You know what? Healthy eating doesn’t always have to be synonymous with boring. Of course if you’re making your salad the same way each time, you’re going to get weary and end up binging on take out, just to break the rut. However, if you’re keeping things exciting with your salad, you won’t ever want anything unhealthy for your lunch again.

These are the basic components of a good, balanced salad:

  • The greens (a salad can’t always have iceberg lettuce!)
  • The crunch (and not just from the greens: think seeds and nuts)
  • The smoothness (a bit of healthy cheese to get your dairy)
  • The dressing (something exciting to bring it all together)
  • The protein (optional, but makes your meal more wholesome)

Now as long as you’ve got all of the 5 components, you can play around with so many different recipes! Here are 4 examples.

CHOPPED SPINACH APPLE SALAD

My favorite comfort food. Toss together:

  • A handful of baby spinach
  • One sliced apple
  • Sliced red onions
  • A tablespoon of cubed feta cheese
  • A sprinkling of red currants
  • A sprinkling of walnuts
  • A drizzle of olive oil based vinaigrette

Find the detailed recipe here.

THE RAINBOW CHICKEN SALAD

Nutritionists say that the more colors you have on your plate, the better it is for you. This salad really drives the point home with a few ingredients:

  • A bowl of halved grapes
  • A handful of lettuce of any kind
  • Half a cup of chopped almonds
  • Half a cup of blueberries (or any berry that you can find!)
  • 8 ounces of grilled chicken (cooked in very little to no oil)

This honey mustard dressing is what makes it DELICIOUS! Full recipe here.

ASIAN CHICKPEA SALAD

For those of you who aren’t the biggest fans of salads, this recipe is a nice way to ease yourself into healthy eating! For a channa chat with a twist, you just need:

  • A cup of chickpeas
  • A cup of green bell pepper
  • A cup of shredded red cabbage
  • A cup of broccoli
  • A handful of cashews

This salad is served with miso dressing; find the recipe here.

MASON JAR SALAD

Who doesn’t love a salad on the go? Learn how to layer your salad in the following way:

  • First goes the salad dressing
  • Next go your hard vegg and fruit
  • Then layer your soft vegg/fruit and nuts/seeds
  • Sprinkle cubed or crumbled cheese
  • Top with greens of your liking.

Here is a sample recipe that I love.

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