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Summer Salads

These final few weeks of summer mean it’s time to lean into all of the remaining opportunities for summer produce (#tomatogirlsummer). Whether you’re harvesting from a garden of your own, going to a farmer’s market or enjoying what’s still for sale at the supermarket, salads are one of the first ideas that come to mind when using produce. Now let’s preface this by saying salads are NOT the only way to enjoy produce! If you prefer roasted veggies, go for it! If you prefer to add veggies to things like pasta dishes, eggs, or sandwiches, by all means, please do. But if you enjoy salads but also want to create satiating salads this post is for you! Here’s a formula when trying to create a filling and satisfying salad:

  • Produce: any fruit or vegetable you want! Truly. It can be fresh, canned, frozen, jarred… doesn’t matter as long as you like it and have access to it.

  • Protein: animal proteins such as eggs, meat or seafood; nuts and seeds; cheese; non animal proteins such as tofu, tempeh, veggie burgers.

  • Fat: salad dressing or oil and vinegar; avocado; cheese; nuts and seeds; olives.

  • Carbohydrate: croutons; beans; corn; tortilla strips; pita chips; grains such as rice, bulgur, couscous, etc. Carbohydrates can also sometimes make more sense to eat on the side such as having a dinner roll or crackers with the salad.

Some tried and true examples (feel free to make any alterations to these ideas/use them as flexible

structure). Taco salad- Produce: greens, tomatoes, peppers, onion Protein: beef, fish, tofu, cotija or cheddar cheese Fat: guacamole, avocado ranch Carbohydrate: tortilla strips, corn, beans Mandarin orange salad- Produce: greens, mandarin oranges, onion, cucumber Protein: chicken, shrimp, tempeh Fat: ginger sesame dressing, nuts Carbohydrate: wonton strips Strawberry salad- Produce: greens, onion, cucumber, tomatoes, strawberries Protein: feta, goat cheese, chicken, fish Fat: salad dressing or oil and vinegar, cheese, nuts/seeds Carbohydrate: dinner roll on the side Greek salad- Produce: greens, cucumber, onions, tomatoes, eggplant Protein: feta, lamb, chicken, beef, fish, seitan Fat: Greek dressing, tzatziki, tahini, cheese, olives Carbohydrate: pita chips on the salad or serve with pita bread on the side Cobb salad- Produce: greens, cucumber, onions, tomatoes, beets Protein: hard boiled eggs, bacon or ham, chicken, tofu, blue cheese Fat: cheese, dressing, avocado Carbohydrate: croutons There are so many more yummy combos out there! Feel free to use the structure of this framework flexibly to explore different salad ideas that work for you and your household. And remember, if having a salad alone as a meal isn’t filling or satisfying enough for you, you have permission to have a side salad alongside something that feels more satisfying. You’ll enjoy a salad much more if you’re eating it because you want to, not because you feel like you have to.


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