Eating right is hard and salads can get boring. So When I tell people that I have eaten a ton of filling salads they don’t believe me. But salad is all you need when you know how to make salads more filling.
To make salad more filling, start with macronutrients that are full of nutrition. Think healthy filling carbs that are mostly fiber. Add in healthy fats and protein and you’ll be full and excited for salad again.
Imagine, actually finding a salad that tastes good for once. Not only does it taste good, you’re actually full after eating it.
Luckily for you, I’m going to show you how to make a filling salad and avoid the vending machine. I’ll even show you how to make a good salad without adding meat if that’s your style. You’re only one tip away from actually liking salads!
Does Lettuce Fill You Up?
Lettuce alone will not fill you up because lettuce is a low-calorie and low-fiber food. Fibrous foods tend to fill your stomach and take longer to digest, which gives you a full feeling. Since lettuce is low in calories, your body will seek higher energy dense foods.
When you purchase lettuce, you may notice that it usually doesn’t come with nutrition facts. Lettuce is considered a zero-calorie food. Most diet plans allow you to eat as much lettuce as you want.
Other “lettuce” used for a salad like mixed greens, spinach, and even kale have low-calorie counts as well.
You can get away with eating an entire bag of spinach and only consume 30 calories. If you eat the entire box of spinach it’s sure to fill you up. However, you won’t have a lot of energy from such a low-calorie food alone.
So, if you eat enough of it, lettuce will fill you up. But lettuce alone is not enough to get you all the nutrients you need. You’ll get more energy from eating higher calorie food. Since lettuce is so low in calories it’s best to use it as a base for more filling recipes.
How Can I Make Salads More Filling?
To make salads more filling, add superfoods with lots of nutrients. Foods that are filling also give you high energy because they contain healthy fats, carbs, and protein. These macronutrients fill you up and give your body everything it needs to function well.
The best way to get a full feeling is by adding protein. Be careful what you add because you can quickly take a salad and make it unhealthy with the wrong toppings.
To make a filling salad recipe, I like to have a goal of 5 ingredients. Start with a protein to give it heft, then add a carb, more veggies, and something crunchy.
Use this guide to help you choose:
- Pick a protein
- Choose a carb
- Add a fat
- Select a sweet or savory bite (fruit)
- Go for a topping (something crunchy for texture)
Balancing your macronutrients will help you make the perfect salad every time. The balance will also ensure your salad is filling. While it’s great to add all 5 ideas to a salad, it’s okay to add less.
What makes a salad filling are nutrient-dense superfoods like hemp hearts, nuts, quinoa, avocados, and blueberries. The healthy fats, fiber, and protein will fill you up and have you wishing you could eat more.
A cook will tell you to add acid to your salad as well. The perfect place for acid is in a salad dressing. All you need is a little vinegar or lemon for taste. The right amount of fat, acid, and saltiness in a salad will taste so good it may surprise you.
How to Make a Salad More Filling Without Meat
The best way to make a salad more filling without meat is to add a plant-based protein. A salad can be made with only hearty vegetables, but meat substitutes are useful as well. Try tofu, beans, lentils, and quinoa for filling meatless options.
Salad was made for vegetables, so you don’t need meat at all. You can use hearty grilled vegetables like peppers and eggplant to make a warm salad. Healthy fats like avocado, cheese, and olives work well with a crisp fresh salad or warm grilled salads.
Remember plant-based protein can give you all you need. Hemp protein for example contains more protein than chicken.
The best plant-based proteins for salad are:
- Hemp Hearts
- Tofu (or Hempfu)
Carbs have a bad rep, but we all need the fiber whole grains provide. So if you are looking for something to add to your salad that isn’t meat try carbs that will fill you up and give you energy. The best carbs that will fill you up without hurting your diet are more vegetables, whole grains, and fruit.
A few healthy carbs to add to salad are:
- Roasted sweet potatoes
- Quinoa (a carb, but lots of protein)
- Whole grain pasta
- Brown rice
The best vegetables for salad have a little of everything so that it fills you with nutrients. Hemp hearts for example, have omega fatty acids, protein, and fiber. Adding hemp seeds to your salad helps you get full and fight off cravings throughout the day.
Hemp seeds help fight off hunger using plant-based protein with all your essential amino acids. So you don’t need meat to get full, only the right amount of protein and fiber.
What to Add in Salad to Make it Tasty?
To make salad tasty it’s important to add fun toppings and tasty dressings. Don’t limit a salad to whole raw vegetables. To make the salad more interesting try crunchy and roasted elements, for different textures, temperatures, and tastes.
Great salad toppings are:
- Pumpkin seeds
- Crunchy quinoa
- Roasted chickpeas
- Honey roasted nuts
- Hemp hearts
- Crunchy beets
- Pickled onions
- Dried fruit
Hemp Hearts make the perfect tasty topping for a salad. The heart-healthy seed adds nuttiness and texture. Along with different flavors of hemp oil, you can make a fresh sweet or savory salad. Choose between garlic or Mediterranean hemp oil to drizzle on top of your next salad.
Summary: Make Salads More Filling
A filling salad recipe is all about the ingredients. Choose toppings that are like hemp heart. The crunchiness of hemp hearts adds texture and flavor while giving you important nutrients, like fiber and protein.
Don’t always choose the same protein. Chicken and shrimp are great, but the right plant-based proteins can fill you up as well. Give beans, lentils, and quinoa a try in your next salad.
With a salad that is full of healthy fats, protein, and carbs you’ll always get the nutrients you need. But don’t forget a little acid in your salad dressing can take your salad to the next level.