I know there are people out there who do not think that salad can make a satisfying, soul-fulfilling, delicious meal. They probably see people like you, Mr. Iceberg-lettuce-drenched-in-ranch-dressing, or you, Ms. Dry-mound-of-mixed-greens-with-a-few-cherry-tomatoes-and-eight-black-beans. Well, I’m here to tell you that they’re doing it wrong.

Salad need not be drenched in decadence to be delicious, nor drab and boring to be healthy. Here is the simple rule to making a beast of a salad: pile on everything. Yes, everything–okay, maybe skip the dessert station. The more flavors, textures and temperatures, the better.


Photo by Emma Delaney

This tactic works very well at the dining hall (or at Whole Foods, if you’ve got $15+ to shell out), but can be implemented at home, too, especially for using up random odds and ends of leftovers. You simply grab a bed of greens, but skip the iceberg lettuce in favor of something darker with more nutrients. It’s usually wise to start reasonably small since these salads tend to turn into mountains! Once you’ve got your green base, throw on everything that sounds good to you that day.

Add as many veggies as you can fit (raw, sautéed, steamed, marinated), beans (hot, cold, plain, seasoned), protein of some sort (the chicken breasts downstairs are a great, fairly reliable option), grains (brown rice, quinoa, farro, millet), lentils, salsa, hummus–really anything your heart desires. Feel free to blend cuisines from different parts of the world—guacamole and curried chicken is a surprisingly good combination, and don’t be afraid to step outside the usual toppings—scrambled eggs or a frittata are surprisingly delicious on a salad!


Photo by Emma Delaney

Now I challenge you: go, build your own salad beast, and savor the satisfaction of conquering it. Tweet us a picture of your next beast salad @spoon_GU.