Salad Accents

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.

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Uninteresting salads are the worst, right? Can we all agree on that? Boring salads make for a dull meal and just bum me out. 😕

As you know, I make a lot of homemade salads. Lately, however, I’ve become sick and tired of my dull-ass salad combos. I’d like to jazz things up, so maybe you guys can help me brainstorm? What are your favorite salad ingredients?

I am, however, loving these Ranch-flavored Almond Accents. I usually stick to the basics when it comes to salads, but I open to trying new ingredients. 

As you know, too many yummy-tasting toppings (e.g. cheese, bacon bits, dressings, etc.) can make a seemly nutritious salad high in calories and fat. Almond Accents are all-natural, offer a variety of nutrients, and help you feel full with fewer calories than those high-calorie salad bar “dangers.” (Sorry that sounded so infomercial-esque!)

The Ranch Almond Accents have a strong flavor of garlic, herbs, and spices. They sort of remind me of mini Ranch-flavored potato chips. They were an excellent addition to my salad– I ate every last sliver! 

I had a serious craving for Oatmeal Raisin Bars tonight, so I’m off to bake a batch! :mrgreen: We’re having some friends over later tonight, so hopefully, they’ll help me eat a few. Otherwise, I’m going to eat them all myself! 😳

Enjoy your night! Almost Friday! 


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47 Comments

  1. Ranch flavor? Yum! I love adding fruits to my salad. Or another variation I like is lots of salsa with red pepper powder sprinkled over it. I’ve also seen other bloggers use cut up laughing cow.

  2. Hi Tina. Love your blog! I love to put roasted veggies in my salad. Eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms, peppers, etc. I roast a big batch on Sundays and they keep for the week. Great with goat cheese and caramalized onions too.

  3. Strawberries, feta cheese and walnuts are a great combo with any veggies. I also love Annie’s Goddess Dressing – it makes any salad absolutely amazing.

  4. I have been adding chickpeas & shredded light cheddar to my salads a lot lately. Something about the combo of the two is soooo yummy!

    Going Tex-Mex is fun too. Use salsa and light sour cream (or Ranch dressing) as a dressing and top with some crushed tortilla chips. Fun!

    Your Oatmeal Raisin Bars are like crack around here. My man doesn’t eat raisins so I had to stop making them because I was eating them all!!

  5. Avocado, fresh lemon, craisins, sunflower seeds, kalamata olives. I get SO bummed and angry when restaurants only offer iceberg with carrot, cheese and tomato. So lame.

  6. I love beets, goat cheese, avocado, and a few jalapenos and chopped pickles. I am a fiend for anything spicy or vinegar-y, and the kick goes a long way! Sweer corn is also a nice addition.

  7. Haha, I laughed out loud when I read your remark about “dull-ass salads” 🙂 Nearly everyday I make a salad with the following: mixed greens, mushrooms, red onion, grated carrot, feta cheese, chickpeas, craisins, a few croutons, and basil-balsamic vinaigrette. Yum!

  8. I was just thinking how much I love the additon of beets to my salads. They give it such a creamy falvor and add such vibrant color. Other additons that make a salad outstanding are, avacados, feta or goat cheese, grapefruit or orange segments, roasted broccoli, hummus, or salsa.

    I try to mix up my combinations too so I never feel bored with the same old thing. I eat salads almost every day, so I can understand where that could happen.

  9. I eat a ton of salads but get bored of them quickly so I always have to switch it up! I always keep a big thing of spinach in my fridge so for me its all about the toppings to throw over the top, I came up with some new combos and so far these have been my fave!
    1.Chicken breast marinated in coconut milk and red curry paste, pan fry it, slice it and sprinkle with chunks of pineapple and toasted coconut.
    2.Chopped up dates, feta and almonds
    3.Italian olive oil packed tuna, blanched green beans, avocado chunks, nicoise olives and boiled egg (pretty much a classic Nicoise salad)
    4.Pickled Beets and goat cheese
    5. Yam “croutons”! I make a big batch for the week and throw them on all my salads. (Yam and feta go great together too) Dice up some yam, toss in olive oil, s+p and bake at 375 degrees until golden brown.

  10. we have some of those almonds, but they’re parmesan. yum!

    I like:
    avocado
    berries
    oranges
    pineapple
    strawberries
    nuts
    beans of all kinds!
    chips
    crackers
    pasta 🙂

    anything!

  11. I love a spinach salad with goat cheese or feta, strawberries and walnuts with a little balsamic dressing. I also love goat cheese, beets and walnuts or pumpkin seeds.
    I’ve gone to Switzerland a couple times and the salads are awesomely weird there. They use a fairly mild white dressing (I would sub a champagne vinaigrette or a poppyseed for something similar) and load it up with stuff like beans, corn,and all sorts of tangy stuff like beets, shredded pickled cabbage,shredded carrots, cucumber etc…. They call it a mixed salad.
    This site has a good example of one:
    http://www.sbs.com.au/food/recipe/762/Insalata_mista:_Swiss-style_mixed_salad

  12. I try to change up salads a lot, frequent toppings include sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts, pistachios, dried fruit, mandarin oranges, apples, pears, a few shavings of good Pecorino Romano or Parmesan.

  13. I use taboulegh, cottage cheese with chives, green olives, beets, shredded carrots, marinated artichokes, almonds and walnut pieces with butter lettuce. If I am full of energy I add a hard boiled egg and grilled chicken

  14. My FAV summer salad contains:

    -Any greens you like
    -Cucumbers
    -Manderin Oranges
    -Strawberries
    -Pecans
    -Little bit of Newmans Own Light Lime Vinegrette

    Best summer/refreshing salad!

  15. That salad looks good.

    Lately I’ve been going to Cosi for their signature salad which consists of mixed greens, pears, dried cranberries, pistacios and gorganzola with a raspberry vin. dressing. The Cosi salads are pricey so I’ve started making my own version with healthier dressing and used feta cheese instead (I think the gorganzola has too much bite). Another benefit of making my own is I’m not tempted to eat the fresh hot out of the oven bread they serve with the salads. MMMMmmmm … I think I know what I’m having for lunch tomorrow. 😉

  16. i love garbanzo beans, sliced black olives, wasabi peas, yellow bell pepper, edamame, and feta cheese!

  17. I love goat cheese crumbles, mushrooms, grape tomatoes, and sprouts! Sometimes I’ll crumble a veggie burger over it, or else I’ll use a really yummy dressing.

  18. Goat cheese crumbles have got to be my absolute favorite addition to salad!!! I also like feta, a blob of hummus and/or cottage cheese

  19. My three favorite salads, in no particular order:

    mixed greens, sliced apples, shaved fennel, bleu cheese, and toasted walnuts
    mixed greens, steamed sliced beets, and goat cheese
    Greek-style with mixed greens, artichokes, chickpeas, cucumber, tomato, olives, roasted red peppers, and feta

  20. I just bought those almonds! Glad to see you like them, I haven’t tried them yet. My favorite salad toppings are feta, walnuts, craisins, and apples.

  21. Fave combos:
    Broccoli with walnuts and a few crumbled crackers for crunch
    Shrooms, artichokes, olives, sundried tomatoes
    Goddess and Woodstock dressings are my current faves.

  22. I’ve been adding Trader Joe’s polenta pan fried with a little olive oil and spread with goat cheese. It totally fills you up and is really yummy.

  23. I love couscous salad in the summer! The volume is spinach and/or spring mix, with about 1/3 cup cooked and cooled couscous mixed in. Then I stir in any or all of the following: grape tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, feta, artichoke hearts, green beans (blanched and cooled). Then I whip up some dressing using EVOO, lemon juice, and S&P. I could eat it every day in the summer!

  24. I love making big salads that are pretty much a whole meal, rather than just having a side salad with other things. It’s more fun to me. The best thing I’ve tried lately is the massaged kale salad. It’s amazing what massaging kale with avocado does! It’s really delicious.

  25. My favorite salad ingredients:

    Goat cheese
    pine nuts
    almonds
    walnuts
    dried fruit (figs, apricots, raisins)
    blackberries
    cherries
    blueberries
    strawberries
    black beans
    garbanzo beans
    Fritos (they make great croutons!)
    Avocado
    black olives

    I could go on & on. I do so much in my salads b/c I love lots of different flavors & textures going on.

  26. Definitely BEETS! In a mixed greens salad with a cut-up orange, persimmon, diced red onion, walnuts and (best part) lots of MINT!! Combined with part lite raspberry-walnut vinaigrette and part lemon juice. To die for.

    Other ingredients that I end up making salads around: curried chickpeas, clementines, kiwi, asparagus, lime juice, ginger-miso dressing

  27. I mix up the greens with various variety from Earthbound Farm Organics. I usually add avocado, grape tomato, freshly ground peppercorn, with a grilled salmon, chicken or turkey for my protein source and use organic olive or coconut oil as dressing.

  28. yummy salad additions that don’t pile on the fat: feta cheese (fairly light as far as cheese goes, and a little goes a long way), kalamata olives, red onions soaked overnight in lime juice (<— I HATE raw onion taste, but this takes the gross bite out of them and leaves them delicious and flavorful), jicama (not a lot of flavor but delicious crunch), fresh herbs, garlic salt, any dressing with mustard, cottage cheese.

    also it is fun experimenting with weird vinegars – my sister recently introduced me to plum vinegar, which is sold in the asian foods aisle and is AWESOME, a little sweet, with a lightly fermented taste . . . she just drizzles it on cucumber slices and it’s become my new favorite snack!

  29. My classic, everyday salad:
    Spring Greens
    Red Onion
    Corn
    Beans
    Apples/Pears/Mandarin Oranges
    Toasted Pinenuts
    Alfalfa Sprouts
    + Shallot Vinaigrette
    <3

  30. My salads are pretty boring but very tasty! I mix different types of greens in a large bowl, then put my dressing on (I like Ken’s light vinagrette) and 1/2 tsp of olive oil. Then I put a lid on the bowl and shake it so the dressing spreads evenly. After I take off the lid I sprinkle 1/2 TBS of light blue cheese crumbles. A little bit goes a long way and adds so much flavor! Then I top with ground sea salt and fresh ground pepper. So good!

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