Your Own Salad Bar

I suppose because everybody’s trying to turn over a new leaf this time of year (pun intended), there have been a lot of articles about eating healthy. Often the theme is getting more vegetables into your diet. One easy way to do this is by making interesting salads.

You Don’t have to stick to the same old ingredients. Be creative and go wild. Add protein and you’ve got a whole meal. I try to make a big salad two or three times a week, either for lunch or dinner. I usually use hearts of romaine for the greens because they keep well in the fridge. I slice up about three-fourths of a heart and put it in the bowl, then add all sorts of interesting accompaniments: shredded carrots, julienne pickled beets, watercress, sliced green onion, cucumber, tomatoes (in winter the miniature ones are best–cut in half), sliced radishes, pine nuts, sliced almonds, candied walnuts, canned chick peas, any leftover vegetables you have around such as green beans or corn. If you like, you can add some croutons.

Apple or pear cubes are also good. Or try sliced strawberries. You might also like mandarin oranges. If my husband would eat raw broccoli, cauliflower, peppers or mushrooms, I’d add them as well.

I might use some of the above to make a side salad, but I much prefer to add protein and have the salad as the main dish. The salad pictured above has strips of steak (which I brought home from a restaurant dinner two days before). I can never finish a steak, so I know a lot of it will go into a salad. Other options are small pieces of chicken, cubes of beef, pork roast, or ham, strips of deli meat such as ham or corned beef, canned or cooked fresh salmon, crumbled feta or blue cheese, chopped egg or egg salad. For the latter, I’d serve separately and add to each bowl. The same goes for potato salad (not a protein but a nice addition) or tuna salad.

Of course you can buy a salad dressing, but I like making my own. I do it the easy way by putting two or three tablespoons of olive oil in the bottom of the salad bowl and adding balsamic vinegar to taste. I also stir in a quarter cup of crumbled feta or blue cheese and a teaspoon and a half of Italian seasoning. After stirring, I add the romaine lettuce and toss with the dressing. (Really, a good salad does not need a ton of dressing.) I cut or chop the other ingredients and add, tossing occasionally as I go.

Salads are a quick and easy meal–with the added benefit that they’re good for you.
I’d like to hear any other suggestions you have for ingredients.

Rebecca York’s latest release is Marissa Unbound, one of her medieval fantasies.

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About Rebecca York

NY Times & USA Today best-seller, Rebecca York, is the author of over 150 books. She has written paranormal romantic thrillers for Berkley and romantic thrillers for Harlequin Intrigue. Her romantic-suspense series, Decorah Security, is set at a detective agency where agents have paranormal powers or work paranormal cases. She also writes an Off-World series where each story is a science fiction romance taking place on a distant planet in the far future.  She also writes the Unbound series for Changeling Press.  View website

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