You know what gets old sometimes? Eating boring lettuce-filled salads. If you had your own garden over the summer, at this point your crop of lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers is likely dwindling down; and let’s be real, one only eat so many basic garden salads. Even my favorite summer salad with spinach and strawberries starts to get old after I've eaten it 27 times– not to mention the fact that berries are super expensive and out of season 6 months out of the year in Michigan.
Enter one of my solutions: chopped veggie salads. While this may not be a groundbreaking recipe, it’s an easy way to mix up the texture of your “salad”, use up some extra veggies you have around, and increase your phytonutrient consumption. Phytonutrients are plant-derived substances that have health promoting and anti-inflammatory benefits. In general, the brighter the color the fruit or vegetable, the more phytonutrients and antioxidants it will contain. You’ve probably all heard that iceburg lettuce has little nutritional value, and that’s primarily because it is 90% water and lacks the bright colored hues that contain said phytonutrients. That’s a post for another day though, so let’s just get to the goodness.
This is super easy, here ya go:
Step 1: Wash veggies and prepare to chop
Step 2: Chop
Step 3: Combine veggie in a bowl
Step 4: Divide into bowls
Sprinkle the “salads” with feta and sunflower seeds when it is time to serve and then top with your favorite dressing! If you are dairy-free, leave out the cheese and add extra nuts or seeds. I usually use a vinaigrette of some sort. If you don’t end up eating all of the veggies it is great to save them in the fridge so you can sautée them and throw them in with whatever else you are eating during the week (i.e. eggs, taco meat, etc.).