5 Tips To Help Turn Sad Salads Into Satisfying Salads

October 19, 2022

Spring and summer are definitely salad seasons. New season fresh vegetables, warm weather, shared meals with friends and family make salads appealing and easy.

Unfortunately for many of us though, salads have been hijacked by diet culture. These ‘healthy’ sad salads are too often low in calories, taste and excitement.  

It’s time for that to change. As well as nutritious, salads can be filling, tasty and interesting! Ideal a made-ahead lunch, a side for dinner or a plate to share with friends. 

1. Fresh Base

Your salad base is usually leafy greens (lettuce, finely sliced cabbage etc). They’re not essential though, a variety of chopped salad veg or steamed greens can make the base too. Aim for variety here either with mixed leaves or adding some extra veg to your usual lettuce. 

  • Leafy Greens 
  • Chopped salad veg
  • Steamed and chilled greens
  • Ready-chopped bag salads


2. Carbohydrate

Adding carbs to salad is one of the easiest ways to make them a meal. A salad without carbohydrates is unlikely to feel satisfying or keep you full until your next meal. Stave away afternoon brain fog and keep your energy up by adding some leftover grains or roast veg or meal prep some options at the beginning of the week. Convenience options like microwave rice or canned legumes are nutritions options too.

  • Roasted potatoes, sweet potato, carrot
  • Grains like rice, quinoa and pasta
  • Canned or cooked chickpeas, lentils, blackbeans etc. (look for canned chickpeas that come ready-dressed!)


3. Protein

Meeting your protein requirements is best achieved by spreading it out throughout the day. Adding a high protein food like meat, fish, eggs or tofu to salad is another way to make them more filling too.

  • Sliced leftover meat
  • Canned tuna and salmon
  • Prawns
  • Boiled egg
  • Tofu (marinated and lightly fried)
  • Meatballs


4. Fats

Don’t be afraid of adding fat to salad. As well as being filling, foods high in good fats are essential in our diet and add flavour and interest too. Don’t be scared to add a high fat food to a salad or salad dressing!

  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Avocado
  • Olives
  • Feta 
  • Parmesan
  • Extra virgin olive oil


5. Flavour Bombs

The final step to saying no to sad salads is by adding flavour bombs! Take them to the next level by adding something sweet, salty or crunchy.. 

  • Sweet: sliced strawberries, grated apple, canned peaches, sultantas, dried cranberries
  • Salty: olives, feta, Parmesan, nori sheets
  • Savoury: fresh herbs, garlic, chilli, sundried tomatoes
  • Crunchy: dry roasted nuts or seeds, croutons, tortilla chips
  • Dressing: balsamic & olive oil, vinaigrette, mayonnaise, creamy yoghurt 
  • TOP TIP: Keep crunchy foods and dressings separate until you’re ready to eat


Isn’t loading up a salad with dressings and additions like croutons taking away the benefits?!

Not necessarily. Of course it’s possible to take things to the extreme by only using one vegetable, like potato and adding too much bacon, croutons and high fat dressing… but adding small amounts to an already nutritious salad is only going to help those flavours sing and, most importantly, your enjoyment of the food!

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This blog article was written by our RESIDENT NUTRITIONIST Sarah Moore.



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