New Year, new goals, right? Maybe you’re aiming to shed a few extra pounds, looking to eat a bit healthier or simply trying to pack more greens into your daily meals. If that’s the case, I’ve got the perfect fresh start for you – my Triple Green Superfood Salad! I’m super excited to share this recipe with you because it’s not only incredibly simple to build but also chock-full of nutrients that your body will thank you for.
Think of this bowl as your gentle nudge towards a healthier you. It’s a vibrant mix of tasty layers that are a cinch to throw together, even on those days when it feels like you don’t have a minute to spare. And the best part? You can easily adjust it to fit any meal. Need something light? It’s a great side dish. Feeling more famished? Bulk it up into a satisfying meal. It’s all about building a bowl that’s just right for your appetite and health goals.
Now, don’t mistake this for your typical garden salad. We’re diving into a trio of unique greens, each with its own set of health perks. This isn’t about eating bland food for the sake of health; it’s about enjoying a bowl full of flavors while nourishing your body. Ready to bring some delicious green energy into your week? Well, head to the kitchen, grab your favorite bowl and start the year with a tasty, wholesome bang!
THE BALANCING ACT
When it comes to garden salads, variety and nutrition are key. This Superfood Salad’s got all the usual goodies – like crunchy carrots, cool cucumber and juicy tomatoes – but the real stars are the leafy green vegetables. Remember, as a general rule, the darker the leaves, the more nutrients they contain. And this salad bowl features a powerhouse trio of these nutrient-dense greens – red leaf lettuce, arugula and dandelion leaves.
This trio works together like best friends, each bringing something special to the bowl. But don’t feel boxed in! There are so many greens to explore. Head over to the blog for a whole world of leafy green inspiration.
Now, the dressing matters just as much as the greens. That’s why this recipe features my go-to homemade balsamic vinaigrette. Besides complementing the fresh flavors of the greens and other veggies, the healthy fats in the dressing are crucial for helping your body soak up all the vitamins and antioxidants from these layers. In other words, the dressing isn’t just an afterthought – it’s a vital part of getting the most nutritional bang for your bowl.
Having talked about some of the hearty goodness in my Triple Green Superfood Salad, let’s dive deeper into all the delicious layers that make the bowl so very special.
Greens Galore: A Trio of Tastes and Benefits
As I’ve already mentioned, red leaf lettuce, arugula and dandelion leaves are the star leaves in the bowl and this trio is a powerhouse of great flavor and nutrition. Red leaf lettuce is far from your garden-variety lettuce. It brings a sweet, delicate taste to the bowl, creating a perfect base for the other flavors to shine. Then there’s arugula, the zesty powerhouse of the group that comes with rich peppery flavor that brings good kick to the bowl.
The dandelion leaves, often overlooked, round out the leafy green layers. While their slightly bitter taste might be an acquired taste for some, they bring a whole lot of goodness to this bowl. They’re especially beneficial for detoxification, supporting your liver and aiding digestion.
Now, each of these leafy green layers are packed with the potent antioxidant beta-carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A. Vitamin A itself is essential for maintaining radiant skin, healthy hair and sharp vision. They’re also rich in vitamin K, a fat-soluble vitamin vital for heart health and blood clotting. And let’s not overlook their vitamin C content, an immune system booster that’s especially important in our daily diets.
Colorful Crunch: A Medley of Health
Though you’ll get layers of good nutrition from the leafy green trio, in line with my five bowl basics, a vibrant mix of veggies is key to building a bowl that’s not just a treat for the eyes but also packed with nutrients. That’s exactly what we’ve got here with carrots, red onion, yellow bell pepper, cucumber and grape tomatoes. Carrots bring more than just a pop of color and a satisfying crunch; they’re another top source of that potent antioxidant beta-carotene.
And red onion’s sharp bite is more than just a flavor enhancer. It’s packed with quercetin, another powerful antioxidant that helps reduce inflammation and keep your blood pressure in check. Then there’s the yellow bell pepper, which does more than brighten up the bowl; it’s bursting with vitamin C, essential for a strong immune system and glowing skin. Orange and red bell peppers are just as nutritious and work too, I just like the splash of yellow in this bowl.
The cucumber comes in with its cool, hydrating crunch and a burst of vitamin K too. Finally, there are the grape tomatoes. These little flavor bombs aren’t just delicious; they’re also loaded with lycopene, yet another antioxidant known for its benefits to heart health and its role in cancer prevention. I always say that every bowl is an opportunity to build layers of whole food nutrition for whole life wellness. This colorful mix is a perfect example of that.
Dressing: The Heart-Healthy Hero
My Classic Balsamic Vinaigrette is the final touch that brings this Superfood Salad bowl together, and it’s a real treat. Combining the sweet and tangy notes of balsamic vinegar with extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), this dressing checks all the boxes: dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan-friendly and low in carbs, making it a great choice for almost everyone. While EVOO is known for its heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, balsamic vinegar helps regulate blood sugar levels.
But that’s not all. Fresh garlic adds a powerful punch to the dressing, and it’s loaded with immune-boosting nutrients. For that extra zing and sweetness, there’s Dijon mustard and pure maple syrup, both of which bring essential minerals to the mix. And to top it all off, a touch of basil adds a nice herby dimension that truly elevates this dressing.
Croutons and Feta: Optional Add-Ons for Extra Flavor
When it comes to a garden salad, skipping croutons just didn’t feel right to me. So, I’ve included my No-Hassle Homemade Croutons as an optional addition to this recipe. They require a bit of baking, but the crispy, savory payoff is well worth it. The recipe card suggests the perfect amount to sprinkle on your salad, adding just the right crunch without stealing the show from the other layers. The great thing about these croutons is their versatility – you can make them from almost any bread, be it whole grain, gluten-free or low-carb, suiting a range of diets.
For an added layer of flavor, think about sprinkling in some feta cheese too. Its crumbly texture and buttery, tangy flavor can really amp up your salad. Feta cheese also brings a bit of calcium, protein and gut-friendly probiotics to your bowl. Like the croutons, this cheese is an optional add-on, but it pairs beautifully with the balsamic vinaigrette and fresh greens.
Again, cooking is only required for the croutons, which are totally optional. The recipe is highlighted on the recipe card if you choose to make them. Preparing the croutons involves three simple steps: cutting, seasoning and baking bread. That’s it! All you’ll need is a loaf of your favorite bread plus five ingredients and they’re ready in about 25 minutes.
GET YOUR CHOP ON
When it comes to building this Superfood Salad bowl, much of the prep work lies in the chopping. I actually find this part quite relaxing – there’s just something therapeutic about slicing and dicing. And, of course, a sharp chef’s knife is a must. It’s all about making your prep work quicker, easier and cleaner.
I suggest starting with the greens. After giving them a good wash, dry them well. You can use a salad spinner, a colander or a strainer basket to do this (check out my YouTube segment for some essential prepping tips). Chop the red leaf lettuce into fork-friendly pieces. The arugula and dandelion leaves are often fine as they are, but if you come across larger leaves, a quick chop or a casual hand-tear works great.
Next, tackle the carrots. Peel them and then chop them into thin slices or strips – depending on how much crunch you prefer in your salad. Then, it’s cucumber time. Slice it thin, or for a different twist, cut it into half-moons. With the red onion, go for thin slices here – they’ll integrate better with the salad and provide a subtle flavor without being overwhelming.
Moving on to the yellow bell pepper: first, remove the seeds, then slice it into thin strips or dice it, depending on your preference. The way you cut your veggies can really change the texture and feel of the salad, so choose what you love most. Finally, for the grape tomatoes, a simple halving does the trick. It’s not just easier for eating; it also lets their juicy flavor blend beautifully with the rest of the salad.
Once all your ingredients are prepped, let them chill in the fridge. This way, when you’re ready to build your bowl, everything is crisp, fresh and bursting with flavor.
To build the dressing, you have a few options for tools: a blender, a food processor, a medium mixing bowl with a good whisk, a dressing shaker or a mason jar. Once you’ve gathered your dressing ingredients, simply blend, mix, whisk or shake them together until you achieve your preferred consistency. For blenders and food processors with variable speed settings, start at a low speed and gradually increase it until you have a perfectly smooth mixture.
Now, if you’re mixing the dressing by hand, you’ll need to mince the garlic first with a good quality chef’s knife or a garlic press. While you can use jarred minced garlic as a “shortcut,” I don’t recommend doing this. Jarred versions are not as nutrient rich as freshly minced garlic and tend to have “off” flavors, which’ll be detectable in your finished dressing. Trust me, the additional step is well worth it.
Once the garlic is prepped, just add all the ingredients to your bowl, shaker or jar, and either whisk or shake them together until the blend reaches your desired consistency. That’s all there is to it!
BUILD YOUR SALAD BOWL
Now comes the fun part – building your Superfood Salad bowl! Start by tossing the red leaf lettuce, arugula and dandelion leaves together in a large bowl, drizzle on your homemade dressing and then give it a good mix. Remember, the trick is to add just enough dressing to season the greens without making them soggy. This way, you keep the salad light and packed with its natural nutrition.
From there, it’s time to add the colorful veggies. You can either arrange the carrots, cucumber, red onion, yellow bell pepper and tomatoes in their own sections of the bowl for a visually stunning display, or simply layer them on top of the greens. The choice is yours! If you like, drizzle a bit more dressing over these layers for extra flavor. If you’re building your bowl with croutons and/or feta cheese, now’s the time to sprinkle them over your salad.
This Triple Green Superfood Salad is perfect for a quick, healthy lunch or a refreshing dinner. And with the ability to adjust portion sizes, it’s versatile enough to fit any eating style.
The recipe itself makes enough for four generous servings. If you have leftovers, they’ll keep well in the fridge for 2-3 days. Just remember to store all the layers separately to keep everything crisp and fresh. If the salad layers are stored together, they can get soggy and spoil faster. As for the dressing, it’ll last up to a week in the fridge as long as it’s kept in an airtight container.
So, whenever you’re ready for a delicious, nutrient-packed meal, just grab your ingredients from the fridge, build your bowl, and enjoy!
Add Your Finishing Touches
Once you’ve assembled your Superfood Salad, there’s still room to customize it to your personal taste and nutritional goals. Looking to add some more protein and make your salad even heartier and tastier? Consider tossing in a protein of your choice. A handful of chopped chicken breast, shredded salmon, a few slices of hard-boiled egg, or even some roasted tofu or chickpeas for a vegan option can elevate your bowl to the next level.
For additional ideas and inspiration on how to enhance your salad bowl, don’t hesitate to visit my Nutrition Glossary. Here, you’ll find lots of information and tips about some of my favorite layers, empowering you to create a salad bowl that truly reflects your personal preferences. Remember, the beauty of this salad is its versatility. It’s all about building a bowl that not only satisfies your hunger but also caters to your individual health and taste preferences.
LET ME SEE YOUR BOWL
That Salad Lady wants to see your bowl. If you enjoy this Triple Green Superfood Salad, which I’m quite sure you will, drop a comment below and tag pics on Instagram (@that.salad.lady) and TikTok (@thatsaladlady). Add the hashtags #thatsaladlady and #buildyourbowl too. If you really love it, pin it on Pinterest and share it on Facebook using #thatsaladlady.
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