Salads are a pretty important part of the Primal Blueprint lifestyle. But when I hear the word “salad”, I think: Iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, shaved carrots, and ranch dressing. Now that kind of salad is good every once in a while, and is usually pretty good at a restaurant as an appetizer before the actual meal. But when you’re trying to incorporate salads into your every day life, a boring Iceberg salad just ain’t gonna cut it. So what do you do about it, you may ask. Well, this is when you get creative! The concept of what is a salad, and what can be on a salad, has changed a lot from our stereotypical salad idea.
First and foremost, FRUITS! You wouldn’t think that mixing certain types of fruits and lettuce would taste very good. But trust me! It really really does, and it keeps things interesting. Several fruits that are good on salads include: apples, strawberries, grapes, raspberries, blackberries, mango, papaya, etc. The list could continue on. It all depends on what dressing you pair it with (and yes, there are other types of dressing besides ranch).
Dressings can really play up a salad, and you definitely aren’t restricted to just what comes on the shelves in the grocery store. It is very simple to make your own dressing at home. All you need to do is mix some olive oil with a type of vinegar (red wine, white wine, apple cider, whatever you choose), and fresh spices from your garden (or dried from your grocery store). If you want to get even more creative you can add in the zest (or juices) of lemons, oranges, or limes, or you could grind up some other type of fruit or interesting vegetable and put it in there too. Just put all of these ingredients in blender to grind, chop, and mix things up, and then into a container to store it. (Side note: Since there are no preservatives in it, it won’t keep as long as normal salad dressings. Check the freshness before you use it!)
The next thing you could add are nuts. Peanuts, cashews, almonds, walnuts, pistachios, you name it. They all add great flavor to your salad, and add some crunch too (a great substitute for croutons!).
And don’t be afraid to add in different veggies too. Snap peas, radishes, zucinni, squash, bell peppers, hot peppers, cabbage, green onions, ginger, water chesnuts. Anything is possible!
Now if this isn’t enough to set your salad off, I don’t know what will. Just remember, stay away from the Iceberg lettuce. It’s pretty much just water, so go with something more nutritional like: baby spinach! (Or some other dark leafy green will due too). And always add protein (meats or tofu) so it’s more filling, and actually a meal and not just a snack.