min read
March 28, 2023

How to Build A Salad That You Actually Want To Eat

The Lanby's guide to creating a nutrient-dense and mouth-watering salad.

Lanby Team
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Think of your bowl as one big sensory explosion, with the textures and consistencies of the ingredients perfectly balanced to hit just the spot — sweet/bitter, dry/hydrating, warm/cold, crunchy/softer options — so your taste buds are exploring and excited the whole time. No boring salads here. 

Step 1: Pick Your Greens 

Your greens make up the base of your salad. They add a great amount of volume and nutrition to the meal, without the calories. We suggest picking two to maximize your sensory experience: one bitter and tastier, the other lighter and crunchier.

Bitter greens tend to be denser, darker, and more nutritious: baby spinach, kale, Swiss chard, watercress greens, arugula. 

Crunchy greens are typically more satisfying and hydrating: baby gem, bib lettuce, romaine, iceberg.

Step 2: Add Your Protein 

Protein is essential to building a salad from a satiety standpoint. It also contributes to its flavor (and texture!) profile.

Fish: salmon, tuna, sardines

Chicken: grilled or roasted

Tofu: extra firm, sautéed or roasted 

Nuts/seeds: pepitas, walnuts, cashews, hemp hearts 

Legumes: lentils, chickpeas, black beans 

Step 3: Fill Up On Color

Add at least two different colors, but shoot for the rainbow. Rule of thumb: the more plant colors you eat, the more anti-inflammatory, detoxifying, healing compounds you'll take in. A varied color profile also implies a diverse intake of probiotics and prebiotics, which are crucial to supporting gut health. Where possible, lean heavily towards all types of green vegetables. The other colors may contribute significant nutrition value, but they should be added mindfully due to their higher sugar and starch content. 

Red (tomatoes, grapefruit, watermelon, bell pepper): These plants contain the carotenoid lycopene, which helps rid the body of toxic free radicals that age and damage your cells. 

Green (spinach, collard greens, mustard greens, turnips, green peas, avocado, honeydew melon): These are great sources of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, believed to reduce the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.   

Orange (carrots, mangos, apricots, cantaloupes, pumpkin, acorn squash, winter squash, sweet potatoes): These contain alpha carotene, which may protect against cancer, along with betacarotene, which the body converts into vitamin A. 

Orange/Yellow (pineapple, oranges, tangerines, peaches, papayas, nectarines): These contain beta crypothanxin, which helps facilitate cellular communication. 

Red/Purple (beets, eggplant, purple grapes, red wine, prunes, cranberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, red apples): These are loaded with powerful antioxidants called anthocyanins, believed to protect against heart disease by preventing blood clots. 

Cruciferous Greens (broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, bok choy, kale): These contain chemicals called sulforaphane, isocyanate, and indoles, all of which help fend off cancer by inhibiting carcinogens. 

White/Green (leeks, scallions, garlic, onion, celery, pears, white wine vinegar, endive, chives): The onion family contains allicin, which has anti-tumor properties. Other foods in this group contain antioxidant flavonoids, including quercetin and kaempferol. 

Step 4: Dress It Up 

Your dressing ties the rest of the ingredients together. It could include some combination of:

Oil: Extra virgin olive oil, sesame oil, avocado oil 

Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar, rice vinegar, white vinegar, red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar 

Paste: Miso, nut butter, tahini 

Citrus: Lime or lemon 

Spices: Salt, pepper, ginger, garlic, cumin, sriracha, soy sauce

Still need inspiration for nutritious and delicious meals? Book a consult call with The Lanby to see how our members thrive with a personalized wellness plan from our nutritionist. 

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If you're curious to learn more about The Lanby, book a free consult call and we'll chat about how The Lanby can be your personalized long term health and wellness partner.

The Lanby Editorial Team