One of the comments I hear the most, and I’m sure Gogi Man would agree, “Mr. Love Chard, I can’t consume the amount of salads my body requires… HELP ME!” Most generally then go on to say, “I’m tired of eating the same old plate of lettuce, onion and tomato every day.” I have the answer to all of your aggravation… “You are not being creative enough!” For as long as I have led a whole food, plant-based Nutritarian lifestyle, I have never had the same salad twice, which makes me get more and more excited about each one that I make. Most times, my salad creations are the best thing I’ve ever eaten, but I used to think to myself, “Well… at least I’m getting my veggies in” whenever my salad was basic and sub-par. You need to work on your salad game and I’m gonna help get you out of that salad slump.
Dr. Fuhrman [this really, really really awesome guy that created the Nutritarian lifestyle] states that “salad is the main dish” and that we should be eating at least two salads a day. [Salad meaning: loads of leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, and any vegetables [raw or uncooked], fresh fruits, beans, nuts, seeds, and a plant based dressing.] The reason for this is because eating salads help reduce your calorie intake per meal and can greatly aid in your weight control. To go even a step further, plant-based salads also promote superior health in general. Simply put, when you’re hungry, start off your meal with a heaping salad. You will soon find that you have less [or no] cravings for those unhealthy, calorie-dense foods.
Many decisions go into making a gourmet salad and you must first start by deciding what flavor you are craving. Sweet? Spicy? Sour? Once you decide the flavor, the list of possibilities are limitless… unless you haven’t been grocery shopping for a few weeks. 😉 We have you covered with some fool-proof blueprints for salad building.
You’ve opened your fridge, your cupboards, then lowered your standards, and opened your fridge again. Your body wants something sweet and your mind is thinking “CHOCOLATE”, “ICE CREAM”, “CANDY”. You can easily satisfy your sweet tooth with a salad and not have to feel the negative side effects that come with those heavily processed sugary foods.
1. Start with a bed of leafy greens, such as romaine, spinach, baby swiss chard, or baby kale.
2. Add some chopped mild vegetables like sweet tomatoes, sweet onion, green bell peppers, anaheim peppers, cucumber, zucchini, or yellow squash.
3. Pick your fruits! Blueberries, strawberries, pluots [plum + apricot hybrid], peaches, oranges, mangos, pineapples, kiwi, or apples.
4. Top with a small handful of raw nuts: almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews, pine nuts, chopped brazil nuts, or pistachios.
5. Sprinkle some raw seeds: sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds, ground flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, or sesame seeds.
6. Drizzle with a fruit based dressing [I love our Creamy Pear Walnut Vinaigrette, pictured, where Mrs. Love Chard loves to blend oranges + almonds + ginger]. Whatever combination you choose… I bet it will be a winner.
Caution: Contents of this article may be too hot to handle! Adding some fire to your food can be a real game changer and can even make you forget that you “need” or even want salt to make everything taste better. When I started with this whole food, plant-based lifestyle, my taste buds were shot from the amount of salt and fatty processed foods that I ate every day at every meal. Sprinkling a little bit of crushed red pepper in many of my meals got me through the “bland” stage of my journey and got me to the glory lands of the taste utopia I am at today! If a little spice is what you are looking for, I suggest trying a delicious taco salad.
1. Start with a bed of leafy greens. Romaine + spinach is our favorite combo for taco salad.
2. Add a couple spoonfuls of our Wheat Berry + Walnut Taco “Meat” [pictured]
3. Layer with different varieties of beans such as pinto, red kidney or black.
4. Top with some more-potent chopped vegetables like red onion, serrano peppers, and poblano peppers.
5. Add other taco salad favorites like tomatoes, corn, pico de gallo, and if you’d like to pay an additional $2.00, guacamole. [Did you guys know that Chipotle doesn’t charge you extra for Guacamole if you get a veggie bowl? Game changer!]
6. Drizzle with a spicy dressing like our Jalapeño “Ranch” Dressing/Dip [pictured].
7. Finish it off with some squeezed lime, cilantro, and our Nutritarian Sour Cream.
Note: Keep in mind how much spice your taste buds can handle. Add little bits in your bowl at a time and taste test frequently to avoid a volcano salad.
If you are one who likes your salad to taste as sour as my jokes [ok, maybe not that sour]… I’ve got a few more tricks up my sleeve for you. Try a kale + lemon and vinegar infused salad. One of my most recent ones is posted on our Love Chard Community group on Facebook and includes a bed of kale massaged with avocado and lemon, topped with tomato, sweet onion, corn, walnuts, cashews, goji berries, raisins, and pomegranate infused red wine vinegar. Mrs. Love Chard’s favorite version includes: a bed of dinosaur kale [or tuscan/lacinato] massaged with avocado and lemon, topped with romaine, bell peppers, sweet yellow onion, sweet tomato, chopped orange, a few raw pecans, raw sunflower seeds, a few goji berries, sprinkle of ground flax seeds, dash of black pepper, Trader Joe’s Salute no-salt seasoning, and topped with a splash or pomegranate juice and pomegranate infused red wine vinegar. Check out more of Love Chard’s salad and dressing options.
Whatever your taste buds are telling you, there is a salad for every craving. It is up to you to use your imagination to create new and exciting ways to master these life-extending meals. I hope this inspires you to reach for the greens more often throughout your day and maybe one day, when we are 90+ years old and even more energetic than we’ve ever felt, we can share one together.