My capsule menu for the summer includes lots of salads. I use this simple salad planning system to keep our meals feeling new and fresh each time.
Step 1: Choose your theme.
Mexican, Asian, Greek, Italian, etc.
Step 2: Choose your protein, season appropriately and choose your dressing.
It’s all in the seasoning! By seasoning your meat (Chicken, Beef, Ground Meat, Fish, Sea Food) according to your chosen theme, you give each salad its own unique flavor and it feel like you are eating a new salad each night!
Some protein choices (hard boiled eggs, shrimp, crab) may not need to (or you may not want to) season. Then your variety in flavors comes from your choice of dressing.
Step 3: Choose your grain (optional).
One way to make salads into a full meal and to fill up hungry bellies, is to add a grain as a base for your salad. Choose a whole grain like brown rice, quinoa, barley or organic corn chips or add a side of whole grain sour dough bread.
Step 4: Choose your leafy green.
There are many great choices for the “salad” part of your salad. Spinach, cabbage (multiple colors), romaine, spring mix, kale…by changing up your leafy green you also keep salads new!
Step 5: Choose your toppings.
A wide variety of toppings make (and keep) salads fun. Seeds and nuts, a variety of cheeses, lots of fresh veggies, fruit (dried or fresh) and things like olives, pickles, mushrooms and beans add substance and flavor to enhance your chosen salad’s theme.
Step 6: Prepare all ingredients, but keep things separate!
This step is important to keep everyone in the family happy! Everyone has at least a few foods that “are not their favorites”. Keeping all the salad ingredients separate means that everyone can custom make a salad that they LOVE! It also means that any leftover ingredients can be easily used for another meal (prep once, eat twice!).
Build and enjoy your salad!
So far so good with our summer of salads! My kids (even the picky one) have discovered that tuna salad is good…and so is romaine lettuce!
Could your family enjoy a summer of salad?