How To Make A Salad New and Exciting


I love my greens, and I know you do too. Salads are the typical go-to meal when we're focused on healthy eating. But, it's fun to switch things up from your typical Kale Ceasar or Chopped Cobb. Trying different flavors, colors and textures is key to avoiding boredom. Salads are a great type of meal to experiment. Throw things in your salad to make it new and exciting.

Deconstruct your favorite dish can help with getting creative. By turning something else into a salad you can make dish a fun way to enjoy a favorite meal. It’s especially good for sandwich combinations or other recipes where the elements of your dish are really just fillers. Here's how to perk up your salads with some different flavors and textures, without a lot of extra time in the kitchen.

How To Make A Salad New and Exciting

Get Creative With Ingredients

Think every bowl has to start with a bunch of greens? Think again. By changing the ratio of leaves to other ingredients, can make a salad bold and interesting. Try chickpeas, roasted mushrooms, jicama, quinoa, spiralized zucchini. This creates a bold color-filled bowl, heartier texture and can act as a good base.

Try this... Garbanzo Bean & Kale Salad

Rethink Your Veggie Prep

Chopping up your produce saves time when you're making your salad for later. Instead of doing standard dice, reach for a peeler or spiralize to create thin wide strips of carrots or zucchini.

Add Some Crunch

One of the fun parts about eating salad is enjoying all the different textures. It's fun to experiment with toppings like roasted nuts (almond slivers, walnuts, or anything else you like), crispy pork rinds, or even just raw jicama.

Heat it Up

By adding one or two warm elements onto a salad, this can switch up the whole salad game in interesting ways. The classic is to make the protein warm: a chicken breast hot off the grill, tossed with lettuce, onions, and toppings--Like this grilled chili lime chicken fajita salad. But you could also add all kinds of warmer mix-ins like roasted mushrooms or sweet potato.

You Might Also Like... What's In Your Salad? 7 Ways You're Ruining Your Salad

Pack In More Flavor

A couple of the ways they do this is by mixing fresh herbs into the lettuce base for the salad or drizzling a squeeze of lemon or lime on top. It's also nice to add a little bit of spice--depending on how much heat you can take. It could be as tame as fresh cracked pepper—or something with a little more of a kick, like Sriracha.

DYI your dressing

Surprisingly, this makes a huge difference. By making your own salad dressing, you can add different flavors and herbs to your dressing like this avocado cilantro dressing or >raspberry poppy seed dressing.

<centerWhat’s your favorite go-to salad? Let us know by tagging your photos on Instagram with @valeriefidan

Pitaya-Raspberry Smoothie Bowl


Happy Valentine’s Day! My love of green has turned pink. Well, sorta!

I was feeling a bit pretty in pink and festive for today. I'm fueling up with this hug in a bowl for a #rideordie spin class at Ride PDX today. I’m so excited my love bug is coming with me!

Since my typical morning or pre-workout smoothies are different shades of green, I thought it was only appropriate to switch it up today. But, don't worry, this smoothie still has some sort of greens in it!

The vibrant color comes from raspberries and pitaya (dragon fruit), which you can find this frozen tasty fruit at Trader Joe's. If you haven't tried pitaya, it's really delicious and has a surprising number of phytonutrients. It's rich in antioxidants. They contain vitamin C, polyunsaturated (good) fatty acids, and several B vitamins for carbohydrate metabolism, as well as carotene and protein. What's not to love?

pink smoothie bowl 1
Valentine Smoothie Bowl 1

What You'll Need

A big handful of greens (baby kale, baby spinach, baby swiss chard)
1 frozen banana
50g raspberries, organic & forzen
12 ounces frozen Pitaya (Dragonfruit) puree or cubes
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup coconut water
40g oat bran
2 scoops vanilla protein powder (I used this brand*)
1 banana, sliced into medallions
14 raw almonds
sesame seeds
chia seeds
sunflower seeds

What You'll Need To Know

Add ingredients to a high-speed blend, blend serve in a bowl, sprinkle with topping, and enjoy!

* Use promo code 'valerie' at checkout for 40% off your order!

Recipe makes 2 servings

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Power Cookies

Healthy Peanut Butter Chocolate cookies? Yes, please!

You're going to love this Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Power Cookies recipe. They satisfy your sweet tooth and make for are the perfect pre- or post-workout snack. The best part is that these taste bites are grain-free, dairy-free, and can be made with just 4 ingredients. They'll hold up for two weeks in the fridge, but let's be real.. they never seem to last that long!

4 ingredients.

That's it!

Nothing crazy or strange and they’re healthy. You've gotta love that!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Power Balls6
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Power Balls4
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Power Balls1

What You'll Need

2 cups unsalted peanuts
24 pitted medjool dates
¼ cup dark chocolate chips
pinch sea salt

What You'll Need To Know

In the food processor, blend the peanuts and salt into a powder.

Pit the dates and add them in as well.

If needed, slowly add a bit of water to help the mixture come together.

Once the dough is formed, line and 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper leaving enough room for some paper to stick out the sides.

Carefully, spoon the dough into the pan evenly. The dough will be a little sticky and you may need to wet your hands to roll them into balls. (Slightly smaller than a golf ball.)

Place in the fridge to firm up.

Recipe makes 10-12 balls.