How to make a salad that is a FULL MEAL!

How to make a salad that is a FULL MEAL!

Easy tips and tricks on how to plate the perfect salad that will nourish your body while keeping you lean.

I literally eat salads everyday. And not only cause it’s healthy, keep you lean and all that. I do it because my body asks for it.

My body drives on healthy carbs from veggies, fats from extra virgin olive oil, fish, avocados and coconut, and protein.

I LOVE eating salads and let me tell you: NO, they are NOT BORING!

Many people have the (wrong) idea that salads = being on a diet, and a strict one!


  1. a) the word salad does not = to just a bunch of raw veggies
  2. b) if you pack it with protein and healthy fat can provide enough calories and nutrients to keep you full and nourished for long
  3. c) watch your dressing! Using fatty dressings made with mayo or other sweet sauce, can easily turn your “healthy” salad into a bowl of saturated fats and refined sugar!

So, how do we make a salad that is a full and a healthy meal? Here are a few tips I follow and that work out perfectly for me:

  1. Start with a bed of leafy greens.They’re low in calories and a good source of fiber. There are different varieties of lettuce, such as iceberg, leaf, spinach, escarole, romaine, or butter. The darker greens offer more nutrients than iceberg lettuce.

  1. Add raw vegetables. Brightly colored vegetables have flavonoids, and the dark green vegetables are lowest in calories — about 20 calories per half cup serving. Fresh green beans snap peas, carrots, radishes, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, artichokes, avocados, tomatoes, and cucumbers are all healthy salad toppings.

  1. Add fruits or berries. Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, pomegranate arils, apple slices and raisins can add vitamins and antioxidants to your salad. 

  1. Add some protein. A chopped or sliced hard-boiled egg is an excellent source of protein and fats. Also lean beef, shrimps, tuna, chicken breast or some cheese, like feta. Avoid fried meats. Go for boiled, grilled or roasted.

  1. Sprinkle a few nuts. Walnuts, pecans, almonds, or cashews add a nice crunch. Walnuts are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, and all nuts add protein and heart-healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids.

  1. Finish with salad dressing. And key here is: make your own. Don’t buy commercial salad dressing, they are full of unhealthy fats and sugars. Just go for a mix of apple cider vinegar or coconut vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, lemon juice, hemp seeds. You can also add some spices link ginger and turmeric.



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About the author:

An Italian living in China with a strong passion for cooking! Browse my 'left-overs' session for many tasty grub!. Follow her on Twitter / Facebook.