It’s really hot. I mean really, really hot outside, and consequently INSIDE. So, what’s a gal in a heatwave to do?
Eat cooling foods like our forever versatile friend SALAD of course!
I know many people easily fall into salad ruts where salads slowly start to lack variety, nutrient density, or enthusiasm.
Here are a few tips to keep you and your cooling salads lively during these hot months:
– Use a combination of oils: namely add flax oil, nut oils (hazelnut is my favorite), or avocado oil to your already delicious olive or sesame oil dressings. This gives your salad a secret boost of omegas and flavor 🙂
– Keep whole grains cooked and on hand in your fridge: Have quinoa, lentils, millet, barley, brown rice, jasmine rice, black rice, faro, or whole wheat israeli cous cous in a container ready to be sprinkled atop your salads for bulk, fiber, and extra protein. (I like a combo of lentils + basmati rice). If you’re not into whole grains then pop on top some drained canned beans like garbanzos or black beans.
– Add some serious crunch: Have on hand slivered almonds, walnuts, hemp seeds, cut up seaweed snack, pepitas, or sunflower seeds for some satisfying texture, minerals, healthy fat, and serious protein.
– Experiment with vinegars: Foodies everywhere are creating amazing vinegars, but some of my standby favorites are Trader Joes Orange Muskat Vinegar, Seasoned Rice Vinegar, Ume Plum Vinegar (it’s salty and alkaline!!) Sherry Vinegar, and Balsamic vinegar (after you bring it to a boil in a saucepan).
– Diversify your leafy greens: Don’t just eat kale, bibb, romaine, etc. Purchase mixed bags of greens or make your own mix. Maybe pair a sweeter green with a more spicy one (like spinach + arugula). Try and have at least two different types of greens in your salad for optimum nutrient density and flavor.
– It’s OK to have Jarred Salad Ingredients: Think marinated artichoke, fire-roasted pepper strips, greek olives, or the exotic jackfruit. All are jarred delights that won’t go bad in a week, and they add depth of flavor and nutrition to your salads.
– Make your own dressings: Dressings made from scratch taste better and fresher, plus they have way more nutrient density than those ancient plastic bottles sitting on your grocery store shelf. I like to make dressings ahead of time in my blender and keep them in my fridge for the week. Here are some of my favorite combos to get you started:
fresh garlic + lemon + salt + olive oil + nutritional yeast (or parmesan cheese)
fresh garlic + fresh ginger + tamari + apple cider vinegar + olive (or sesame) oil,
tahini + lemon + green onions + flax oil + salt + pepper + sherry vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
balsamic vinegar + lemon + agave syrup + olive oil + salt
Now, are you STILL in a salad rut? I hope not 😉