I like salad. I eat a lot of salad, especially in the middle of the year, it's my go-to easy lunch, and I rarely find it boring because for me, salad is not just lettuce. That said, we've all heard salad toppings such as heavy dressing or fried croutons blasted to kingdom come for making your salad unhealthy. I try and stay away from referring to my food posts as healthy, because I don't think I'm qualified to tell you what's good for you, but these are 3 of my favourite 'good for you as part of a balanced diet' toppings that I love as a everyday kind joy as opposed to the treat myself nature of say... crispy bacon, croutons and deep fried cheese.
I love seeds & nuts. Both Aldi and Lidl sell 75g pots of mixed seeds including sesame, pumpkin & sunflower seeds. I like to toast them all off in a nice hot, dry pan and store for sprinkling onto salads for a bit of crisp nutty crunch. Seeds & nuts are great for a plant based protein boost, they are high in so-called healthy fats (the ones that are good for heart health mono & polyunsaturated fats) and they deliver a dose of fibre which is good for satiety and digestion BUT if you're on a tightly calorie controlled diet, use a measure or way your seeds because they are high in calories.
2. Roasted Chickpeas
Can you tell I have a thing for texture? Crispy roasted chickpeas deliver a nice little crunch and a moderate level of carbohydrate boost to a salad. drain and rinse 1 tin of chickpeas, season with salt, pepper & garlic powder, and roast with 1/2 teaspoon of coconut oil for approx 35-40 mins. Allow to cool completely for optimum crisp-ness. These store well in an airtight container for about a week.
3. Alternative Meat & Fish additions
I think one of the main reasons people get bored with salad is because they don't mix things up. If I ate cold chicken or ham, hard boiled eggs, lettuce, tomato and cucumber each day, I think I'd likely get bored too. Adding texture and bulk to salads is great, but if you're after an added meat or fish fix and you're bored with leftover roast chicken or the same ham you always buy, it's worth keeping things like my Smoked Salmon Burgers recipe in mind, Sarah has this great Chicken Burrito Bowl recipe over on EssBeeVee and homemade kebabs make great leftover additions to a salad.
If you're struggling with boring salad, think about the flavours or the types of food you love to eat- cook your chicken in piri piri spices or a homemade teriyaki, mix your avocado & tomatoes together with some garlic, chilli and lime for a Mexican style guacamole fix, think about using different leaves- my favourites are spinach, watercress and lambs leaf- personally I find romaines and little gem to be bitter.
I'd love to know what you top your salads with, or your favourite salad bolt-ons to keep them interesting- hit me with your favourites in the comments.