When we say ‘salad’, we tend to think bowl of greens, or crunchy green and yellow vegetables, or both, tossed with a dressing and served as a prelude, side, or even main course of a meal.

This is limited salad thinking.  Set yourself free.  Here’s how.

How to think outside the salad bowl

Often while prepping our lunch soup, sandwich, wrap, salad, or veggie burger, I’ll start in on some vegetables straight out of the fridge. By the time everything is officially ready to serve for lunch, I’ll have noshed on at least 2 big carrots, 1/4 of a head of cabbage, or a few chunks of sweet bell pepper or sugar snap peas.

There’s a salad. It just didn’t look like one.  ‘Salad’ doesn’t have to mean all prepped up and pretty in a bowl.

Salad stretched out in the hour before dinner

As another example of thinking outside the salad bowl, here’s how today’s dinner ‘salad’ unfolded:

4:00 p.m.:  Hammock date, with a plate of toasted lavash squares (flat bread that I cut into squares and  pan toasted) piled with pico de gallo – see snapshot above.

4:30: Bowl of sugar snap peas

5:00:  Grilled eggplant burgers with quartered campari tomatoes and corn on the cob.

Pico de gallo + sugar snap peas + campari tomatoes + romaine in the bun with the veggie burger = big bowl of salad.

Next time a salad seems like just too much trouble to make, remember it is simply raw veggies of different colors that you pile in a bowl and then call ‘salad’.  You can eat them out of order, peppered throughout the day, or spread out over an expanded dinner hour.  Maybe your salad just comes in a different outfit.

Another plus about salad grazing in this fashion is that you take advantage of pre-loading your meal with the less calorie-concentrated green and yellow vegetables, a proven strategy for driving down the overall calorie consumption during the meal that follows.  You’ve made it easier on yourself and you’ve practiced a healthy, slimming strategy.  Bonus points.

What are your ideas for thinking outside the traditional bowl when it comes to salad?  Please share your thoughts below!

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