One of my favorite things about the arrival of summer is all the beautiful, crisp salad greens at the farmers market. I absolutely love to eat salads, but how can you turn a salad into a full meal that is truly satisfying?
The trick is to make sure you add enough protein, fat and carbohydrates to your salad so it is still a perfectly balanced meal.
There are dozens of healthy additions you can use to make your salad more filling and delicious. Here are 10 of my favorites.
10 Ways To Make Your Salad More Satisfying
- Warm ingredients Grilled or sauteed onions, peppers, mushrooms and meats wilt salad greens and make them slightly warm, adding depth and character to an otherwise boring salad.
- Brown rice Adding 1/2 cup of warm rice to a salad makes it more satisfying to eat and keeps you full for longer. Use single serving rice balls and this simple addition will add less than 2 minutes to your salad prep time.
- Nuts Walnuts and sliced almonds are my favorite, but feel free to try pecans, cashews, peanuts, pumpkin seeds or anything else that sounds interesting.
- Beans Chickpeas, black beans, edamame and other legumes are inexpensive and delicious sources of protein and fiber to add some substance to a salad.
- Avocado Half an avocado is sometimes exactly what a salad needs to take it to the next level.
- Smoked salmon For a slightly more upscale salad experience top your greens with a few slices of smoked salmon.
- Quinoa Mix in a small amount of quinoa as an accent or make it the base of a salad by adding cooked or raw veggies and greens. See my Mexican-style quinoa salad recipe.
- Grilled meats Your salad is a great place for summertime BBQ leftovers.
- Egg Boiled, fried or poached, an egg is a wonderful way to make your salad more substantial. See my Summer salad with poached egg recipe.
- Sardines Canned fish is one of the easiest ways to get extra protein and omega-3 oils in your salad. Here are 6 reasons to eat more sardines.
How do you make your salads more hearty?
This article was originally published June 8, 2009.