The 2 secrets to making a kickass salad

by Polly N on January 24, 2013

One of the things I hear most are complaints about eating salads. And if I’m honest, I was not a big salad eater until a few years ago when my health was seriously compromised with a shitty diagnosis. But as I have discovered and will share with you here today, the key to making a kickass salad is…the DRESSING and the “bits”.

Popeye Salad


Having recipes to follow is the first step to eating healthier foods when first starting out but I want you to have more than that. I want you to have the tools to make your own delicious recipes which I am going to lay down for you right here, right now.

So there are a couple of fundamental elements that most recipes require;



Fats – a fat coats the tongue and carries the flavours over the tastebuds. eg. tahini, oils, avocado, nut butter, nuts, seeds, coconut.

Acid – helps to balance out the sweet flavours used in a apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, lime juice, orange juice, grapefruit juice.

Salt – softens and wilts the food it is combined with and helps the fat element to coat the celtic sea salt, pink himalayan salt, light or dark miso, tamari, sun-dried tomatoes and its soak water

Sweet – not an essential element of a recipe but can help to lessen the acidic or bitter taste of foods. Most sweet elements will also contain another element eg. orange juice is acid and sweet, light miso is salt and sweet etc.

So you might make a salad dressing that would look like this:

Walnut & Lime Dressing

  • 2 tablespoons walnut oil (fat)
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice (acid)
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon celtic salt (salt)
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (acid)

P.S. It’s perfectly okay to have 2 acid elements or you could have one ingredient such as orange juice that would provide both the acid and sweet element. Play around next time you’re getting creative in the kitchen and use this formula to help you.

The second element for me that makes a salad delicious are the “bits”. By this I mean the different textures and tastes of foods that can add some crunch, chewiness or a kick!! (The best bit is at the end of the salad when all the bits have fallen to the bottom of the bowl (I always like to eat my salad in a bowl) as then you get big mouthfuls of goodness.

For example, adding some of these foods can take your salad from a 6/10 to a 10/10

  • Pumpkin seeds (or try my spicy pumpkin seeds)
  • Sesame seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Hemp seeds
  • Cashew, walnut, pecan, pine nuts. Any nuts!
  • Goji berries
  • Raisins
  • Pomegranate seeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Scrunched up cheesy kale crisps (recipe here)
  • Celery sliced super thin in semi-circle shape

What do you like to put in your salads? Tell me in the comments below.


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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Marija January 24, 2013 at 2:03 pm

I’ve just made a super bowl of salad with avocado, pomegranate seeds, pumpkin seeds, goji berries, soaked sun dried tomatoes and sprouted seeds. mmm, delicious!


Ish Veli January 24, 2013 at 5:41 pm

one of my fave salads
raw beetroot grated
fresh apple or rasins
cider vinegar
lemon juice
mix n enjoy, simple but yummy. you have inspired me to start a food blog and vegan healthy mobile food business later this yr. thanks!


replica michael kors April 9, 2013 at 5:30 am

great post, I am interesting in it!


Sue August 4, 2013 at 9:16 pm

Pumpkin seeds and walnuts that have been toasted in lucybee oil, cumin,turmeric and paprika, aged to giant couscous, peppers, dried cranberries, leaves, cucumber , tomato and feta. Probably overload but yummy


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