The new year is upon us, and with that comes the infamous lists of New Year’s Resolutions. 9 times out of 10 losing weight, exercising, and eating more healthy are at the top of everyone’s list. For a while we all manage to do well, but we soon get tired of eating boring, uninspiring, lack-luster salads/healthy meals; and before you know it we’ve abandoned ship and quickly run back to our old, bad eating habits.
Let’s set the record straight. Eating healthy doesn’t mean that you have to eat a salad every single day. At the same time, if you do choose to eat a salad it doesn’t have to be boring. The great thing about salads are that you can basically experiment with tons of ingredients, toss them together with some greens, and voilà you’ve created a salad!
If your focus is eating healthy, utilizing dark leafy greens such as kale and/or romaine is the way to go. Kale is fortified with vitamins C, A, and K as well as calcium, folate, and potassium. Romaine is also high in vitamin A and folate. Stay away from iceberg lettuce as it is mostly water and has no real nutritional value. Add nuts and avocados for a fun twist and boost in healthy fats. Amplify your salad by adding in dried or fresh fruits for a sweet burst of flavor you normally wouldn’t expect in a salad.
Experimenting with your food, and trying different and new combinations will help you stay on that path of clean/healthy eating. Don’t forget, summertime bodies are made in the winter and that starts in the kitchen not just the gym.
Check out my recipe below for my Kale & Romaine Salad w/ a Lemon-Dijon Vinaigrette.
2 cups of kale, chopped
2 cups of romaine, chopped
1/2 cup of quinoa, cooked
1/2 cup of pomegranate seeds
1/2 cup of dried cranberries
1/2 cup of walnuts
1 Avocado, diced
1/4 cup of feta cheese
1 pint of cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon of honey
1 shallot, minced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 lemons, juiced and the zest from 1 lemon
salt and pepper to taste
To make the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil, honey, Dijon mustard, shallot, garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, and pepper together. Set aside.
To assemble the salad: Place the kale and romaine in a large bowl. Top with quinoa, avocado, pomegranate seeds, dried cranberries, walnuts, cherry tomatoes, and feta cheese. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad, toss, and serve immediately!