With these 100+ degree temps we are experiencing here, the last thing I want to do is turn on my oven or stove and cook dinner. It’s too damn hot to roast a chicken or boil potatoes. That’s why I am turning to salads and smoothies to keep me fueled throughout the day. They are cool and refreshing, and if you do it right, they can easily be turned into a balanced meal.
Today I am sharing my top tips for how to build a drool-worthy salad into a meal so you don’t have to turn your oven on and heat up the whole house. I also have two super simple salad dressing recipes for you, made with ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen.
- Start with organic, locally grown greens: I love arugula, romaine, red leaf lettuce, spinach, and butterhead. Use whatever you can find at the farmers market, or better yet, grow the greens yourself! I also like adding fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro (both are detoxifying).
- Add colorful veggies: Make your salad interesting by adding different colors and textures. My salads ALWAYS have carrots, purple cabbage, and red peppers. That way I know I am getting a variety of phytonutrients to help fight disease. I also like adding cucumbers, celery, jicama, and tomatoes (if in season). Now, you could call it good there, but if you want a full meal you MUST follow the next 2 steps.
- Add protein: Some of my favorites are salmon and tuna (fresh or canned), shredded chicken, and hard boiled eggs. Sardines are great if you like to eat them (I’m still working on that). You could also add beans or lentils. I don’t consider them a great source of protein, but they are a good option if you don’t eat meat or eggs.
- Add healthy fats: This step is very important! Healthy fats will make your salad go a lot further in terms of fueling and satisfying your body. Examples include avocados, olives, nuts (walnuts, almonds, pecans), pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and olive oil.
- Top it off with a simple homemade salad dressing.