Tips on Making a Colorful Salad Bowl

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I get asked all the time "how do you make your salad bowls look so good".  You can say that I really use my plate as a way to create art, the creative side in my comes out.   

Here are my tips to create your own salad bowl

1.  Keep it simple.  I don't know about you, but sometimes when I see what is put on instagram, I think there is no way that I'll be able to recreate that, my skills only go so far.  And here is the little secret, a lot of times the dishes are curated for the photo, what I mean is that what you see on the internet is created to have a certain aesthetic look based on what their page is all about.  Bottom line use ingredients you love.  If you don't know kale, by all means, do NOT eat it.  You'll just hate your meal.

2.  Depending on when you like to grocery shop, think about the week ahead - things you can roast to save you time, pre-chopped greens, or meats you'd like to have, etc.  Make a paper list or mental list or phone list

When you are ready to build it: 

3.  Choose your green base, whether it be a mixed green bag, chopped up lettuce, baby kale, or spinach.  Warm or Cold.  You decide what you want to put on your plate.

3. Think about your side toppings.  Do you want nuts?  Roasted veggies?  Fruit?  Accent greens like green onion, microgreens?  Do you want cheese? (i sadly go without cheese due to my dairy intolerance 😭)  What about avocados or tomatoes?

4. What type of dressing will you have?  Vinegarette?  Store bought bottle?  My tip here is keep it light.  If you're veggies are seasoned well then you don't need to slather on much in this department.  

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5. Protein. Tofu or Temph, chickpeas, beans, Eggs, chicken, salmon...pick your fancy here.  I either do simple fried eggs or left over meat.  To make a good fried egg, the best is to use a cast iron pan.  But if you don't have one, you can still use a regular pan.  Make sure to oil it well and start cooking your egg.  

Assemble time

6.  Start with your base, then drizzle your dressing.   For the dressing, similar to certain toppings you put on, it can boost up your calories.  My suggestion is to stick with dressings with good wholesome ingredients and that don’t have a lot of calories to it.  When adding your protein and toppings, what I love to do is give each different item is own area on the bowl on top of the base layer.  This creates a picture.  

As far as portions go, it depends on what you follow.  Some follow a macro diet, others follow a potion control plan and others follow a holistic way of eating.  My plan is normally put a lot of the base layer on aka GREENS, then smaller portions of the toppings.  If it is nuts or cheese, I would use significantly less, like a tbsp.  I hate to say it but the calories can add up depending on what nuts or cheese you are using.  If you are adding more veggies, well pile it on, you can’t go wrong with fiber and good wholesome nutrients.  As far as protein goes I eat 2 fried eggs when I make them, and add about 1/2 cup to 1 cup of meat.  Sometimes I don’t add protein and keep it super green.  I used to follow a strict portion control plan, but I realized it didn't work for me.  So I'll take some aspects of the portion control plan and use it.  I also don't count calories.  I like to think I eat intuitively.  You will have to find what works for you and go from there.  

Time to Eat 

Make sure to have your glass of water on hand.  Take a few sips, put your phone away, and start eating.  Give yourself the time to eat your meal, to enjoy every bite.  After all you spent some good time putting together that glorious, decant, colorful, vibrant, dish that will make even Chef Ramsey bloody proud.

A good rule of thumb is if you are using a lot more of one thing that you know is high in calories then reduce the other item that is high in calories or even it out with your next meal or snack being light and/or good and wholesome