Do you love salads? Or, at least the idea of them, but find them hard? All that chopping and washingb- and how to make them tasty and filling enough to be a meal without cheese, bread, or for me, meat? 
 
Here are my 10 Salad Hacks to make salads easy and delicious. 
 
Hack #1
Buy greens that are ready to go. My favorite are Gotham Greens. They are local to Chicago and very fresh. They are also pre-washed! You can get ready washed organic greens everywhere now. Spinach, kale, and all kinds of lettuce.
 
Hack #2 
Add fresh cut herbs. You can cut them in advance and store a supply in the fridge. My favorites are cilantro (eat as much as you can every day to detox heavy metals), mint, and dill all mixed together. I got this idea from a French-Canadian friend who has three fabulous restaurants in Montreal. Chives are also fabulous.
 
Hack #3
“Pickled” Shallots. I hate raw onions. I hate onion breath and brain fog, and for me they cause both. So I use “pickled” shallots – which are milder and much more refined than onions. I slice them very fine (a mandolin is perfect for this) and marinate them in raw red wine vinegar and a little good salt for at least an hour. They become mild and tangy, and a pretty shade of pink. And they keep in the fridge for about 5 days. If they are becoming too strong tasting, you can rinse them with water.
 
Hack #4 
Pomegranate seeds. I buy these every time I go to the store. I know they are pricey, but – I’m worth it! They are beautiful and sweet and pack a mighty antioxidant punch. They are the perfect foil for the tangy shallots in #3.
 
Hack #5 
Sprouts. Full of life, protein, micro-nutrients, and probiotics, these are the all around best food for energy. Try to eat these every day. Growing them is as easy as brushing your teeth, but they are much higher in nutrients than toothpaste! 
 
Hack #6
Seeds. Pumpkin, Sunflower, Hemp hearts, Chia seeds, Flax seeds and Pine nuts are some of my favorites. I love roasted pumpkin seeds for the taste but raw and sprouted ones are even better for you. Either are wonderful and are a very good source of minerals. Pine nuts are also delicious. Toast them in a skillet over medium heat, stirring often until golden.  Of course, a tablespoon or two of hemp hearts will give you a complete protein source that is easy to digest and assimilate. 
 
Hack #7
Avocado. Add this delicious, fatty fruit for its creamy goodness and its nutritional benefits. 
 
Hack #8
Artichoke Hearts. I always keep a jar in my fridge and a back up in my pantry. I especially love the grilled ones because they are meaty and smoky and I am a vegetarian who loves the taste of grilled meat!
 
Hack #9
Leftovers. If you eat animal protein, you can of course add some. I usually roast a chicken, grill some grass fed steak and bake some salmon each week for my family. The leftovers are great for adding to salads. Tinned sardines and oysters are easy and delicious too. 
 
Hack # 10
My favorite salad dressing. 
Squeeze the juice of 2 large lemons in a mason jar. Whisk in 1 tsp of good dijon mustard and a grind of good quality sea/himalayan salt. It is optional to add 1 teaspoon of raw honey or real maple syrup. Slowly add olive oil while whisking with a fork until it tastes just right. you will need a little more olive oil than lemon. This will keep for a few days out of the fridge and about a week in the fridge. 
 
If you can keep most of these on hand, you will always be able to whip up a gorgeous salad in no time. It’s all about prep and planning – which really mean self care – and we all need more of that in our busy lives!