- Thousand Island:Whisk 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1/3 cup sweet chili sauce, 2 tablespoons each sweet pickle relish and chopped chives, 1 chopped hard-boiled egg and the juice of 1/2 lemon.
- Green Goddess:Blend 1/2 cup each mayonnaise, sour cream and fresh parsley, the juice of 1/2 lemon, 2 chopped scallions, 3 tablespoons chopped tarragon and 3 anchovies in a blender until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
These are the additional little treats that you may want to top your salad with. Don’t go crazy though, they’re meant to be a little garnish on top!
- Dried Fruit (cranberries, cherries, raisins, mango, blueberries…just try to find ones without added sugar!)
- Fresh herbs (basil, mint, dill, parsley)
- Crispy Noodles
- Tortilla chips
- Fresh Fruit (strawberries, blueberries, grapes, apples, mandarin oranges, pears)
- Water Chestnuts
- Pomegranate seeds
Enjoy your salads!
What’s your favourite combination? Did I miss your favourite ingredient? Let me know!