[guest post by Nadia Felsch)
Salad gets a bad wrap and I get it.
They’re all too often associated with boring, bland, flavourless and soggy bowls of what is apparently good for us.
Since drastically improving my own life for the better, due in large part to what I ate and realising this was my thing, I set about showcasing what salad could really be.
My first target was convincing my steak-loving husband that salads were way more than iceberg lettuce and could be super satisfying as well.
Well that didn’t take long.
Though I can’t take all the credit… Mother Nature’s vibrant and beautiful colours did a lot of that work for me.
The taste I was responsible for however, and in doing so, I changed my husband’s life for the better as well.
That was a pretty awesome feeling!
Months later and I’m doing this exact thing for individuals far and wide; inspiring them to eat well, look good and feel great, the motto and mantra that really hit me hard in 2012.
Eating wholefoods changed my life.
I became leaner, happier, more energised and balanced. My hair was shinier, my skin glowed and I slept like a baby.
Eating as nature made it and not the factory – whilst making it taste damn good at the same time!
Teaching people about meal prep, the enormous benefits of organisation when it comes to eating well and how to love the food that loves you has been a fabulous journey, seeing the truly transformative effect that it has on lives is such an honour.
So the humble salad, my top tips & a recipe or two…
Salads can be as simple or complex as your imagination allows and within minutes you’ve got a highly nutritious, nourishing and delicious meal, what’s not to love! Although my salads don’t always contain 100% raw ingredients, the addition of more raw foods into my diet has been one of the most significant and beneficial nutritional steps I’ve ever taken.
My top tips for making salads more exciting?
1. Texture – think about adding in some varying textural elements to light your senses up! Crunch could be nuts, seeds or even crisp lettuce, soft could be baked vegetables or tomatoes and creamy could be delicious avocado or cheese
2. Layering – instead of a bag of mixed salad leaves and 3 cherry tomatoes on your plate; pare it back and think about how you want to enjoy the salad first. Perhaps it’s less of the greens and a little more of the baked Mediterranean vegetables. My salads often contain small amounts of many ingredients
3. Coverage – dress the salad well and get your hands in there if necessary – no one enjoys dry leaves!
4. Herbs, herbs, herbs – for flavour, for interest, for health and the more the merrier. I often won’t include a green leafy vegetable in my salads (shock horror!) and the variety of herbs I use provide that green content and immense flavour
My go-to salad ingredients are avocado, coriander, semi-hard boiled egg, super thinly sliced radish and instead of the processed and icky dressings out there I use various plant and nut oils – my fave being macadamia oil.
Introducing clean versions of typically “unclean” recipes like yoghurt dressing and utilising magnificent herbs are others ways to take salads to a whole new level. Herbs especially are vastly underrated, possess off the chart antioxidant properties, they’re cheap, easy to find and once added to salads, the need for complicated dressings is a thing of the past.
Most of my salads are a main meal and ensuring there’s enough bulk is key to being nourished and satisfied so that’s often as simple as adding in quinoa or chickpeas. Delicious high-protein options like eggs, chicken, steak and cheese are regular favourites too.
My Mexican Steak Salsa Salad recipe in the eBook is one of my husband’s faves!
Healthy eating isn’t just about salads though in order to make eating well, looking good and feeling great achievable for a busy lifestyle there’s 2 assets to master.
Preparation and simplicity.
Eating well has become too complicated and out of people’s reach when this needn’t be the case. Prepare the basics for a couple of hours each week and invest in some good tupperware containers. When you’re preparing any of your meals, just grab the baked vegetables, hard-boiled eggs and quinoa, add in some fresh, raw ingredients and you’re ready! Taking a simplistic approach to food isn’t boring and what it means is you can include these whole foods in their natural state, reap their nutritional benefits and still enjoy delicious food at the same time.
And it works! The benefits are infinite and I’d love for you to try this out for yourself.
You can check out my eBook – eat well look good feel great – complete with 21 wholefood salad recipes + 19 supporting recipes to get your kitchen and you both organised and looking fabulous!
As a special Christmas treat for Fitness In The City, you can own your very own copy for the price of just a couple of coffees! You can buy one for you, buy one for your bestie or Mum and give the gift of health (and delicious food!) this Christmas.
To take up this offer, simply head to my website use the discount code : CHRISTMAS and you’ll receive my eBook for only $8.99 – a saving of over 30% though it’s only for a very limited time so go and check it out right now!
I don’t like to play favourites, though these 2 salads shared with you from my eBook are most certainly up there so please enjoy them as a little gift from me! Both are gluten and refined sugar-free whilst being enough for 1 serve and easily multiplied.
SHAVED CABBAGE, RADISH & PECORINO SALAD GF / VG serves 1
This salad is light, summery with incredible flavour and is a perfect Christmas meal accompaniment that will impress your guests!!
1 cup white cabbage, washed and finely shredded
1 medium red radish, washed, topped, tailed and sliced super thin /see-through
1 tablespoon fresh chives, finely chopped
1 tablespoon sugar snap peas
1/2 tablespoon pecorino cheese, freshly grated
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
Pinch of rock salt and crack of ground black pepper
A mandolin works a treat to prepare the cabbage and radish.
ASSEMBLING THE SALAD
Mix all ingredients in a bowl, coating well and arrange on a plate to serve
POMEGRANATE & DUKKAH CHICKEN SALAD GF serves 1
A satisfying rainbow bowl that tastes great as leftovers and can easily be made vegetarian by removing the chicken.
3/4 cup baked sweet potato
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 cup fresh coriander, washed and finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons natural sultanas
1 1/2 teaspoons toasted almonds, cut into small chunks
1/4 avocado, sliced lengthways
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
Pinch of rock salt
1/2 teaspoon macadamia oil
1 medium chicken breast
2 teaspoons dukkah
1 tablespoon olive oil for cooking
Preheat a fry pan to medium-high heat
Prepare chicken, massaging the dukkah and oil into the meat in a mixing bowl
Once you have a hot pan, place the chicken in to cook for approximately 6 minutes
Turn and cook on the other side for a further 6-8 minutes
If thicker, you may need to turn back to the other side to cook completely through
Once cooked, slice lengthways and set aside
ASSEMBLING THE SALAD
Combine salad ingredients in a bowl and coat evenly with macadamia oil
Add chicken and serve this very colourful and nourishing salad
As well as blogging, recipe testing and creating, you can find me doing yoga, travelling, eating, working out and binge-watching TV shows like Orange is the New Black and Revenge.
Nadia is a 29 year-old Sydney-sider, devoted to providing inspiration and tools to empower women in living a life of wellness; to be the best that they can! As an author, speaker and recipe developer she is a big dreamer and living proof that we can each do and be what we choose. Departing the corporate world in 2013 to follow her heart, Nadia has found it and attempts to seize the day, everyday.
Her work has been featured in leading publications such as Women’s Fitness Magazine, I Quit Sugar, Ascension Kitchen, Fitness In The City, The Whole Daily, Blog Society and Lululemon AUS/NZ.