It’s taken me a long time to perfect my salad game. Don’t you just hate when you end up with a bowl of limp greens that leaves you feeling unsatisfied? Me too. Well after many failed salad attempts, I’ve finally come up with a foolproof formula that makes me look forward to eating my vegetables.
My Perfect Salad Formula
Greens + Crunch + Fruit + Fat + Oil + Acid + Salt & Pepper + Protein (optional)
For me, the number one thing that either makes me love or hate a salad is its crunch level. I need crunch. By adding a little sweetness with fruit, I find myself getting the best of both the sweet and savory worlds. And call me crazy, but I’ve found that sprinkling a dash of salt and pepper on my greens really brings out the flavor of my concoction. I love it!
For this salad, I use a mix of baby kale & spinach (greens), pepitas (crunch), red onion (more crunch!), strawberries (fruit), avocado (fat), and dress it with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil (oil), and balsamic vinegar (acid) and finish it with a sprinkle of salt & pepper. If I’m eating this as a side, that’s all I add! But for a complete meal, I think a quick pan-seared steak (protein) makes this salad a home run.
- 3 cups baby kale & spinach mix (85 g): $.84
- 5 medium sliced strawberries (60 g): $.26
- 1 tbsp chopped red onion (10 g): $.02
- 1/4 sliced avocado (50 g): $.31
- 1 tbsp pepitas (8 g): $.11
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (14 g): $.11
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar (16 g): $.13
- Dash of salt, to taste
- Sprinkle of pepper, to taste
- 3 oz seared steak (85 g): $1.50
- 3 oz roasted chicken breast (85 g): $.75
- 3 oz grilled shrimp (85 g): $1.50
- In a large bowl (like serving bowl size!), add baby kale and spinach.
- Layer greens with strawberries, red onion, avocado, and pepitas.
- Drizzle salad with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste. (This is key! Since adding S&P to my salads, I gobble them up so quickly.)
- If wanting to make a complete meal, top with protein.
- Pepitas are shelled pumpkin seeds. I buy mine at Trader Joe's.
- This serves 2 as a side or 1 as a meal with the addition of protein.
- Total Servings: 2 | Total Cost: $1.78 | Cost per Serving: $.89
Curious where I get my prices from? Even though I may have found an ingredient cheaper, to keep things simple, I’ve calculated all costs based on my Budget Grocery Price List, my list of maximum prices I’ll pay for any groceries.
Related Post: Crunchy Arugula & Pear Salad
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