6-Ingredient Build-Your-Own Salad - A Balanced Meal in a Bowl
Six Groups of Ingredients Make a Delicious, Well-Balanced, Satisfying Salad
We're coming up on summer and that means growing vegetables and herbs in the garden with a healthy harvest on the horizon. Few things make me happier than a great combination of the flavors of the season in a well-balanced and satisfying meal.
Today my salad includes torn lettuce, walnuts, carrots tomatoes, green onions, and bleu cheese, but every day and every salad is different. On this page, I'll share the six main ingredient groups that I include in every one of my meal salads. I walk away from the lunch table with a full belly, happy in the knowledge that I've eaten a nutritious meal that made my tastebuds about as happy as they can be. I hope you'll find the combination that does that same for you!
All photos on this page are my own.
Encouraging Children to Eat Healthy - And Prepare It Themselves
I love Molly Katzen (of Moosewood Restaurant fame) and if you didn't already, you will after getting this cookbook. Kids are always looking for ways to show they're grown up and do things for themselves, and what better way for them to do so than to prepare their own nutritious foods (with a little help from you of course)? Katzen put together 20 recipes - not an overwhelming cookbook for preschool age and older children - to help them learn about and enjoy healthy cooking. Help encourage the children in your life to be "Salad People."
This is not a one-recipe-fits-all recipe!
This is not a one-recipe-fits-all recipe. It shouldn't be. Why? Because we all like our own salad toppings. We all like our own salad base.
I don't know about you but I'm most likely to prepare a recipe if it includes (mostly) ingredients that I like and I'm familiar with. This build-your-own recipe focuses on that and steers you toward the ingredients you like that will also help give you balance in your salad. So it's not really just six ingredients, but a guideline of ingredient groups that help you build the best nutritious salad for you.
This salad recipe gives you permission to be selfish and make it just how you like it. Encourage your family to do the same!
Prep Time: varies
Total Time: 10-15 minutes
- Greens: This is the foundation of your salad - lettuce, spinach, mixed greens, sprouts. In other words, your leaves of choice.
- Fruits & Veggies: I like green onions, mushrooms, tomato, carrots, zucchini, but don't stop there. Choose your flavors - bell peppers, olives, cucumber, celery, or others. Fruits also add a sweetness and flavor that can't be beat. Try dried cranberries, mandarin oranges, berries, apples, grapes, or others you can think of.
- Protein: Today it was nuts, because that's what I had on hand. I also love hard-boiled eggs, chickpeas or other beans.
- Cheese: Use your favorite cheese of choice. My three favorites are shredded parmesan, cheddar, or bleu cheese. Sometimes a little pepper jack really adds a great flavor too.
- Dressing: Most days it's ranch for me. Other days it's raspberry vinaigrette. Store bought is fine, but if you prefer, there are some links below for delicious homemade dressings.
- Seasoning: I love a little flavored salt on my salads. I make these myself. I've also had some excellent store bought spices. Again, find your taste and go with it.
- Whole grain bread or roll
- Wash and chop all ingredients to preference.
- Toss together.
- Serve with a whole grain bread or roll to balance the meal. Enjoy!
All of these seasoning blends are delicious on salads. As a bonus, they also add a lot to steamed vegetables and a variety of other sides. Your taste buds will thank you!
Add a little bit of heat and a tiny twist of tang to your salads with Johnny's high-quality seasoning. It's also delicious on eggs, garlic bread, pasta, and more.
This salt-free blend (also organic and GMO-free) adds the flavors of bell peppers, black pepper, a hint of lemon peel, plus a few other herbs and spices to your salad. Spice it up!
A delicious blend of parmesan cheese, garlic, onion, and other spices, this salad seasoning is "crazy good."
Simply Organic comes through with an outstanding blend of herbs and spices. All organic of course. It's considered all-purpose because it works for so many dishes. So don't stop with salads.
Which ingredient group "makes or breaks" the salad for you?
Which ingredient group "makes or breaks" the salad for you?
DIY Salad Dressings
- Fresh Raspberry Balsamic Vinaigrette (from All Recipes)
A few simple ingredients and you will have your own fresh raspberry vinaigrette. It can't be beat!
- Real Food Ranch Dressing (from Wellness Mama)
If you're going to take the time to build this wonderful salad, why ruin it with an unhealthy dressing. There are lots of ranch dressing recipes out there. Make sure you pick one (like this) that's both healthy and delicious.
- Healthy Salad Dressing Recipes (from Fit Sugar)
9 different healthy salad dressing recipes for any type of flavor you might be looking for. From sweet to citrusy to savory, you'll find something here you like.
- 102 Light Recipes (from Cheap Healthy Good)
This is a clearinghouse of cheap and healthy recipes in just about any flavor you could possibly hope to find. If you have a favorite type of dressing, you'll probably find a healthy, homemade version of it here.
Bottles for Your Homemade Dressing
Shake your dressings without spilling a drop. This dripless design is fashionable and functional. The silicon top keeps the liquid inside during a vigorous shake.
The Norpro Salad Dressing Maker helps you make perfect (and delicious) dressings every time. Affordably priced, this is a great purchase for homemade dressings.
Take your homemade dressing on the go. For picnics, camping or just for work, this container is perfect to keep you eating healthy on the go!
Link Party Connections
Here are parties and blog hops this page is linked to. Click on any of them to find hundreds more ideas, recipes, crafts, and much more!