Salads That Don’t Suck

By Samantha Gilbert, FNC, CHNP, CNC     Last updated on April 23rd, 2021

Salads That Don’t Suck

Are you stuck in a salad rut? I get it, it’s easy to do.

The best way to get out of said rut is to mix and match so blood sugar is stable, you’re satiated, and most importantly, you don’t get bored.

With the right flavor profile, I promise you’ll never balk at the mention of salad again.

My secret to an amazing salad consists of four components:

The base – although the kale frenzy has taken everyone by storm (enough with the 5,000 varieties of kale chips already), let’s not forget the other darlings that deserve our attention such as little gem, watercress, and arugula. I like to mix them up for an interesting twist (think sweet and peppery as in little gem and arugula). If you still must have kale, be sure to steam or saute first. As a cruciferous vegetable, kale requires heat to neutralize anti-nutrients and make it more digestible. Anti-nutrients mess with hormonal systems (the chemical messengers of the body) and you really don’t need to deal with that.

The protein – you can’t stabilize blood sugar without this important macronutrient so have fun here. Think outside the box. Don’t have time to make hard-boiled eggs? Try a 5-minute fluffy omelet. Don’t have time to bake salmon? Stash a few cans of wild sockeye in your desk when you’re in a bind and you’re good to go. My favorites include Vital Choice and Wild Planet. Leftovers are wonderful too and will save you money. Try roasting an entire chicken. After feeding your family, you should have enough leftovers for a couple days’ worth of salads.

The good stuff – you can’t have an over the top, crunchy, symphony in your mouth experience without these yummers: avocado, almonds, walnuts, pistachios, pumpkin, sunflower, or sesame seeds, roasted cherry tomatoes, julienned beets or carrots, radish, sliced snap peas, cucumber, fennel, cabbage, herbs, raw goat or sheep’s milk cheese, pepperoncini, capers, sauerkraut/kimchi. The possibilities are endless. Have fun. Experiment.

The dressing – the glue that binds all these wonderful ingredients together. Be sure to use healthier options such as olive, and stay far, far away from industrialized vegetable oils such as canola, soybean, and sunflower. Like any topping, the way you put it on really counts. Don’t just dump it on your salad. Always pour dressing on the walls of the bowl, then toss. This way your ingredients won’t get soggy with spotty saturation.

Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Arugula+dino kale+cucumber+cherry tomatoes+shredded chicken+crushed almonds+carrots+avocado+lemon cumin vinaigrette
  • Watercress+fluffy omelet+avocado+carrots+pistachios+herb vinaigrette
  • Little gem+beets+hazelnuts+roasted chicken+raw goat cheese+citrus vinaigrette
  • Arugula+steak+roasted cherry tomatoes+broccolini+crushed almonds+herb vinaigrette
  • Little gem+shredded cabbage+wild salmon+sheep milk cheese+cucumber+fresh dill+marcona almonds+lemon vinaigrette

What’s your favorite salad combo? Be sure to hit me up in the comments below with how things turn out!


6 thoughts on “Salads That Don’t Suck”

  1. Hi Sami
    My favourite salad which we just enjoyed in our 41 degree heat is. Salad leaf mix with vinagrette type dressing. On top goes orange pieces ,red salad onion,avacado and marinated chicken slices
    Try it when summer comes its yum

  2. Thanks for the salad ideas and the insights on kale, Sami! My go to is Greek salad with chicken and fresh herbs with a lemon vinaigrette. Sometimes I use arugula instead on romaine.

    1. Glad you liked my post Randa. Your go to sounds wonderful! Think I’ll try that one this week. Have a wonderful day! 🙂

  3. Great post Samantha. About 12 months ago my intuition told me to stop eating raw kale so I now braise it or sauté it. Braised kale or swiss chard is excellent!

    I did not realize the anti-nutrients in raw kale so your post was helpful in my seeing why my body was telling me to quit eating raw kale.

    Be well Samantha.

    Love and Light


    1. Thank you John! Glad my post was helpful. Not all plant foods are meant to be eaten raw. In fact, most of them are meant to be cooked! So glad you listened to your intuition, and figured out a way to make it work for you. Big hugs!

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