With it being (somewhat) summer in the UK, the warmer weather is rolling in and out. I always find that when it’s hot out I don’t really want to eat a lot and so salads are my go to!
Salads are a great light lunch, but still need to keep you satisfied! So step aside boring salads made of sad leaves, i’m here to tell you the best way to pimp your salad so that it is tasty AF and filling AF while still keeping it light enough where you don’t overheat from being so full (this defo happens to me if i eat too much when it’s hot!)
Base and Veggies
Your salad base can be whatever you fancy, but here are some of my faves that I use when making my base
- Gem lettuce
- Iceberg lettuce
- Pre-made baby leaf mix from tesco
My mum makes a big bulk salad that we have for dinner and I tend to chuck in add ins of whatever I fancy so here is what my mum uses each time she makes a salad!
- Gem lettuce
- Grated carrot
With vegetables its pretty hard to be wrong! I tend to grab whatever I can see that I fancy and shove it in the salad! The more colour the better! Some great options are
- Pickled vegetables: sauerkraut, kimchi, gherkins add amazing flavour and extra crunch
Depending on my mood and what we have I tend to add some fruit to the salad too!
This may seem weird but trust me! My favourite has to be mango and chicken salad with a spicy dressing! But any fruit that is acidic will be perfect! Examples below!
Adding protein to any meal is super important as it helps to increase the satiety of the meal (and helps towards your protein goal if you have one)
Protein sources that I go for tend to be left overs but my fave has to be marinated chicken! You can grab ready cooked chicken with different flavours from most supermarkets which also means you don’t have to adda dressing if you don’t want to as the flavouring tends to rub off onto the salad itself which is great!
You could also add
- Cooked sausage
- Cooked fish
- beef/quorn mince
- Vegetarian sausages
- Legit any protein source that ya fancy will go well!
Fat is not only super important for our health and for satiety it’s also hella tasty!
- Seeds and nuts add a different texture into the salad and make it interesting as well as adding loads of good fat and nutrients into the salad!
- Avocado! The best thing to add to a salad, make a guac or just mash up some avo and add it to the salad before adding the rest of the add-ins to coat the salad and it makes it superrrr creamy and delish!
- Oil based salad dressing: salad dressing not only adds flavour to the salad they also add healthy fats! I recommend olive oil as the best type of oil to add to your salad as it’s the best tasting in my opinion!
- Olives: yes these are mainly fat! Can add these with another fat source and just add another texture and flavour into the mix!
If on a weight loss diet adding too much fat can be a sneaky way of adding excess calories without realising it, so use one or two of these tips instead of all three to keep the calories from sneaking up! (you’ll also find that you only need a small amount of oil to coat the salad well)
Another add in that not only helps to satisfy you but also adds some amazing texture!
- Making your own croutons, or adding crackers to the salad keeps it nice and crunchy if not adding in any seeds or nuts.
- Grains and pasta: adding in leftover grains and pasta dishes to your salad helps to bulk up the meal that may have given you only one portion before but now gives you one or two extra portions from that meal!
The formula you need to make the perfect salad?
Base + veggies/fruit + Protein + fat + carb = perfection!
Salads should be tasty and something that you enjoy eating! Not something that you force yourself to eat because you want to minimise your intake! Salads are a great way to boost your veggie and fibre intake not only for those who are wanting to lose weight! Plus who said a weight loss diet had to be boring?
The formula for the perfect salad can really be done for any food, and will give you a complete and wholesome meal!
Now go out there and try different combinations of salads and find the ones that you love!
FOOD DOESN’T AND SHOULDN’T BE BORING! And no matter what your reason for eating more salads is, it should always be tasty!