How to build a healthy salad

How to build a healthy salad and gut-friendly dressing

It’s so easy to design your own delicious salads and it really doesn’t take long. There’s no need to go any where near a salad bar chain.

It’s so easy to design your own delicious salads and it really doesn’t take long. There’s no need to go any where near a salad bar chain. It’s just as affordable to create a healthy salad using the freshest, most nutritious ingredients, minus the sugar and salt-laden dressings. Just think of it simply, all you really need to do is work more vegetables into your life and then just drizzle them with smart fats.

If you’re looking to get out of your salad rut, here are my top tips for building a healthy salad from scratch. You’ll soon realise it’s a snap!

How to build a healthy salad

• Choose a base such as mixed leafy greens, baby spinach, kale or rocket (arugula). You can mix and match your own by using three different varieties. The basic formula is to use a milder lettuce like butter or cos to start and then add a darker green such as romaine or spinach or kale, then top it off with a handful of peppery greens like rocket, dandelion greens or radicchio.
• Add crunch with essential nutrients like beans, cauliflower, carrot, celery, cucumber, or onion. If you’re looking for gut friendly vegetables then roasting them first to make them easier to digest is the key.
• Next, add a good quality protein such as quinoa, buckwheat, brown rice, eggs or chickpeas.
• Drop in some good fats like avocado, flaxseed oil, olive oil or tahini.
• Sprinkle on some activated nuts or seeds for toppings, or have a look at some  Koja Salad Toppers.
• Green it up further by adding flavoursome herbs such as mint, basil, coriander (cilantro) or parsley.
• Toss and enjoy.

Speaking of toppings, if you haven’t already, you’ll happily farewell processed bacon once you’ve had a taste of the Supercharged Caesar Salad. Fried tempeh with tamari gives the exact hit of saltiness needed to boost the flavour in this vegan-friendly twist on the original.

Simple Vegan Caesar

Serves 4
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 block of tempeh, chopped into (1/4 inch) cubes
3 tablespoons wheat-free tamari
1 Cos lettuce, washed, dried and torn
1 small bunch shallots, roughly chopped

Dressing

3 tablespoons almond butter
1 tsp Heal Your Gut powder
2 small garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
2 tablespoons wheat-free tamari
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons sugar-free Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons filtered water
2 tablespoons flaxseed oil
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Method

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat and fry the tempeh for five to ten minutes, or until golden. Add the tamari and heat until warm. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

To make the dressing, mix all the dressing ingredients together in a bowl.

Place the cos and shallots in a bowl and spoon over the dressing, tossing to ensure the salad is evenly coated. Sprinkle the cooled tempeh over the top and serve.