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Build Your Own Salad Bar

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Let's get brutally honest here…as summer hits full swing the desire to eat ice cream generally goes up and the urge to cook meals generally goes down. Unfortunately - that’s no way to live. Growing up each summer my mom would face the heat twice a week to cook up huge batches of proteins, often choosing to grill outside so it didn't steam up the house, but we also lived off salads, and were they ever good!

As an adult when I make salads at home, they're often a messy afterthought. If they include more than a pile of spinach and some whole cherry tomatoes I feel like a chef BUT when I go out and spend way too much money at a salad bar, that messy bowl of leaves, adorned with toppings feels a lot more like a well balanced meal. Since, spending too much money on salad bars is also no way to live, I recently decided to turn my fridge into salad bar designed around my macros while also being cost effective...

The beauty of this concept is that it only takes a few hours of prep to make endless high volume combinations and you can choose your toppings based on how many carbs/fats/proteins you have left. The key to getting the most delicious salad is to think outside of the box and use a variety of greens, textures, protein options, and dressings. Having 8-10 ingredients clean, chopped and ready to toss together takes the leg work out of dinner. The flexibility makes it hard to fall into macro fatigue, and you can constantly be inspired by fresh local produce. Simply throw your bowl (or tupperware) on the scale and mix away!

Here are some of our favourites for some inspiration:

  • Spinach
  • Arugula
  • Micro Greens
  • Sprouts
  • Boston Bibb
  • Romaine
  • Iceberg
  • Field Greens
  • Baby Kale
  • Herbs (Cilantro, Basil)
  • Roasted Red Pepper
  • Corn
  • Strawberries
  • Roasted Beets
  • Grilled Asparagus
  • Peaches
  • Roasted Garlic
  • Tomato
  • Green Onions
Lean Proteins
  • Chicken
  • Steak (Eye of Round, Tenderloin, Sirloin, Lean Ground Beef)
  • Tuna (Canned or Seared)
  • Boiled Eggs
  • Chilled Shrimps
Mixed Proteins
  • Crumbled Turkey Bacon
  • Skim Goats Milk Cheese
  • Black Beans
  • Edamame
  • Grilled Tofu
  • Avocado
  • Sliced Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Egg Yolks
  • Full Fat Cheese
Macro Friendly Dressing Options
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Salsa
  • Non-Fat Yoghurt with Herbs (use in place of Cesar)
  • Kraft Calorie Wise
  • Walden Farms
  • Mustard

What are your award winning salad combinations?

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Posted by Kate Hart

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