Nearly every healthy eating plan has some sort of leafy salad. Maybe I just haven’t had the best experience making or ordering salads but I genuinely don’t believe that a bowl of leaves is a tasteful meal. However, I’ve finally outsmarted them all; I’ve figured out how to eat healthy while seldom eating salads. The key to success is creativity and moderation.

These creative salad alternatives are so easy even I (a mediocre chef) can make them. Simply start with a solid base in the place of any leafy green and pile favorites on top. My favorite bases are eggs, quinoa and classic vegetables.

eat healthy

Photo by Elizabeth Duswalt

1. Eggs

You can scramble them, poach them, bake them, or make them into an omelet. Eggs are a great source of protein and can work in a variety of ways. I’ll either make a scramble or an omelet and mix them with turkey, peppers, broccoli, cheese, spinach and whatever other vegetables I’m feeling that day.  I’ll even throw everything into a low carb wrap (found in your local grocery store) for extra heartiness.


eat healthy

Photo by Elizabeth Duswalt

2. Quinoa

A second base option for a salad-less dish is quinoa. To be blunt, I first started eating quinoa simply because it was trendy. I would have never touched quinoa if it wasn’t recommended on Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle blog. Quinoa can be substituted for any grain, like couscous or brown rice. Grocery stores carry boxed quinoa that is pre-seasoned in many flavors. Mix the quinoa with diced grilled chicken/steak, edamame, peas, broccoli, peppers and again whatever other veggies are available. The pre-seasoned quinoa adds additional flavor so if you use plain quinoa you should add some olive oil, light pesto, or a bit of melted butter with salt and pepper.

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Photo by Dannah Strauss

3. Vegetables

A steamed mixed of veggies with different kinds of protein can make an easy and balanced meal. I like to steam a bunch of edamame and mix in broccoli and peppers with a protein and little sauce on top. Pasta sauces work really well for this type of meal; all you have to do is toss in the ingredients that you love and mix it up.

Above all, the best way to eating healthfully is eating in moderation. The amount of carbs and fats you take in should always be monitored. For someone like me, who doesn’t like to eat raw vegetables or leaves (salads), eating well at school can be a difficult task. Once I applied these 3 methods of incorporating healthier bases into my meals, eating healthy was no longer a stressful endeavor.

Although these dishes involve a lot veggies, fruit can also work in savory meals. Adding strawberries or apples to omelets, quinoa dishes, vegetable combos and many other foods can be an incredible touch of sweetness.

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