Last time, we covered the basics about greens and even a simple dressing recipe. Now we are ready for step 2: adding up to 7 basic veggies to your salad. We’re going to jazz things up a little with our most basic toppings that give you a flavor and nutrient boost but don’t take more than a few quick seconds of prep time.
Wash and Go – No Slicing or Peeling Required
Prep time: <10 seconds to rinse and pat dry
1. Cherry or Grape Tomatoes
- Reasons to love them: sweet, always available at Houston grocery stores, vitamin C
- Bonus points: try a pack with a variety of colors for extra flavor and nutrients
- Reasons to love them: high in protein and fiber, typically high in trace minerals and enzymes
- Bonus points: try radish or mustard sprouts for extra zing. A wide variety of sprouts can usually be found at the farmer’s market.
Slice of Life – No Peeling Required
Prep time: <1 minute per vegetable to rinse, pat dry, and slice
- Reasons to love them: vitamin K, extra hydration thanks to high water content
- Bonus points: save a few slices to add to a glass of water or iced tea for a treat, or keep a few slices in the freezer to soothe tired eyes
- Reasons to love them: vitamin C, anthocyanins (we’ll talk about those in the future), spicy zing
- Bonus points: try radish slices on their own with a sprinkle pf salt, chopped fresh herbs, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil – a healthy alternative to chips or crackers
- Reasons to love it: vitamin B6, calcium, zinc, and magnesium
- Bonus points: use a vegetable peeler to shave asparagus into thin slices and toss with salad greens or even pasta
- Don’t forget to: cut off the tough ends
Worth the Effort – Slicing and Peeling/Seeding Required
Prep time: >2 minutes per vegetable to rinse, pat dry, and slice/seed/peel
1. Bell Peppers
- Reasons to love them: vitamin C, folate, Vitamin K
- Bonus points: mix up your colors for a healthy boost!
- Don’t forget to: take out the white inner ribs – they can taste pretty bitter
- Reasons to love them: vitamin A…did you ever see a rabbit wearing glasses?
- Bonus points: while you’re preparing your carrots for your salad, slice up some carrot sticks to have ready for snacktime
- Don’t forget to: scrub your carrots well if you aren’t peeling them, and save the leafy tops for your next soup (yes, really!)