I am a big fan of a food blogger and healthy recipe creator called Kate who writes a food blog called Cookie+Kate. I refer ALL my clients to her website and Instagram because she quite simply, creates yummy dishes.
Although her blog is vegan; don’t let this put you off. She has a lot to teach you! It is good to eat meat free a couple of times a week. That said there is nothing wrong with adding a bit more of what you need (protein) to round out the dish if you prefer; we do.
In our house we eat several vegetarian dishes a week and several meat based dishes. I eat a lot of wild caught canned mackerel and sardines also; they are nutrition packed fast food.
Boiled duck eggs also taste delicious with these salad punchy salad recipes.
I always say that the best balanced diet is a vegan diet with some ethically sourced animal protein added.
Mostly plants so to speak, and a side of protein.
Most of us fare best on this style of eating whether it is for health or for sports performance; the ratios of the macros being what differs between us.
Some of us thrive in a more vegan way of eating and a large proportion do not due to the problematic nutritional shortfalls.
Furthermore, for a country like Ireland, this type of food production (plants and animals) is sustainable and the most environmentally friendly.
Don’t get me wrong; we can still do better in terms of agricultural awareness, animal ethics, eating less meat, avoiding processed foods, preservation of the land and eco-cycles, and food air miles…
The key requirements to a great salad, in my opinion is:
- Robust flavour and several textures from cooked, raw and chopped vegetables.
- Lasts several days worth of lunches and dinner and is not just a bowl of soggy leaves after a few hours.
- Hits multiple nutritional requirements – root vegetables, dark greens, colurful vegetables, salad leaves, nuts or seeds, fruit or berries and sometimes a nice indulgence of cheese. All these add up to pack a powerful nutritional punch.
- Affordable and easy enough to find ingredients.
- Adaptable – once you know the general theme multiple substitutions are possible.
- Well end of day; that my boyfriend will eat it!
- Final point I will add is balanced; most athletes and busy peeps will need to round the salad off with protein. For example cooked meats, boiled eggs, fish, pan fried tempeh or tofu and so on. If you have high activity levels add more carbs.
Many of Kate’s salads fit this bill, especially her kale salads. I also have several of my own salad recipes listed on this page. Use the search tool and search salad and bingo.
My favourite salad creation by Kate
Kate has a salad recipe called Roasted Butternut Squash, Pomegranate and Wild Rice “Stuffing”
I have been making multiple adaptations of this salad over the past weeks. As those of you will know from my Instagram posts!
Give the salad a go for yourself, tweak the root veggies if you like, try different cooked grains or pastas, switch the cheeses around; there are endless options once you know the basics.
The wild rice wins hands down for best texture and flavour when it comes to grains; I have also used brown rice and short grain brown rice mixed with amaranth grain, and also cooked pea pasta.
Roasted vegetable options are endless; to date I have added butternut squash as the recipe calls for and also Brussels sprouts, beets, red cabbage, sweet potato and fennel.
I have added panfried portabello mushrooms and wow they add more yummy.
Feta cheese reduces the fat and calorie count of the meal, and works as well as goats cheese.
Toasted halloumi cubes rock.
Seeds like sunflower and sesame also work if you don’t have pumpkin seeds or prefer some variety.
More ideas from Kate
If you want to discover more salads from Kate these kale recipes are a good start
Recent salad successes
Happy salad prepping!