How to Make a Salad (and pretty much any other meal you want)

So last week, you went to your grocery store of choice and stocked your refrigerator with delicious food. This week, you’re not exactly sure what to do with your delicious food.

Well first, I’d like to (re)introduce you to the Goose Island CrossFit Cooking Cheat Sheet. We developed this helpful guide during handy sheet during our last nutrition challenge back in January. It's a great resource for learning how to cook without being dependent on a recipe.

A Mediterranean dish of seasoning chicken, cauliflower rice and a parsley based side made at our cooking party using the cheat sheet.

A Mediterranean dish of seasoning chicken, cauliflower rice and a parsley based side made at our cooking party using the cheat sheet.

The cheat sheet has a salad option, but since it is now August rather than January, you may be desirous of hot meals until the weather cools a bit. So in addition to reintroducing the Cooking Cheat Sheet, I’d also like to leave you with a basic formula for building a salad.

Your salad can be as varied or basic as you want depending on your time and preferences.

The base:

Our garden just re exploded with greens after the last rain.

Our garden just re exploded with greens after the last rain.

Greens-this can be as simple as a premade salad mix, shredded up leafy greens from our garden or your local store, or ANY shredded, shaved or chopped green vegetables of your choice. With shaved or shredded salads, you may come up with a more slaw like salad.

The important thing is that your salads don’t have to be dull and boring. It can have as many textures and tastes as you can imagine. Broaden your imagination and pick a base you’d actually want to eat

At our last cooking party, we made 3 completely different dishes from these ingredients.

At our last cooking party, we made 3 completely different dishes from these ingredients.

The other colors of the rainbow-Eating colorful fruits and vegetables not only provides you with an array of nutrients that you body needs to thrive, it also makes your food look more appetizing. That might not seem important, but this salad formula is absolutely worthless if you don’t end up with a salad you want to eat.

Dressing:

If you are on the food timing track and using a nutrition template, your dressing should be simple to make, take your recommended Tablespoons amount of fat in the form of olive oil, combine it with an equal amount of vinegar (or lemon juice), and the same number of teaspoon of your favorite seasoning mix

Ex: 1 T Olive Oil+1 T Balsamic vinegar+1 t pepper-orange seasoning
Ex: ¼ c Olive Oil+1/4 c Balsamic vinegar+4 t pepper-orange seasoning
For a creamier dressing, try adding some Dijon to taste.

Optional:

Protein- If you want to take this salad from a side dish to a main dish, you can just add toss your chopped or shredded protein in with your base and dressing.

Extra texture-you may also want to add seeds or nuts to give your salad another layer of texture. Just remember that if you’re trying to follow a nutrition template, you may need to adjust the amount of dressing you add accordingly.

Whether you’re doing the elimination diet track or the food-timing track during this nutrition challenge, these “formulas” for how to build a meal can make it easy to take the foods you love and turn them into a meal that meets the challenge criteria.

So get cooking, and post what you come up with on the Facebook page so we can be inspired and try to cook it too!

PS. If you found this cooking tutorial helpful and would like to learn more about our approach to health and fitness, consider attending our FREE intro class. This ninety minute class will give you 30 minutes to walk through our perspective on healthy living followed by personalized coaching in a free hour long class.

Click below to learn more: