Salads have come a long way since the days of limp Iceberg paired with a couple of slices of cucumber and a token tomato, all smothered in salad cream or mayonnaise. At The Nourished Tribe we absolutely love a salad. Why?
They are very quick to prepare and assemble.
They are a great way to use up left over foods and reduce food waste.
They are a really easy way to increase the nutrient density and and diversity. A really easy way to nail your 5 a day in one sitting!
How do we do it?
Its All About The Base
We like to go dark over light here with a couple of big handfuls of leaves. Dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, arugula (rocket), kale or watercress are much more nutrient dense than their lighter green counterparts. All are really good sources of magnesium, calcium, vitamin K and folate to name a few. If you are going to go for a lighter leaf, make sure you choose a romaine or cos lettuce over iceberg which have a better nutritional profile.
Vegetables. The Main Event.
It is all about the rainbow here. Try and choose two or three different colours here. The colours in fruits and vegetables all have specific and unique health benefits as well as being rich in so many vitamins and minerals. Think about different ways of serving your veggies. You could roast, grate or even spiralize to add variety and texture.
Add a Carbohydrate.
Adding a small serving of carbs (approximately 1 fistful) such as pumpkin, squash, quinoa or brown rice will keep your energy levels topped up so you can swerve that 3pm slump and avoid the biscuit tin.
TNT Top Tip: Cook an extra portion or two when you make dinner so you have them on hand in your fridge to save time. Merchant Gourmet also do some great ready cooked pouches of grains and lentils that you can add to salads if you are short on time or don't have anything to hand.
Pack in your Protein
Protein is really important for satiety, muscle growth and repair and so many other essential bodily functions. Many of us especially women are not meeting their daily requirements. We need on average 0.8gm per kg of bodyweight. Thats approximately 2 chicken breasts a day to put it into perspective for a 60kg person. Other good protein sources include eggs, salmon, tofu, beans, feta, halloumi or lentils.
Don't Skimp on the Dressing!
When it comes to dressing your salad fresh is best. Shop bought ones are often laden with hidden sugars and preservatives. A dressing is a great way to add some healthy fats like the heart healthy extra virgin olive oil to your diet. Are you dairy free? Making a dressing with tahini is an easy way to boost your plant calcium intake. Check out our favourite salad dressing recipes HERE
Supercharge your Salad!
Choose one of the add-ons below to really catapult your salad into the nutritional equivalent of The Premier League.
Nuts: Try sprinkling a few crushed walnuts for an Omega3 boost or a couple of crushed Brazil nuts for selenium which is crucial for thyroid health.
Seeds: Add a dessert spoon of either Sunflower and Pumpkin Seeds.
Fermented Vegetables. Sauerkraut and kimchi are well renowned for their probiotic gut health properties. Add a spoonful to really zing up any salad.
If you are looking for some great salad recipes why don't you check out our lovely salad recipes on our website HERE.