I asked my husband for a suggestion for supper the other night and his answer surprised me: he said, “a salad!” I gave myself an imaginary high-five because 5 years ago when I first met him, I don’t think he ever said he enjoyed salads. It’s taken me making a bunch of them full of flavour, texture, and of course – a delicious dressing. Now he enjoys salads as much as I do!
Salads do not have to be boring! Salads are one of the easiest and most versatile meals you can make. You can use your imagination and get creative. All you have to do is follow a few basic rules and you have a quick, nutritious, and complete meal using whatever you have leftover in your fridge or pantry!
Have you ever had a green salad and felt not satisfied after? That is probably because it was missing some important nutrients like protein, fibre, and fat! It’s important if you are making salad for a meal that you make sure it is balanced. This will fill you up and leave you full for hours!
Build a Bloom Salad:
Start with greens
Add in a starch or carb (cooked grain like quinoa, rice, barley, farro, millet, cooked sweet potato, etc)
Add in other chopped vegetables (fibre) – celery, carrots, mushrooms, radishes, snap or snow peas, cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, bell peppers, etc.
Add in protein – salmon, eggs, tuna, fish, shrimp, beef, tofu, lentils, beans, chickpeas, chicken, etc.
Add in fat(s) – dressing, cheese, avocado, nuts, seeds!
Bonus: you can still feed many of the components to baby so you don’t have to make a separate meal.
I loosely followed this formula (didn’t have a grain on hand but that’s ok!) to create a delicious salmon salad that my husband had seconds and thirds of!
2 6-oz salmon fillets
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice
Seasonings of choice (garlic powder, basil, pepper, salt – but omit salt for baby)
Fresh parsley, chopped
1 large head kale, cut into bite-sized pieces, stems and ribs removed
1/2 head romaine, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 cup leftover roasted sweet potato
2 hard boiled eggs, sliced
1/2 ripe avocado, sliced
1/2 cup sliced cucumber
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup sliced celery
1/2 cup diced orange bell pepper
1/4 cup sliced red onion
Fresh parsley for garnish
*Note: you can easily switch up the vegetables with whatever you have on hand!
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon oregano
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
1. Cook salmon:
Preheat oven to 375. Line baking pan with parchment. Drizzle with olive oil, seasonings, garlic, lemon juice, and freshly chopped parsley. Bake until fish flakes easily, about 15-20 minutes depending on the thickness of your fillets, or until a minimum internal temperature of 145 is reached.
2. While fish is cooking, prepare salad:
Chop all veggies and place all remaining ingredients in a large bowl, reserving avocado and egg for top of salad.
3. Prepare salad dressing:
In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients.
4. Arrange salad:
Top salad with dressing and toss gently. Fan out avocado and egg on one side of bowl. Top each salad with cooked salmon and garnish with parsley.
*For babies, you could a combination of the roasted sweet potato, the salmon, avocado, sliced egg, and quartered cherry tomatoes!