Salads have a bad reputation, and it’s understandable why that is. Usually they are boring, don’t fill you up (why am I still hungry, for example?), and are not creative or flavorful.

We are here to change that. Sure, if you don’t feel like eating salad, you’re not in the mood. But what if you could make your salad taste and feel really good? Here are some ingredients and tips to help you overcome that “blue” feeling when it comes to salad. (Plus a few delicious salad recipes at the end of the list!).

1. Make your own vinaigrette.

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It’s my first choice of salad. I know how hard it is to make your own dressing, but let me assure you it is as simple as that. My own vinaigrette consists of 3 ingredients that I mix: lemon juice, olive oil and apple cider vinegar. I like to make more than one serving so I can use the recipe multiple times:

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Juice of a whole lemon

A pinch of salt

The beauty of this dressing is that you can add or supplement what you don’t have. You can use white vinegar in place of apple cider vinegar and almost any other liquid oil in place of olive oil. (Vegetable oil, grapeseed oil, rapeseed oil, etc.) It is very forgiving and completely elevates your salad. (Here’s another excellent recipe!).

2. Add the egg white.

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Have you noticed that the protein is a little fuzzy? That’s because the options are endless. It doesn’t have to be meat. It can be beans, like black beans or garbanzo beans. (Here’s a delicious chickpea recipe!) Or it could be cheese, like feta or cheddar. Be creative with your protein! As for the choice of meat, I would choose between chicken or steak.

3. Don’t be afraid to add fat!

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Healthy fats support us, they make us last longer. And they are delicious! Healthy fats come in the form of avocados, nuts and seeds, olive oil, and so on. It adds volume to your salad while providing many health benefits. (Hello, delicious avocado caprese salad!).

4. add the crushing factor.

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The biggest mistake I’ve made with salads in the past is that they don’t have enough crunch or texture. My salad consisted of flat, fluffy spinach, slices of lunch meat, cheese and vinaigrette. So, if you like that combination! But for me, it screams boredom. What’s the problem? Where’s the excitement? You can enrich the salad with croutons, nuts or seeds, fruit like apples or pomegranate seeds, and various salad toppings like fried onions. You can also try slicing raw kale to make it crunchier. Here’s a great recipe for easy homemade croutons.

5. Be creative with your salad!

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If you try just one or two different salads, you may find yourself out of your comfort zone. The type of salad you pursue will have a big impact. Try kale for texture and crunch. Try arugula for a peppery twist. Try chopped arugula for a salty salad. And don’t be afraid to mix different salads! By the way, ….who says lettuce has to be in a salad? Hello, quinoa salad!

We know that making salads can be overwhelming, so we’ve taken the liberty of linking some of our favorite salads below.

Chopped Italian salad

Best Caesar Salad

Quinoa salad

Winter Salad

Autumn salad of crispy macaroni

Greek Salad

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