Pooja Motl | Author. Healthy Food Chef. Mother-Daughter STEM Advocacy. Value and Virtues of Motherhood.

Everyday Salad-Making Made Easy

Question: How to make sure you can eat and enjoy a salad EVERYDAY?

I’m trying to eat very mindfully these days. What this means is that before I put food into my mouth, I take a split-second to think about it and what I’m doing. So for example, at breakfast, even though I’m starving and would eat anything in sight, I think for a quick second about what I should be putting into my body (vegetables, fruit, good fats – not bread/toast/bagels (refined wheat) for example) and what will be equally delicious. I am also trying to quit snacking and minimizing eating between meals if and when possible – sometimes I can’t do this because I’m just too darn hungry – especially if I went to the gym earlier in the day for instance. One of the most important thing to think about when I’m eating mindfully and eating proper meals is to make sure I am getting enough vegetables inside me. It may sound simple, but many many days have gone by with breakfast being eggs and fruit, lunch – soup, and dinner light or a protein and more fruit. Enter the Quick and Mandatory Salad. I’ve been trying to eat a salad for dinner as religiously as I can. Here are some of the ways I’ve been going about it which have made this a really enjoyable and delicious ritual:

  • I make my own dressing – and save enough for a few days. The dressing I’ve been obsessed with making lately is made with just 4 ingredients: A small dose of olive oil, splash of red wine vinegar, a small scoop of spicy mustard (you can use dijon or similar), and about a teaspoon or less of raw honey. (Depending on how big your salad, your taste, and how many people you are serving, you’ll have to find your favorite proportions of each – experiment but its hard to go wrong!). Dressing makes salad – its critical to have a recipe you can whip up in seconds or eating salad becomes a real test of will, not a pleasurable endeavor!
  • Leaves. I tend to choose sweet and bitter leaves like red leaf lettuce, corn salad leaves, butter head lettuce, or bitter ones such as endive, radiccio or watercress. If I choose the bitter ones, I always tend to add fruits (strawberries, nectarines, pear) to the salad to complement the bitter. Having fresh, crispy, tasty leaves is another key to great salads.
  • Obsessions. Right now I’m obsessed with radishes. Adding radishes to salad brings a nice crunchy texture and a unique refreshing spiciness. I find it very cleansing.

Here’s some inspiration for you. The picture above is a salad I’ve been making the last few days. Dressing: as above. Remaining ingredients: corn salad greens, cherry tomatoes off the vine, cucumbers, carrots.

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