I'm going to get straight to the point today. If you want to be healthier, eat healthier, feel healthier, you need to eat more vegetables. There's no way around it. For some people, that isn't an issue but then there is also a group of people that "don't like vegetables". I hear it pretty often and the first couple of times I was surprised to hear it. How can someone just not like vegetables? All of them? There are SO many varieties, how can you just sign off a whole category of food?! That got me thinking though...
If you don't (think) you like vegetables, it's probably because you have been eating them all wrong. Before I got in the kitchen experimenting, I was primarily exposed to vegetables in two ways:
Overcooked vegetables in the form of curries.
"Salads" that consisted of iceberg lettuce, cucumbers, and carrots.
If that's what you think when you think of vegetables, I don't blame you for not liking vegetables either!
But wait!!! There is hope! That's why I'm here! I'm here to help making vegetable eating fun, delicious, and easy!
So today, I am going to teach you how to make a salad that you will ACTUALLY enjoy.
So let's get right into it. Here is the basic format for how to make a salad:
1. Greens: If you are still buying iceberg lettuce, please stop. If you want a mini upgrade, try romaine lettuce or green leaf lettuce. I usually mix a variety of greens such as arugula, kale, and green leaf lettuce (as seen in the picture below). You can even buy a box of pre-mixed greens to save time on chopping!
2. Colours: Once you have a bowl of greens, you want to make it interesting by adding colourful vegetables. A quick check to see if you are getting a variety of nutrients is by eating a variety of colours. I added red cabbage, carrots, and tomatoes for a mix of colours.
3. Nuts/Seeds: Nuts and seeds give a nice crunch to the salad while adding in a bit of protein and fats. Here, I used sunflower seeds, but you can use any other variety you have on hand.
4. Sweetness: In my opinion, this is the difference between a "meh" salad and a "great!" salad. A little bit of sweetness can come from dried or fresh fruit. Dried cranberries are one of my favourite additions. I also like adding fresh fruit such as roasted pears.
*5. Salad Dressing: So you followed the instructions above and made a fab salad, now what? You have two options: add a store bought salad dressing or kick it up a notch and make your own! You don't have to be an advanced cook to make your own salad dressing. I will be sharing a creamy and delicious salad dressing with you next week, so stay tuned for that!
Once you have the major components of a salad, change up the texture of vegetables by using different cutting methods such as:
Finely chopping kale
Tearing lettuce by hand
Using a vegetable peeler for carrots, cucumber, and zucchini
Shredding your cabbage
Using cherry tomatoes instead of chopped tomatoes to prevent a soggy salad
Bonus add ins to make it a full meal:
Beans, chickpeas, or lentils
Chicken or fish
You may notice that I didn't give you exact amounts of each ingredient. When you are making a salad during the week, the last thing you want to do is measuring every single ingredient. Start off with a bed of greens and add in other ingredients to your liking. Before you know it, you will have something that looks like this:
I hope after this, you won't be saying "I don't like vegetables"! If you make a salad that you actually enjoy, be sure to share it with me on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook by tagging me @NutritionbyNaz.
Want to be healthier and more energized? The Muslimah’s Meal Plan is a 4 week step by step guide to help you get started!