How to Build Better Salads

How to Build Better Salads
How to Build Better Salads
Salads often get a pretty bad rap. It’s not that they’re not totally rad, it’s just that in the world of food awesomeness, people think there are, well, better things. Those people clearly haven’t crossed paths with the duo behind Thug Kitchen: The Official Cookbook: Eat Like You Give a F*ck. The first cookbook from the masterminds behind the wildly popular website that hopes to inspire people to eat some “goddamn” vegetables and adopt a healthier lifestyle, the authors have a fabulous approach toward salads (or as they like to call ’em — plant nachos).

“You’ve probably had some bland-ass salads that wouldn’t satisfy a rabbit,” they claim. “Done right, salads are delicious and filling as all hell.”

So, what are you waiting for? Check out Thug Kitchen’s basic guide to building a salad with whatever random goodies you have around the house. If you haven’t gathered just yet, these authors have zero problem tellin’ it like it REALLY is.

WARNING: The language below is about to get real, fast. 

1. The base: No matter where the fuck you’re taking this dish, you need to start off with some greens. This can be spinach, arugula, red leaf, a bag of mixed greens, romaine, kale, cabbage, or whatever you find at the store. Your bowl. Your rules. Generally, the darker the green, the healthier the green, but mixing dark leafy greens in with cheaper lettuces like green leaf will help you stretch your dollars but still mix up your vitamins. The leafy greens base should be about 60 percent of your salad bowl. (Just know that iceberg lettuce is a no-go. Yeah, it is the cheapest thing on the shelf but it’s a nutritional nonstarter.)

Also, don’t always chop the greens the same way. That route is tired as hell. Add some variety by shredding some heartier greens like kale, cutting some crispy lettuces like romaine into thick ribbons, and leaving some leaves like arugula or chicory whole in the same salad to keep shit interesting.

2. The add-ins: You always want to throw in a bunch of random veggies. A just lettuce salad is some sad shit that should only be done the day before your paycheck hits. Add chopped-up vegetables like carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, or fruit like apples, pears, whatever the fuck you like. Add leftover roasted vegetables and potatoes while you’re at it. Cooked beans and grains are great here, too. All these extras bring a shitload of vitamins and minerals to your dish while adding even more fiber to keep you full and regular as fuck.

These add-ins should count for about 35 percent of your bowl.Use whatever is in season around your area so that you get the tastiest and cheapest shit available. Let nature mix up your diet for you.

3. The toppers: These are a small percentage of your salad (yeah, we checked the math) but bring all the flavor. Try some tasty toppers like toasted nuts, chopped fresh herbs, raw onions, some pickled vegetables, or a handful of croutons. This 4 percent of your salad is like the bow on your nutritionally dense plant present.

4. The dressing: This should only be 1 percent of your salad and shouldn’t upstage all the hard work you put in throwing the rest of this nutritious deliciousness together. (Cough, ranch dressing, cough.) Add your dressing a little at a time, toss well, and then taste. Add some salt and pepper, toss some more, and then taste again.

You just don’t want a salad that has so much dressing on it that it’s almost soup, so slow your roll at the beginning and know you can always add more. Now go pick out a dressing and get grubbin’.



How to Build Better Salads


Editor’s note: The below post is adapted (and totally uncensored) from Thug Kitchen: The Official Cookbook: Eat Like You Give a F*ck.