Happy Tuesday all! How crazy is it that we are already 12 days into January? I cannot believe how fast the time is going and that its already 2016! Im finally back after a long break over Christmas/New Years and I thank you all for being so patient! So, My main Goal/Focus for 2016 is weightloss/health and fitness. The 3 components have always been extremely important to me, however this year I have noticed I am a lot more focused, driven and passionate about it! Im definitely eating cleaner, working out harder and my fitness planning/mindset is a lot clearer! I thought, to kick off the New Year on a healthy note, why not share some of my favourite tips for creating a perfect Salad! Anyone who knows me personally knows that I am not actually.. a massive fan of a plain salad.. No way! I cant do a simple no dressing, no protein salad- I find it SO boring and SO un filling, to me its seriously something i CANNOT eat, However if i fill my salads with incredible tasting veggies, healthy dressings, healthy cheeses and a protein source, I find them SO yummy! Lets do this!
GO GREEN! Okay.. i know this doesn’t sound that yum.. But your salad needs to be nutritious and good for you- Choosing greens (the tasty ones) the right way can make sure your getting a great serve of nutrients that also easy to eat! My go to greens for a Salad are:
Iceberg Lettuce: I love this form of lettuce, its easy to eat, basically tastes like water, very low in calories and so super cheap too! You can pick up a whole lettuce for around $2.00 and that lasts me the whole week!
Spinach: As iceberg lettuce is basically water, I know the nutrition value isn’t too high! I love to add some spinach leaves to my iceberg lettuce to up the nutrition value, the two actually taste very nice together!
Mixed lettuce: this is another type of lettuce I enjoy. Its a few different lettuces put together and are a variety of colours- this type of lettuce tastes amazing with a vinaigrette and sea salt!
These are my favourites, personally- But other choices you can chose that are incredible for you and so super nutritious are wild rocket and kale- these two I personally don’t like the taste too but they are both so incredibly great for you! Try mixing 2 or more of the greens into your salad!
Greens are so full of folate and minerals such as calcium and magnesium, so don’t forget them!
The rainbow medley of fruits and veggies are just important as the greens! This is one of the most fun parts of creating a salad, because you get to add some of the vegetables and fruit which have the most incredible flavour! some of my favourite go to vegetables are:
Beetroot, Red Onion, Carrot, Zucchini, Cabbage, Cherry Tomatoes, Corn kernels off the cob, Cucumber, chickpeas, green beans – My favourite way to present these veggies are to either grate them, finely chop them or shred them! Not only does it make them easier to eat but i personally think it looks better (ha-ha!)
Another thing I love to do is bake off some sweet potato or pumpkin in the oven and add it to the top of my salads! these are my favourite veggies by far!
Some of my favourite go-to fruits to add into salads are:
Apples, Mango, Strawberries, Avocado – All though i have to ensure the type of salad I’m having will mix well with fruit. A dinner salad with meat, a find mango goes lovely with and a lunch salad (simple and on the side, strawberries are lovely with) I find because I love avocado so much, it goes with everything, and apples, well the green ones are incredible in a tossed side salad!
My best advise here is to play around with your favourite fresh fruits and vegetables, try different things and experience with flavours! Just make sure they all mix well together!
Another ingredient that adds loads of flavour to a salad is a beautiful herb! Some of my favourites are fresh basil, chives and parsley. I also have a whole 12 herb and spices rack so I often play around with different herbs from there such as rosemary and thyme. I personally don’t like these herbs in a salad, but some other popular herbs are fresh mint and coriander- These I strongly dislike but a lot of my family and friends adore it, so they are always options to try! If you have a range of fresh herbs that you grow or a family member grows, take advantage!
To me, this is a component that can really make a salad super tasty.. however it also can be a component that can change your salad from being a beautiful, healthy, nutritious salad to one thats full of fat and sugar. Make sure you stay away from the creamy dressings and mayo type dressins such as ceaser and stick to creating your own healthy blends. Some of my favourite are:
- Balsamic Viniger- this is my go to salad, I always add it to majority of my salads. Its tangy, yet super tasty and goes so well with so many types of veggies!
- Mixture of olive oil (3tblsp) and apple cider vinegar (1teaspoon) and a pinch of salt and pepper- this is another beautiful dressing. Keep it tasty, simple and healthy!
- Fresh lime or fresh lemon – Squeezed- Healthy, zesty and refreshing!
Now anyone who knows me knows i am a MASSIVE fan of cheese! I love it 0 but too much diary and having too much cheese can be unhealthy- so when creating a yummy salad I like to keep that in mind and to do so I always ensure I choose the following cheese and only a small handful!
- FETTA: Im obsessed with fetta, and it goes SO well with balsamic vinaigrette and tomato.
- GOATS CHEESE: This is a very different cheese which is great in all types of salads- its not that expensive either!
- FRESH PARMESAN: Who doesn’t love parmesan! a shaving with salt, pepper and balsamic vinaigrette is to die for!
If I’m super hungry or I’m making a salad for my family and friends- I always love to add some extra crunch. I do that by roasting a handful or two of healthy nuts in a pan and placing it through the salad! My favourite nuts are:
They add a beautiful crunch and flavour to the right Salad!
This is my favourite component to a salad, It can turn a salad from a simple side dish, to a main meal! My tips for this is to ensure your proteins are rich and healthy, not something soaked in marinades or something fatty- opt for a lean, healthy protein form! Some of my favourites include:
1- Roast, Poached or Pan fried Chicken (100grams) I love chicken! Its so yum and super good for us! If your adding chicken opt for 100grams of chicken breast- for flavour you can add herbs or a healthy BBQ seasoning, Cajun seasoning and so on.
2- Roasted or Pan fried Turkey (100grams) Another protein which is super good for us and very similar to chicken, in my opinion! You can add a healthy seasoning to this also!
3- Seafoods such as prawns, flake, fish, calamari, Salmon, Tuna – Adding a high protein form of seafood is another great option! We should always remember to be as healthy as possible and changing up your types of protein are also SUPER important! There is such a great tasting range of seafoods and they are all SUPER good for you, so don’t forget to change it up and watch the portions.
4-Mushrooms- A VERY high protein packed veggie that is super tasty in a warm salad and a great protein for vegetarians/vegans.
5- Eggs: I opt for only one or a few egg whites and the yolks are high in calories and fat. Egg whites are super high in protein and taste great in a hearty salad!
Now that you’ve spent a good amount of time creating the perfect salad, enjoy it and enjoy not having any guilt like you would after eating a Big Mac meal (you might not even feel guilt for that.. but lets just say you should haha!)
I hope you guys have got some healthy tips and ideas from my favourite salad options! Dont forget to subscribe for other handy/healthy tips and if you have any suggestions/questions please do not be afraid to ask!
Have a great week all X