I don’t remember when exactly salads became part of my diet. I remember that growing up though, I wasn’t a huge fan of them and we didn’t eat them often in my household. A Nigerian Salad (Sah-Laaad) is a different thing entirely and maybe one day I’ll deconstruct it, but for now, let’s talk about how to make a great salad every time.
For the purpose of this post, we will limit our definition of salad to a meal composed of leafy greens, vegetables and proteins. I’m aware of pasta salads and potato salads, but today let’s focus on the veggies.
What makes a good salad? For me it’s one that’s super fresh, with every flavour shining through. One that is generally simple yet has complex flavours. One that isn’t doused with dressing and has a good balance of filling vegetables and proteins
I’m currently doing the Whole30 again and I’ve been sharing daily on my food page on instagram @somehavefood. I thought it would be nice to also add in some more detail here and a place for reference. Salads are mostly assembly so I’m not going to write full recipes, just think of these as guidelines.
BALT- Quite simply greens (my faves are baby spinach and Romaine lettuce) topped with Bacon, avocado and tomatoes. Simple and so good. I almost always use the same dressing for everything. Either plain balsamic vinegar or a simple vinaigrette. Here is the recipe
1 part Balsamic vinegar
2 parts olive oil
1 tsp dijon mustard
salt and pepper (black pepper and Cameroon)
Chopped pitted dates if I have them on hand
and a little minced garlic.
A vigorous shake and we are good to go. It tastes better with each passing day too. I use it lightly, because I find that if the vegetables are super fresh you don’t have to over compensate with dressing.
Fruits in Salads are something I absolutely adore, I’ve been doing this since my first whole30 and the possibilities are endless. . Fruits obviously add sweetness and sometimes crunch which is always a delight. I find that when I have fruit in my salad I need less dressing and sometimes go without. Get that sweet and savoury, sweet and sour, sweet and tangy flavour profile in your salads.
Proteins- I rely heavily on eggs and or chicken simply because of accessibility but I do love shrimp in my salads too. Tuna is also a great option. Well marinated and seasoned proteins will elevate your salad so definitely be mindful of that.
Extra Extra- I love adding in extras to my salads. Top with nuts for some crunchiness and healthy fats. Add some avocado. A squeeze of orange juice, sesame seeds, fresh herbs, micro-greenthe list is endless,I try to stick to a theme so my flavours aren’t all over the place.
I could write a lot more but I don’t want to overwhelm this post with tips. I hope this is somewhat helpful. Please ask me questions if you have any and I’ll do my best to answer well. Come over and join me on @somehavefood on IG for more food goodness. If you’re doing the september whole30 do let me know how it’s going