Salads are seen as the epitome of health. You can find them as the “healthy option” on any menu. Rather than have a burger with fries, you can often have it with a salad. McDonald’s have even created a whole range of them so the health conscious audience has been catered for. In fact, celebrities and models often choose salads without dressing so that they can keep their calories low to maintain a skinny (often underweight) physique… and as we know, skinny doesn’t always equal healthy.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love a salad and I eat them often. Particularly if I’m travelling, or it’s hot and I want something fresh or I’m too lazy to cook. Why? Because it is fresh, full of colour, has great flavour and texture and is quick to make. But regular salads used to often leave me feeling hungry, being nothing more than a side dish. I would eat one and shortly after, feel hungry again. They were lettuce leaves, some tomato, cucumber, maybe some olives, maybe even a few pieces of chicken. Not much substance, not much fat – so not very filling.
My salad, however, is awesome. So here come the instructions on how to pimp your salad with ingredients that will take no time to prepare and will keep you going for hours!
As mentioned, it has lots of great fats, different varieties of veggies and, like a salad bar, can be mixed and matched any way you like really. It includes fats, proteins and carbs but is LCHF/keto approved. I also make it big. It has to be a meal for me and then I eat until I am satiated.
Here we go, the easy FATTY SALAD:
This nutrition label is based on the protein choice of sardines and dressing of olive oil and apple cider vinegar plus most of the ingredients on the list. The carbs may look high but keep in mind that this is your main meal (and if side dish only, it is cut in half again). Also, the fibre content is high and sugars are all natural. However, if you do want to minimise all carbs, take out higher carb veggies like tomatoes and bell peppers.
I use cronometer for all my nutrient calculations.
Given that it’s a salad, there is heaps of choice as to what you put in it. I recommend having many servings of good fats, quality low carb options and one-two sources of quality protein. You can choose from the list below…
- Lettuce of choice but I like the following (a combo of texture and taste which also ensures a variety of nutrients):
- Butter head (because it is soft and buttery tasting)
- Rocket (or arugula)
I like to mix a bunch of these lettuce leaves however use what you have on hand. If you have only spinach, that is just fine. Make sure you beef it up with the additional ingredients.
- 1 large egg (duck eggs are great)
- 1 avocado
- 8 olives (black or green)
- Handful of pine nuts (cooked in fat of choice) – don’t skip this, it’s my FAVOURITE addition!
- A sprinkling of any additional seeds you prefer (sesame, sunflower, pepitas etc)
Carb options (choose your faves):
- 1/4 red or yellow bell pepper
- 1/2 cucumber
- 1/2 tomato or a few cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 red onion
- A few artichoke hearts
- 1/2 cup raw broccoli florets
- 1/2 cup raw cauliflower florets
- 1/2 cup cooked veggies like pumpkin
- coriander (cilantro)/parsley or other herbs of choice – these two are my favourites
- sprouts (any)
Fermented veggies options:
- A couple of gherkins (can be in place of cucumber)
- 1 tsp. capers
- 1 tbsp. sauerkraut
My go to protein is sardines. I love love love them (and so this is what I am basing the nutritional info on).
Sardines are such a powerhouse when it comes to nutrition. I never used to love them but that was based mainly on the fact that they smell when you open the tin. However, when you eat them, they are super yummy. Some quick tidbits from Dr. Axe [1.]:
- 190 calories
- 23 grams of protein
- 11 grams of fat
- 338% vitamin B12
- 87% selenium
- 64% phosphorus
- 61% omega-3 fats
- 44% vitamin D
- 35% calcium
- 30% vitamin B3
- 24% iodine
- 19% copper
- 16% choline
And all this comes from around 1 tin of sardines!
The high levels of omega 3s help with inflammation, disease prevention and heart health. The vitamins and minerals provide the body with the capability to have cells that function optimally, giving you energy and vitality, keep bones healthy, moods ups, blood sugar under control AND, the best bit, they are one fish that is less likely to be contaminated (why I don’t eat tuna) and is quite sustainable for the environment too.
Vitamin B12 is something most vegetarians are deficient in (it can ONLY be obtained from animal products – veggies may need to supplement if not eating eggs or dairy, vegans will definitely need to supplement) but check out how much a tin of sardines gives you!!
But if you chose to forgo the delicious fish option, you could also use the following:
- 100g of fatty steak (like rib-eye) cooked like this and sliced into pieces (~15g fat)
- 3-4 medium chicken wings (~25g fat)
- 1 cup smoked salmon (~5.9g fat)
- 1 fillet of cooked salmon (~25g fat)
- 2 small lamb chops (~40g fat)
- 2-4 bacon strips (6-12g fat)
- Prosciutto crudo (Parma or San Daniele) (15-20g fat)
- Olive oil
- Avocado oil
- Apple cider vinegar
- Chili pepper
- Lemon or lime
- Home made mayonnaise
See below for the full instructions on how to construct the salad…
Do you love salads and pimp your on a regular basis? If you don’t you should.
Give this one a try and let me know how you go 🙂
With love (and healthy fats), Bianca x
Relevant recipe links: