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How to Make a Spring Salad That's Actually Filling

How to Make a Spring Salad That's Actually Filling

Have you ever made a spring salad only to find yourself still hungry shortly after finishing it? Do you feel like healthy eating means feeling hungry all the time? Let us walk you through how to make a spring salad that is both delicious and filling.


The key to making a satisfying salad is to include ingredients that have a good amount of protein.  It’s an essential macronutrient that helps keep us feeling full and satisfied.


Step 1: Choose your base

Start by choosing a hearty base for your salad. Opt for a mixture of greens like kale, spinach, or arugula. These greens add texture, flavor, and are packed with nutrients. Spinach in particular is an excellent source of vitamin K which is important for healthy bones. Some research suggests that people who eat more vitamin K rich foods are less likely to break a hip, than those who eat less. 


Step 2: Add your protein

Next, add protein-rich ingredients to your salad. Choose from options like grilled chicken, chickpeas, tofu, or quinoa. Grilled chicken adds a savory flavor while chickpeas or tofu add a nutty flavor to the salad. Like animal protein, quinoa, is a complete protein, meaning it contains all the essential amino acids our body needs and it can be toasted for an interesting crunch. Plant sources of protein have some, but not all, amino acids that make up complete proteins needed to build and maintain muscle.  So be sure to vary your sources. 


Step 3: Choose your veggies

We can't forget about the veggies! Add your favorite vegetables to your salad for a nutrient-rich and filling boost without a lot of calories. Carrots, bell peppers, tomatoes, and cucumbers are all great options. Mushroom lovers can add sliced portobellos to their salad. Roasted vegetables, like sweet potatoes or broccoli, can add variety and texture to the salad too.


Step 4: Add some crunch

Crunchy ingredients like nuts, seeds, and croutons can add some texture to an otherwise softer salad. Sliced almonds or pecans, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds add a dose of healthy fats and fiber while toasted whole grain pita “croutons” make great additions too. Note portion sizes when it comes to adding these ingredients to avoid overindulging.


Step 5: Dress it up

Finally, add a dressing to your salad to tie all the flavors together. Be mindful of using too much dressing, as it can quickly add unnecessary calories and sugar to the otherwise healthy salad. This creamy feta dressing is a fan favorite if you’re up for making your own!  But if you prefer a more classic vinaigrette of olive oil and vinegar, you can dress up your salad with fruit such as strawberries, pineapple or grapes for a pop of sweetness and visual interest!


Published March 1, 2024

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