Here are some of my top salad mix in choices:
- Cheese. I prefer feta, as just a little adds a lot of flavor, and I can't eat too much cheese. I bought a small container of crumbled feta at Trader Joes, as we're heading out of town soon. However, to cut down on the cost, I will likely start buying this at Costco.
- Nuts. Any nuts work well in a salad, but from a cost perspective, I like peanuts. They also don't require any toasting. We buy the large container at Costco, which can last several months.
- Edamame. This is a strange one, but I like the shelled edamame at Trader Joes. It adds a lot of flavor, and increases the protein. I typically only use edamame when I don't have a lean protein leftover to add to my salad. I cook the edamame for 4-5 minutes, drain, & then add some to the salad. I'm fine with it going on warm. It does need a bit of salt.
- Dressing. I know I'm not supposed technically eat pre made dressing, but sometimes I cheat due to laziness/speed. I prefer a balsamic on my salad, as it impacts the other flavors the least.
- Hummus. Similar to the edamame, I add hummus when I don't have another leftover protein to go on top. I love the spicy cilantro jalapeno hummus from Trader Joes.
Leftover options for salads. Almost anything works. Here are my top favorites:
- Chicken. I've used diced up chicken patties, baked chicken strips, grilled chicken, chicken kebabs, etc. I'm not picky, & if it's in the fridge, I'll put it in the salad.
- Carnitas. I love crisping the carnitas again a bit in the oven & then serving them on salad. I sometimes add a little guac to the carnitas bowl, if I have it.
- Taco meat. This is another top favorite. While the kids have tacos, I serve my taco meat (ground beef seasoned with onions & taco seasoning) over a salad. Perfect!
- Hot dogs. Yes, this has happened. M grills the hot dogs with a little marinade that kicks up the flavor. While not the healthiest, I figure that the salad somewhat balances out the hot dog. ;-)
- Steak. Self explanatory, because steak on a salad is magical.
- Burgers. I haven't tried this, but we have mini sliders in the fridge, so likely this week I'll test out a crumbled burger on a salad & will report back. I'm sure it will be great!
Basically, salads are my vehicle for getting in veggies & protein, & eating up fridge leftovers. I try to eat salads for both lunch & dinner, & the options are pretty endless once you start mixing & matching from the lists above. What about you? What are your favorite salad toppings?