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How to Build a Better Salad

How to Build a Better Salad

The following article was written by Heinen’s Chief Dietitian, Melanie Jatsek RD, LD.

Looking for a way to incorporate all seven Fx Pillars into one single meal? Make one or more of your weekly meals a salad! I’m not talking about a boring, run-of-the-mill garden salad. Instead, think of a bowl that’s bold, filling, exciting, colorful, bursting with taste and overflowing with nutrition.

Follow these six salad-building rules straight out of my kitchen to create your very own Fx-approved feast fit for a king (or queen).

1. Layer with Leafy Greens (Pillar #1)

First, fill your plate with a healthy layer of leafy greens. Try any combination of arugula, lacinato kale, spinach, Romaine or microgreens. If you’re wanting a little extra crunch, mix in a handful of Buckeye Fresh Summer Crisp!

2. Vary your Veggies (Pillar #2)

Next, add a generous portion of raw, grilled or roasted veggies. This is where meal planning can make your life so much easier. Batch-cooking a mix of vegetables on a Sunday guarantees you’ll have plenty to add to your dinners throughout the week. Very rarely do I add raw veggies to my salads. Instead, I opt for roasted Brussels sprouts, eggplant, mushrooms, onions, sweet potatoes, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower and beets. You can even add lightly sautéed spiralized veggies like zucchini, sweet potatoes and squash!

3. Don’t Forget Fruit (Pillar #2)

Add a spoonful or two of fresh berries like blueberries, raspberries or blackberries, or a few pear slices or orange segments. Sliced stone fruit is equally amazing! Try peaches, apricots or nectarines.

4. Pair with Protein (Pillar #4)

You don’t need much, but I find that a couple ounces of protein make a salad feel more like a meal. Try one of these: tempeh strips, beans, lentils, Heinen’s fresh bean burgers (in the Meat Department), pan seared salmon (save time and visit Prepared Foods for Two Brothers salmon), Wild Planet canned tuna, King Oscar canned mackerel, baked chicken, ground turkey, grilled grass-fed beef burger or a cage free hard-boiled egg.

5. Add Tasty Toppings (Pillars #3, #4, #5, #6)

Add a few of these unique salad toppings to boost nutrition and flavor:

  • Hummus
  • Quinoa or wild rice
  • Seed crackers (Mary’s Gone Crackers or Flacker’s)
  • Diced avocado
  • Olives
  • Hemp seeds
  • Ground flax seed
  • Kale chips (Brad’s or Rhythm brand)
  • Broccoli sprouts, alfalfa sprouts or clover sprouts
  • Melissa’s peeled and steamed baby beets (In the Produce Department)
  • Heinen’s raw sauerkraut (near the Deli Department)
  • Fresh basil, parsley or cilantro
  • Diced jicama (In the Produce Department)
  • Toasted pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds or slivered almonds

6. Drizzle with Dressing (Pillar #6)

Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil or tahini (sesame seed paste – SoCo is the latest Tahini to hit Heinen’s shelves, and it’s our new Fx-approved favorite!), then add a splash of raw apple cider vinegar and a shake or two of dried basil or oregano, sea salt and pepper. If you really want to have some fun, add a dash of Heinen’s everything bagel seasoning!

Key Takeaway

To build a healthy and satisfying salad, add one or more items from each Fx Pillar. Buckeye Fresh lettuce, leftover roasted veggies, fresh berries, hemp seeds, cooked lentils, raw sauerkraut, a dollop of hummus and leftover quinoa are all fair game. You’re only limited by your imagination!

Melanie Jatsek RD, LD

By Melanie Jatsek RD, LD

Heinen's Chief Dietitian, Melanie Jatsek, RD, LD believes that the answer to a strong, healthy and vibrant body lies within. As a published author with over 20 years of experience in wellness program development, health coaching and professional speaking, Melanie offers expert guidance through Heinen's Club Fx program to help customers take inspired action to build the healthy body they were meant to live in without giving up their favorite foods.

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