The three tips for helping you Eat Salads as a meal are:
- Home-made Salad Dressing
- Add Protein
When I go out to eat, I never just order a salad. I usually order a salad as an appetizer then eat my entire main course. You can guess that with today’s growing portion sizes, my waist grows. You might ask:
Why do I even order a salad?
Because everywhere you look, the experts say eat more vegetables. Eating salads are easy way to add those vegetables. Eating Salads also helps cut down on eating the larger meal and reduces your total caloric intake assuming you stop eating when your body tells you to. Yet, Salads at restaurants have always been difficult for me to order. I think it’s always, because there are so many other good things I want to eat.
What about at home? Do I eat a salad at home for a meal?
Nope. I just never really liked salads for a meal. It took me a long time to figure out why. Like any good computer training, hacking scientist, I began to study the situation.
First define the knowns: What is my normal home-made salad? For my typical salad, I’d put lettuce, green pepper, cucumber, carrots, and red onion. Then, I add a store-bought salad dressing usually a Paul Newman’s or Kraft’s dressing. So far, nothing really sticks out why I cannot eat that salad as a meal. So, I let the situation stew for a while and let my mind take over.
Fast forward to recent times, while visiting friends in Orlando, I had a great home-made salad. In fact, The salad was enough for my meal. Why was I satisfied with that salad as a meal? What was different with that salad than the salad I make?
- An ex-Disney Chef made the salad, and all I had to do was eat. (Doesn’ t it always taste better when someone else makes it?)
- The salad had crisp bacon and sunflower seeds.
- The salad had homemade dressing.
PRESTO. I have my solution, and I now eat salads for meals. All I do is ask my ex-Disney Chef friend to make salads for me and ship them from Florida to Illinois.
As much as I’d like that, the feasibility, not to mention the lettuce, starts to break down around Tennessee.
Yet, I still found my solution. If you compare my salad to the Disney chef prepared salad, What’s different? The homemade dressing and the protein, and that’s what I add to make my salad a meal. Here’s my recipe:
A Simple Salad Recipe (~175 calories)
- 3 to 6 Green Leaves of Lettuce (~115 grams)
Note you can substitute whatever lettuce you like.
- 0.5 Medium Green Pepper (~25 grams)
- 0.5 Medium Cucumber (~120 grams)
- 1 Medium Carrot (~35 grams)
- 1 Tablespoon good Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar -or- Balsamic Vinegar -or- Lemon juice
- 1 Teaspoon Italian Seasoning
- Dash of Fresh Ground Pepper (to taste)
- Dash of Fresh Ground Sea Salt (to taste)
- (optional) 2 pieces of fresh microwaved cooked bacon
- (optional) 2 tablespoons Feta Cheese
- (optional) 2 tablespoons Almonds, Sunflower Seeds, or some other seed/nut
- (optional) 1 clove fresh minced garlic
- Mix Vinegar, Olive Oil, and Italian Seasoning. and set aside.
- Rinse and Wash Vegetables
- Chop Lettuce into desired size
- Chop Green Pepper and Cucumber into bite sizes
- Use a Vegetable Peeler and Peel Carrots into thin slices
- Toss Vegetables and Dressing together in a bowl
- Add Any of your optional items (Bacon, Cheese, Almonds) and Toss Salad again
- Add Fresh Ground Pepper and Sea Salt and Toss
- Serve on a nice big plate
One benefit to home-made salad dressing, is I now have a healthier salad due to the lack of typical store-bought High Fructose Corn Syrup in my Salad Dressing.
What are my 3 tips to help you start Eating Salads as Meals?
- Make your own Salad Dressing and Use the best extra virgin olive oil you can afford. It makes a ton of difference
- Add protein to the salad. Such as: Almonds, Bacon, Chicken, Ham, Salami, and/or Cheese. The protein really helps impact the meal and accelerates your fat burn. Although, I’ll save that for a future blog post.
- Experiment to find your own tastes.
If you’d like more tips for a good salad: Eric Gower posted 7 great tips for the immaculately Dressed Salad. After reading his article, I realized that I had been doing what he suggested for the past two months, and that’s how I started eating Salads as a meal. I make my dressing count, add protein, and experiment.
Do you have any tips to help someone start eating salads as meals?