Salads get a bad rap. They’re seen as wimpy or pathetic. But today I will tell you why salads are delicious meals that should be treated equally, as a viable, stand alone healthy lunch or dinner option.
First, we need a different name. Instead of salads, think of these big leafy piles as “Plant Nachos!” Coined by Thug Kitchen, I think Plant Nachos is a great description for salads. You have a delicious base on which to pile any toppings you’d like, just like nachos.
Making Plant Nachos
The first step to non-lame plant nachos is finding a base you like. I recommend the 50/50 spinach and spring mix. I think this not only tastes great, but it also offers lots of nutrients. In the 50/50 mix, the leaves hold up against the other ingredients, but they definitely leave the spotlight open for the toppings to dazzle.
One key to remembering salads and is to keep your lettuces fresh. There is nothing grosser than wilty lettuces in the back of your refrigerator. Keep your box of lettuce in the front, where you can see it and use it up before it goes bad.
Toppings and Texture
Next are the toppings. This is where you really get to design your perfect salad. Choose a few favorite flavors or combine some new ones. Let your creativity flow! You can use fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, protein, carbs… anything goes!
The toppings are what really take your salad from wimpy into a full stand-alone meal. By adding proteins, carbs, and other fruits or vegetables, you can really create a satisfying and filling meal.
Beyond just thinking about what nutrients I get in my salad, I care about the combined textures and flavors. You may want to add something crunchy, creamy, or crumbly.
You could consider a sweet dressing or spicy toppings. Your salad can be personalized to just the things you like.
The final ingredient is the dressing. The key to a good salad is the correct dressing ratio. There is not much worse than a soggy salad. Start with just a drizzle of dressing, because you can always add more later.
Branch out of just ranch! Try a vinaigrette or maybe you even make your own dressing. Just like with the toppings, there are endless possibilities and combinations, you just have to find the ones you like.
Plant Nachos for President
And there you have it! Plant Nachos can be for everyone! They are a great option for a healthy lunch or dinner!
I find that after eating a salad, I feel really satisfied. I’ve gotten all different textures and flavors, I am full, and I am really satisfied with the food that fuels my body.
I encourage you to try making a salad this week! To get started, here is my favorite salad recipe:
- One heaping of 50/50 mix
- Two hard-boiled eggs
- One or two handfuls of blackberries, cut in half
- A smattering of chopped pecans
- A sprinkling of wonton strips
- Drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette
Toss together and enjoy!