Thursday, April 16, 2015

Salad Toppings for the Not So Basic

Since the beginning of March, I think I've had salad almost every day. Between the parents and I, there are 5 tower gardens in the backyard. This means there is an abundance of lettuce and other vegetables growing faster than we can eat them right now. Good problems to have. 

Salad is like yogurt and oatmeal, in the sense that you can basically top it with anything you're feeling at the moment and not feel like you're eating the same thing day after day. 

What does an average salad consist of? I'm going to go with the three main ingredients of a salad. Lettuce. Tomato. Cucumber. With just those three vegetables, you have your basic salad. Real basic. So, let's not be so basic and... 

Add EXTRA to Your bowl of Basic

1. Nuts 
Perfect for an extra crunch! Almonds, walnuts, and pecans not only give your salad life but they are packed with heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids. To be extra fancy, you can roast the nuts before putting on your salad.
2. Seeds
Pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, or sesame seeds add texture and protein!

3. Roasted Chickpeas
I call these veggie croutons. Drain, wash, and dry a can of chickpeas. Spread on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes at 400. Season with salt and whatever other season you'd like. 
4. Fruits. 
While you can add dried fruit or candied fruits, those are usually coated in a bunch of sugar. Fresh fruits work best and the options are limitless. Some of my favorites on salads are apples, pears, strawberries, mandarin oranges. 

5. Parmesan Crisps
Giada knows what she's talking about with this recipe. It takes 10 minutes!

6. Chips or Strips
While not the healthiest options, chips are a great way to make your salad different than yesterdays. Pita chips, tortilla strips, crushed up Doritos (did I just say that?) are great options!

7. Other Vegetables
Carrots, onions, broccoli, snap peas, asparagus, zucchini, radish, peppers. Need I go on?

8. Beans
Chickpeas are a bean, but don't stop there! Black beans, pinto beans, or kidney beans can also add protein & taste to your salad! By simply adding black beans and tortilla strips, you've got yourself a healthy taco salad!

9. Egg
Slice up some hard boiled eggs or more protein options for that bowl of lettuce!  

Last but CERTAINLY not least, and probably the best thing to ever happen to (some of) us...

10. Cheese.
For people who don't like salad, cheese is a good way to get them to eat it! Add some crumbled cheese on a salad and your meat eater men and picky kids may actually ask for salad with their dinners! Feta and cheddar are my favorites. 

While this list does not contain any meat, meat is also an obvious and delicious way to spruce up your bowl of basic. other words needed.



  1. I think we make our salads the same way! Load it up on good stuff! (And parmesan crisps are OH so good!)

  2. Never tried chips! Love the idea though!

    1. I usually crush up the Cheddar or Salsa SunChips into my taco salads! :)

  3. I like cheese and egg on my salad. I'm not a nuts person though.