When I make a basic salad, I think about including different types of vegetables; root vegetables (carrots, onions), round vegetables(broccoli, cauliflower) and leafy vegetables(lettuce, parlsey). I also consider different colours of the rainbow. Having a variety of types and colours of vegetables ensures that I will ingest a variety of vitamins and minerals.
Many people tell me that eating a salad is just not enough for them. It doesn’t fill them up. I think that it would help by making the salad the main thing, rather than the ‘side’, if you know what I mean. Get a large dinner plate and pile it high with your favourite things.
I am also told that in the winter time (which is now in my part of the world) they don’t ‘feel’ like having salad. I have a suggestion for that.
Ideas to Turn Your Salad into a Main Meal
1. Add warming foods during colder seasons-when warming foods are eaten, they push the deep energy and blood up and out to the surface of the body. Some guidelines for warming foods versus cooling foods are:
- plants that take longer to grow (carrot, rutabaga, parsnip, cabbage, ginger) are more warming than those that grow quickly (lettuce, summer squash, cucumber).
- food eaten cold is more cooling.
- foods that are blue, green or purple colours are usually more cooling than similar foods that are red, orange or yellow.
- cooking foods for a longer time on low heat is more warming than a short time on high heat.
- finer cutting, pounding, grinding, pressing and stirring breaks the the food down and releases more energy and heat to the body.
- chewing food more thoroughly creates warmth.
I tend to add a variety of root vegetables to my salads in the winter and I also vary the way in which they are cut. Also, I will often marinate and roast these vegetables slowly in the oven or ‘roast’ them in the dehydrator for a day and then add them on my plate.
2. Add nutrient-dense foods-
Consistently eating nutrient-dense foods requires less energy for our body to digest and our body becomes highly nourished. When our bodies are highly nourished, we tend to more satisfied with the food we have eaten. Some examples of nutrient-dense foods are:
3. Add a variety of sprouts-Sprouts are nutrient-dense foods in a class of their own. Their benefits are numerous. You can read more about sprouts and how to grow your own here. I have recently become addicted to sunflower sprouts. They are very enjoyable to eat.
4. Top your salad with a tasty vegan soup-Instead of your usual vinaigrette, consider making a soup (raw or cooked) and pour it over your salad. I enjoy the carrot soup recipe and I will make it a bit thicker by adding more avocado and more grated carrot. My family really loves pea soup in the winter so I will put a big scoop on my plate too. I will add some more soup recipes soon.
5. Get creative with your dressing- olive oil with balsamic vinegar, Bragg’s, garlic and basil is my go-to dressing. That doesn’t always do it though, does it? Have you thought of soaking a nut or seed, blending that smooth and adding your favorite herbs and spices to it? Or avocado…there are many possibilities here. Make it more like a sauce and it will be something that you can get your teeth into. I love putting pesto on my salads.
What wonderful creative ways will you be making salad today? I would love to hear about the tasty things that you enjoy.