Start your new year with easy-to-make gourmet salads! Eating a rainbow of color can help you get the proper nutrition you need to help keep your brain sharp. “Make-it-easy” by assembling these items in advance:
Get it together!
Stock one corner of your fridge with ready-to-go salad items like:
- Greens: spinach, arugula, romaine, kale, mixed baby greens
- Veggies: washed and chopped, colorful variety, stored in air-sealed container
- Beans/legumes: lentils, garbanzo, edamame, kidney beans (canned, low sodium)
- Protein: Omega-3 fatty acid rich canned wild-caught tuna, salmon, or sardines; cooked turkey or chicken, hard-boiled eggs, tofu
- Good Fats: avocado, olives, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sliced almonds
Mix-n-match the magic!
At night, take a little of this-and-that from your salad bar. You’ll sleep better knowing you’ve prepared something healthy for the next day.
- Assemble in layers: greens, veggies, proteins and fats. Keep it layered or shake it up when you’re ready to eat.
- Make your own: salad dressing with olive oil, flaxseed, or walnut oil and vinegar in a ratio of 2 to 1. Add a little lemon juice or Dijon mustard.
- Add herbs: oregano, cilantro, basil, mint or dill. ¼ cup chopped fresh or 1 teaspoon dried.
Use your noodle!
Be creative. Change your combination of greens, veggies and toppings frequently.
- Use fun containers: Be the envy of the office by using old-fashioned, yet trendy mason jars. You might inspire others!
- Keep it fresh: Store your homemade dressing at work.
- Add leftovers: Save time and money by tossing in last night’s cooked vegetables, brown rice or noodles.
- Go green (or red): Make single color salads like green (spinach, kale, broccoli, green beans, edamame, walnuts) or red (mixed baby lettuces, radicchio, kidney beans, red peppers, cranberries)
- Add “good bacteria”: fermented foods like Kimchi, sauerkraut, tempeh and apple cider vinegar may help your digestive health
Stay motivated to improve your nutrition pillar and eat more brain healthy foods this year. Find other great ideas and recipes at healthybrains.org/recipes.