Paleo 101: The Salad

I’ve got a few new readers that I know are new to Paleo. So every now and again I plan to do Paleo 101 posts, just for them. There’s so much info out there and when you start out, it can be super overwhelming. Eating this way doesn’t have to be fussy, complicated, or look like it should be in a food magazine. It should work for you and the work it takes should suit your lifestyle. In order to do that, sometimes you have to cut the fussiness and just EAT REAL FOOD. So from here on out, look forward to easy to make meals and quick tips on making it work. 🙂
THE SALAD
One of the easiest Paleo meals to prepare is the salad. You start with a big bowl of greens. Then add some veggies, protein, and top with home made dressing. I know a lot of people get bored of salads when they go Paleo, but I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be this way. There are endless combos that will turn boring into delicious. You just need some inspiration and a little imagination.
Salads are a great way to liven up leftovers. Grilled meats, fish, roasted veggies, fruit, and even chili find themselves perched atop leafy greens in my kitchen. After all, you worked so hard to nail that perfect chicken recipe. It deserves to be enjoyed a second time in a new and exciting way.
The Basic breakdown of how I “build” my salads:

1. Leafy Greens- kale, spinach, spring mix, romaine, arugula, red leaf, butter. There are so many out there.

2. Veggies–there’s the usual: cucumber, onion, carrot, peppers. I also love mixing it up with blanched asparagus, beets, grilled zucchini, roasted broccoli, snap peas, heirloom tomatoes. There are dozens of vegetable varieties that work great in salads.

3. Protein–grilled meats, chicken/tuna salad, leftover slow cooked chicken thighs, roasted chicken, chili, brisket, hard boiled eggs.

4. Fruit–berries, apples, pears, cherries, grapefruit, oranges, mango are some of my favorites.

5. Healthy Fats–toasted coconut chips, almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, toasted pine nuts, avocado.

6. Dressing–simple oil and vinegar with a few herbs, creamy dressings with homemade mayo or avocado as the base.

I plan to blog more of my creative salads to offer some inspiration. Here’s a recent one that really hit the spot on a warm, sunny day.

Strawberry Almond Salad With Creamy Balsamic

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*measurements are approximate

The salad:
2 cups spring mix
1/2 c diced cucumber
1/4 c diced red bell pepper
1/4 c shredded carrot
Handful grape tomatoes
3-4 oz grilled chicken (leftover) diced to 3/4 inch cubes
Handful of quartered strawberries
Handful whole roasted almonds

Put all ingredients in bowl in order listed
Top with dressing and enjoy!

Creamy Balsamic Dressing
3 Tbsp homemade mayo
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Whisk together and voila! Creamy Paleo dressing with zero dairy, zero gluten and tons of nutrients 🙂

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