Change Up Your Salad

Salads are pretty solid standby lunch options. They’re healthy and can be very filling, but there’s no denying that they can also be very boring, especially if you eat one every day. The good news is that salads don’t have to be an anticlimactic lunch if you’re creative. If you’re enrolled in culinary academy, then that shouldn’t be a problem. Try these ideas for a salad that will have you looking forward to lunchtime.

Use whatever you had for dinner last night
Did you have tacos for dinner? Put your leftover ground beef, beans, tomatoes, lettuce and Mexican cheese on top of greens with a chipotle salad dressing and add tortilla chips for some crunch. If you had gyros, put your meat, cucumber, tomato and feta in a salad with Greek dressing. When paired with the correct dressing, almost any toppings will work well on a salad.

Use different greens – or different vegetables entirely
The greens are the bulk of the salad, so why keep using the same ones? Instead of always using romaine, use kale, Swiss chard, spinach, mixed greens or another type of lettuce once in a while. They’re all great sources of iron and using different ingredients is a way to add variety to your salads. If you’re over leafy greens all together, try making a caprese or cucumber salad. These salads are still healthy and full of veggies, without the greens.

Add some fruit
Salads aren’t just for vegetables. Add your favorite fruits to your next salad. Try some watermelon or fresh strawberries when they’re in season, and in the cooler months, experiment with canned peaches or dried cranberries. Salads with fruits taste best with a sweeter dressing, like a honey dressing or a strawberry vinaigrette.

Try some new dressings
Speaking of dressings, put down the ranch. There are hundreds of dressing options out there, so stop just buying your two favorites. If you want to save some cash and cut down on dressings full of artificial flavors and preservatives, try making your own. There are infinite types of vinaigrette dressings, and even homemade cream dressings will be healthier than the ones you’d buy in the store.

Add a variety of texture
If the only crunch in your salad is your lettuce, no wonder you’re bored! Add something other than vegetables for some crunch, like tortilla chips or walnuts. For something soft, try some avocado or ricotta cheese. If you usually add crunchy vegetables like carrots or peppers to your salad, roast them first so they’ll be soft instead.

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