Updated and updated, this post outlines the perfect salad recipe plus two DIY additions and links to more crunchy salad blog posts.
What would be on your ideal salad? Mine will feature a great balance of nutrition and flavor and it won’t be a meager salad!
The perfect salad would be vegetarian, with leafy greens or a grain/pasta base with veggies in abundance, topped with fish (salmon preferred!) and would have lots of different flavors and textures from the wonderful cheese and nuts woven into a creamy dressing.
Whether it’s a side salad or a main course, good salads should have a delicious seasoning! No fat free bottles for me.
My goal when making the perfect salad is always to have a good combination of flavor, texture, and macronutrients.
In this case I went with local greens and canned salmon. A perfectly grilled piece of salmon would be perfect, but on this busy Monday, canned was the most effective. I got rid of protein, omega-3, and vitamin D in one fell swoop.
The healthy fats also come from olive oil dressing, local cheese (plus more calcium!), and almonds.
Yes, almonds contain some sugar and butter, but the amount is relatively low when mixed in moderation. And the flavor is so strong! I don’t think you have to go on a completely sugar-free diet to be healthy – I think it should be in small doses or on special occasions.
Dates or dried cranberries can add a touch of sweetness, too.
Finally, a meal isn’t complete for me without some long-lasting complex carbs.
In this salad they came in the form of a spinach feta roll, but any type of complex carbohydrate would do the trick: sweet potatoes, cooked berries, whole-grain toast, brown rice, and toast.
I could eat all the protein in the world, but if I didn’t have at least a few carbs at lunch, I would be hungry an hour later.
Some of my favorite salad ingredients include: sweet peppers, cherry tomatoes (in summer!), fresh corn cut from the cob, grilled vegetables, avocado, goat cheese, toasted walnuts, Parmesan chips, truffle almonds, peas (yes, peas!) basically anything but red onions 😉
The perfect ingredients
Here are two small recipes from the recipes I used to break down this recipe Hugh Gas Salad!
Sickle cream seasoning
This sauce has hints of orange, sweetness from honey, and cream from Greek yogurt. The perfect touch of crisscross!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (plus points if orange flavored!)
- 1 tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon orange juice (lemon juice can also work but you will lose a little of the flavor of the peel!)
- 1 tablespoon of plain Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Pinch of kosher salt and pepper
Mix in a bowl and shake well.
Nuts are easy to microwave
Nothing makes a salad like the sweet and crunchy seasoning of candied nuts. Mine Spiced pecans recipe A favorite, but these almonds come together in just minutes in the microwave for those days when you’re a little impatient. You can definitely make it on the stove top too if you’d like.
Candied almonds in the microwave
- 1 tablespoon salted butter
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- Half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder
- 1/16 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Half a cup of chopped almonds
Mix first 4 ingredients in a bowl and microwave for 15 to 20 seconds. Stir the mixture. Add the almonds and cover with the mixture. Leave it to cool before enjoying the salad.
More power ideas