Can we talk about salads? I myself have enjoyed any number of entree salads in my time… in restaurants. At home? Not so much. Sure, all your basic ingredients are there – lettuce, tomato, cheese, dressing – but historically I’ve found it well nigh impossible to create something satisfying. Healthy, sure, no problem, but if I’m not ALSO satisfied, what good does that do? I’m sure some people eat purely for nutrition with no thought for enjoyment, but as far as I’m concerned that’s no way to live.
But there’s nothing like a salad for maintaining a healthy and nutritious diet, so a few months ago I set off on a mission to formulate a GOOD salad at home. Something easy that doesn’t require tracking down elusive ingredients. Something that would take me a ton of time in the morning. AND I HAVE FOUND THE KEY.
My friends, it is the humble sweet potato.
In addition to being one of the most nutrient-dense foods available to man, these things are FREAKING DELICIOUS to begin with. I’m telling you: a nuke a sweet potato and mash it into a salad, and your lunch is now warm, tasty, filling, and FULL OF JOY.
See? A basic salad of spinach and mozzarella with a vinegar-and-oil dressing. Plus sweet potato? Glory. If you’re feeling extra indulgent and ready to protein it up, slap a chicken breast in there.
See? Doesn’t that look vibrant and awesome for all that it’s a homemade salad?
On the off chance you’re one of those weirdos who doesn’t like sweet potatoes (I say this with love because my boyfriend numbers among you; no, but seriously, what’s wrong with you?), I have found one or two other iterations that, if not as filling as the sweet potato salad variation, at least make things more interesting. I’ve used guacamole, barbecue sauce, and marinara as salad dressings; all of these worked pretty well. Oh, and I can’t overemphasize the importance of remembering to add spices. A dash of salt and/or a garlic-based blend can work wonders for your taste buds.
This is the plant-based wisdom that I impart to you. Go. Try it. Tell me what you think.
What do you put in your salad that doesn’t suck?
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