If you’re not careful salads can get boring really quick. Sadly, this causes you to miss out on their tastiness and health benefits…salads are undeniably one of the healthiest meal choices there are (assuming you make a “clean” salad, aka not a leaning tower of creamy dressing/cheese/bacon/croutons). What helps me not get sick of having a salad almost everyday for lunch is making sure I have “go to” seasonal ingredients for my salads. Try some of these this week to get your green lunch’s rolling again!
- Apple Slices- I always forget that adding an in season fruit to a salad gives it a nice twist- apples add a sweet and refreshing crunch
- Sweet Potato Croutons- make some extra of these, you will thank me later…preheat your oven to 400*. Thinly slice 2 raw sweet potatoes into rounds; in a separate bowl mix together 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp cumin, and 1 tsp sea salt. Lightly coat the sweet potato in the oil mixture and spread onto a pan. Bake for about 25 minutes until crispy. Layer these on your salad to add a crispy and savory bite to your greens
- Pumpkin Dressing! Click Here for the recipe! You can make a batch of this goodness and keep it in the fridge for a few days- it really ties everything in a fall salad together…it will all make sense after you try this dressing!
- Cinnamon- Don’t forget that a small amount of a spice or herb can go a long way! Dust off a fall salad with a pinch of cinnamon and enjoy its blood sugar stabilizing qualities. Consider even trying a pinch of turmeric, nutmeg, thyme, basil, or rosemary to switch things up even more!
- Pumpkin Seeds- Be careful not to throw away the “guts” of your jack o lanterns this year- save the seeds and toss them in olive oil and sea salt; put them in a preheated oven at 375* for 15-20 minutes. Sprinkle them on your salad for a boost of minerals, fiber, and antioxidants too!
- Avocado- Well, its not really a “fall food” but I can’t leave out my favorite “out of your salad rut” ingredient! No matter what avocados take a salad to a whole new level adding a boost of healthy fat that leaves your full and satisfied for hours! Slice them, dice them, put them in whole…however you can get them into the salad go for it!
The more you satisfy your taste buds with different flavors and textures of whole, unprocessed foods, the less you will crave foods that are damaging to your body (processed sugar, refined carbohydrates, packaged foods, sugary drinks, etc).
I took myself out of my “salad rut” this saturday afternoon…the combination of the flavors, textures, and colors of the salad definitely did not let me down! The second I ate this salad my already elevated mood from this beautiful fall weekend was increased even more knowing the high quality fuel I was putting into my body. We enjoyed the salad with a side of sauteed almonds/scallions/sweet potatoes mixed into wild rice, and a glass of home brewed chai spice tea!
As always, stay well, eat well, and have a beautiful week!