Transforming a Salad into a Meal

Leave the magic wand and the hocus pocus at home. This magic trick only requires a little kitchen know-how.

What comes to mind when you hear the word “salad”? More than likely, you consider this green dish to be little more than an appetizer, a side dish to the real part of your meal. But with a little work, you can take your sidelined salad and turn it into a main attraction that will please your palate and have your guests begging for more.

So how do you take a salad from ordinary side dish to extraordinary meal?

Meat, Please

For the most part, salads are rather meatless creations. If you want your salad to pack enough punch to be considered a meal, the easiest way to do it is with a little meat. A very popular choice for this is chicken. However, you can add whatever meat you can imagine. From shrimp to steak, you can use any meat for a meal-worthy salad. Just remember not to overload your salad with meat. After all, it’s a salad first and foremost, so lettuce and other veggies should be at the forefront.

Not a meat eater? Toss in some of your favorite meat substitute. From soy-based products to tofu and hummus, you can get the flavor and fulfilled feeling you want from your salad-centric meal.

Color Me Full

Anyone can toss a little salad in a bowl and call it a salad. Unfortunately, this is not going to cut it if you’re going for the full-meal effect. In order to have a bona fide salad for a meal, you’re going to have to let your salad branch out into a wider color palate.

This means tomatoes, onions, corn, peppers, radishes, and carrots. It can also mean hard-boiled egg, goat cheese, and almonds. And don’t forget about blueberries, grapes, avocados, strawberries, oranges, and apples. To give your salad some oomph, you can never go wrong when you add some extra color. At the same time your salad increases in aesthetic beauty, you’ll add to the flavor and variety of nutrients offered in your big, bad salad.

Top It Well

The finishing piece to your salad-turned-meal is the dressing. While it may be tempting to let a store-bought salad dressing finish off your creation, you may want something more exciting. If you want to make sure the effort you put into your salad pays off fully, do a little research to find out what flavor dressing would go best with the variety of foods in your salad.

You may find that a pre-made dressing does just fine. Then again, you may come across a killer dressing that you have to make on your own. Don’t wimp out and let your salad suffer. Take control of your salad destiny and be willing to invest as much time in creating your salad dressing as you did with your salad. It will ensure every plate is cleared and every mouth ends in a contented smile.

A Little More Besides

Treating salad as a meal may be a difficult concept to grasp. If you’re having a hard time eating nothing but salad for your meal, take heart! It is possible to keep salad as the center of your meal without losing out on your other favorite foods.

To do this, make sure your salad is on the largest plate at your table. So if you use a salad plate for your salad, you’ll need a smaller plate or a bowl for your other items. Once you figure out what else you just have to eat, place it in a bowl or plate and keep this second dish to one side or the other – wherever you typically place your salad. This will help your hunger stay focused on the healthy, gorgeous, colorful salad right under your nose.

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