As a dietitian working in a hospital, I come across many people who tell me they do not like vegetables, NONE, ZERO, ZIP. I find this hard to believe, because there are SO many different vegetables and SO many ways to prepare them and incorporate them into meals. I actually feel sorry for these people and all the delicious goodness they are missing out, both with taste and nutrients.
One of the easiest ways to incorporate vegetables into your diet is a salad. The options of what a salad can contain are endless, and I’m going to give you just a few ideas to get you going and then you can build on them with your own.
1) Start with a base of vegetables. Usually this is some type of green (spinach, romaine, arugula, kale) but if you don’t like greens, then don’t add them to your salad. Add other chopped vegetables like carrots, zucchini, peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, etc. Take any vegetable that you enjoy, and throw it on there.
2) Add some protein. This can be a lean meat like chicken or tuna, beans (black and garbanzo are my favorites), hard boiled egg, edamame, tofu, nuts, etc, again the options are limitless. But here you want to be careful with adding TOO much protein. At one meal you really don’t need your protein serving to be bigger than the palm of your hand (not including fingers/thumb)
3) Add some toppings! This is where you can get really creative, because honestly anything goes! Try some fruits like strawberries, pears, apples. Try some cheese like feta, goat, or cheddar. Try some grains like quinoa, couscous, or barley. Add some healthy fats like avocado or an olive oil vinaigrette. Again here you need to be cautious of how much you are adding, you want to add enough to give your salad a personality but not too much that it becomes insane.
Here is my salad from the other night:
Baby Spinach + Romaine +Purple Cabbage + Cherry Tomatoes + Radishes +Broccoli + Carrots + Shredded Cheddar Cheese and then I topped it all off with about a tbsp of light ranch dressing. LOVE salads! Especially during the summer when I only want cold foods to eat.
What is your favorite salad topping?