Recently my friend asked for a quick and easy salad to make for school. It was impossible for me to come up with a perfect salad because I know everyone has different taste. To solve this problem, I decided to come up with a “formula” so that you can customize your own perfect salad. Salads are great to make in large batches and then eat throughout the week. They are especially perfect for school lunches.
This is just a simple seven step formula if you are looking for salad ideas. You can skip steps or add ingredients but this is just a basic recipe idea for anyone who is struggling with lunches for school, work, or on-the-go.
7 STEPS TO THE PERFECT SALAD
- LEAFY GREENS
Examples: kale, spinach, arugula, lettuce, collard greens, escarole
Leafy greens make the perfect base for salads and they contain really important nutrients
Examples: avocado, tomatoes, berries, pears, oranges, peaches, dried fruit
Fruit adds a touch of sweetness to a salad while adding color and nutrients
Examples: carrots, cucumbers, zucchini, peppers, cabbage, broccoli, roasted potatoes, onions
Veggies are the perfect way to add vitamins and minerals to a salad, and if you don’t like eating them alone, throwing them into a salad is a great way to get your source of nutrients.
- BEANS & PEAS
Examples: chickpeas, black beans, green peas, kidney beans
Beans are vegetables packed with fiber and protein and they can be used as possible meat alternatives
Examples: almonds, cashews, walnuts, pecans, pistachios, Brazilian nuts
Nuts add a bit of crunch to a salad and can replace croutons. Nuts are a good source of healthy fats and proteins.
- SEEDS AND GRAINS
Examples: chia seeds, hemp hearts, quinoa, lentils, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seed
One fantastic grain is quinoa. Quinoa is amazing for salads because it is a full protein (containing all the amino acids). I also love hemp hearts or hemp seeds as they are considered a superfood.
Examples: caesar, Italian dressing, ranch, Greek dressing, lemon, balsamic vinaigrette
You can’t have a salad without dressing. I usually use a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil and some lemon juice for a healthy tasty dressing. Make sure to store the dressing separately and only add to the salad when you are ready to eat it. This prevents the greens from getting soggy.
**The salad in the photo uses the following ingredients**
- Avocado & cherry tomatoes
- Sliced carrots
- Black beans
- Hemp hearts
- Lemon and olive oil dressing