I’m kind of embarrassed to say that I only started eating salad somewhat recently. After several decades of hating salad, I finally learned to not only tolerate it, but love it!
As a kid, I was never required to eat salad (or any other veggies), so I didn’t.
The first time I was “forced” to eat a salad was when I was twelve. I was at (what seemed to me at the time) a fancy restaurant with a group of adults. I was the only kid and wanted to fit in with the grown-ups, so I choked down the salad.
I was pretty proud of myself for doing something so grown-up as eating a salad.
I was probably in college before I ate salad again. Even after marrying a rabbit (my husband would be happy with salad for every meal), I still didn’t get into salad for several years.
Once I discovered the secret to a delicious salad, I started to enjoy it. Now the only thing I don’t like about salad is how long it takes to wash the greens.
What the secret is not
During my anti-salad decades, I learned that I’m not alone. There are others out there who aren’t big salad fans either. Some of them shared their coping mechanisms with me.
A popular salad-stomaching strategy is drenching with dressing. Sometimes it seems that salad is the vehicle for getting the dressing in your mouth, rather than the other way around. I’m tempted to say, “Would you like some salad with your dressing?”
While salad dressing might be good, it’s not necessarily good for you. In my mind, if I was going to go to all the effort to choke down salad because it’s good for me, then by golly I was going to make sure it was good for me. I didn’t want to neutralize any health benefit by drenching it in dressing.
It’s all about the mix-ins
The secret to overcoming my hatred for salad was mix-ins. Having a variety of interesting mix-ins made all the difference! A combination of flavors and textures balances out the greens and makes salad yummy.
The options for salad mix-ins is limitless. You could seriously have a different salad every day of your life with all the possible combinations of mix-ins.
We usually stick to our family favorites:
- Cubed/grated cheese
- Dried cranberries
- Hard-boiled eggs (diced with one of these)
- Parmesan cheese
- Pepper (fresh ground)
You can also try
- Feta cheese
It looks and tastes best when my husband makes the salad. When ever we have people over or bring a salad somewhere, he always get compliments on his salads. People often ask why it’s so good (because it’s seriously amazing) and he tells them that it’s the freshly ground pepper on top that really puts it over the edge.
It’s a win with the kids!
Our kids eat it too! At first our kids would want salad just for the mix-ins. They would pick out all the raisins, apples, and cheese, and leave the lettuce behind. Now they eat it all.
Just the other night, my five-year-old was fussing about what I had made for dinner. He filled his plate with salad and ate that instead. That might be normal for you, but it just blows my mind that someone so young could like salad.
Salad is easy on the budget
Like most other foods, you can really save money by making salad yourself. A salad at a restaurant or even a fast food joint will cost you $5-10 (or more) and it won’t even be as good as the ones you make at home. Keep your favorite mix-ins on hand so that you can whip up a salad whenever you want.
Lettuce is one of the easiest things to grow yourself. It doesn’t take much space and it doesn’t need full sun. It’s pretty, so you can grow it for decoration and eat it too. Instead of harvesting the whole head at once, just harvest the outside leaves and the lettuce will keep growing.
Salad is simple to take for lunch. We usually make a giant mixing bowl full of salad so that there will be leftovers for lunch.
If you are already a salad lover, then keep it up. If you’re new to salad, forget the bag of iceberg lettuce, grated carrots, and slivers of cabbage and give your favorite mix-ins a try. Experiment with a few different combinations until you find your magic. You just might become a salad lover too!
How about you?
- Are you a salad eater or salad hater?
- What are your favorite salad mix-ins?