Fresh Start: 7 Day Salad Challenge

7 Day Salad Challenge

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One easy step you can take to up your nutrition game is to eat a salad with every meal. Yes, I said every meal. Sound intimidating? You'll be surprised at how a little time and effort spent on preparation will make it easy to whip up nutritious salads all week long. Try a 7 Day Salad Challenge by eating a salad with every meal. They don't need to be elaborate to be good for you so keep it simple and you may find yourself with a new healthy habit.
 
First, you need to have the right tools. Sharp knives and cutting boards are musts, but my secret weapon for efficient salad prep is a food chopper. I love these things! They work great on onions, tomatoes, carrots, peppers, and tons more. Having lots of small reusable containers around is also important. I prefer glass containers. Colored lids make it easy to color code and can be helpful when you are looking for particular ingredients in a fridge full from salad prep. Mason jars are also a great way to go to hold your chopped veggies. 
 
Now that we've got tools covered, on to the good stuff - the food! We'll give you some recipe ideas, but it really just comes down to combining healthy ingredients that you love. Stock up on your favorite ingredients from the categories listed below, then mix and match to find combos that you love. Salads are also an excellent opportunity to discover new favorites. 
 

Suggested Ingredients

  • Vegetables
  • Leafy Greens
  • Grains
  • Legumes
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Fruit

Dressings Ingredients

  • Vinegar (serveral varieties)
  • Citrus Fruits
  • Herbs
  • Tahini
  • Essential Oils

Tips

  • Do as much of of the chopping and rinsing as you can at the beginning of the week.
  • Once a month, cook your grains in large batches then freeze in smaller portions. Thaw the amount you need on a weekly basis.
  • Use essential oils to bump up the flavor in your salad dressings. The citrus (Lemon, Wild Orange, Lime, etc.) and herb (Basil, Cilantro, Thyme, etc.) oils are delicious in salad dressings.
  • If using canned beans, open the cans, rinse the beans, then store in the refrigerator for easy access.
  • Prepare a good variety of toppings so you don't end up eating the exact same salad with every meal. Mixing it up will keep your taste buds from getting bored.
  • Place your containers on a tray or baking sheet before putting them in the refrigerator. It is much quicker to take out one tray than several small containers.
  • Avoid salad dressings that contain vegetable oil.
  • If time is short, purchase pre-washed and chopped vegetables from your grocer's produce department. Great short cut! 

Recipe Ideas

It's always fun to just get creative with your salad ingredients, but it's also nice to have a few recipes to get you going or for those weeks when you just need it already figured out for you. These recipes look amazing! 

And, if you thought eating a plant-based diet meant you could never again have creamy salad dressings, think again...

Plant-based Ranch Dressing

Ingredients:
  • 1/4 c hemp seeds
  • 1 can white beans
  • 1 drop Lemon Essential Oil
  • 1 t dried dill
  • 1/2 t garlic powder
  • 4-6 T water
  • Salt to taste
Directions:

Blend hemp seeds, white beans, essential oil, dill, and garlic in a food processor. Slowly add water until desired consistency is reached. Salt to taste. 

Is your mouth watering yet? Start your 7 day Salad Challenge today!

 

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