In order to fuel her busy lifestyle with clean energy, our friend and keto-enthusiast, Amanda Sebele shares her experience of switching some of her favorite sandwiches to salads after giving up high-carb foods. Adopting this alternative way of living includes ensuring that mealtime has plenty of high-protein foods, healthy fats, and of course, fresh greenhouse grown fruits and vegetables.
HOLD THE BUN, ADD MORE VEGGIES –
As someone always on the go, I’d often order takeout from a quick service restaurant and ask for no bun to make the menu work for me. What I realized in doing this was that, without the bun, I was essentially eating a salad and couldn’t tell the difference! This was especially when they would serve my sandwich in a lettuce wrap! This discovery changed everything! It was really all the ingredients sandwiched between the bread that I craved! The key to a great sandwich is using fresh ingredients like lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers served along with lean meat like roasted turkey, and healthy fats like avocado or mayonnaise. These are all great ingredients that you can also use in a salad! What’s not to love about this? You can quickly combine everything in a bowl and toss it with the dressing which means I can make any of my favorite sandwiches into salad form by simply just adding more veggies to replace the bread! This is where I developed a salad obsession!
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE TOPPINGS –
The key to making a salad taste like a sandwich is to include the main protein and your favorite toppings like tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, onions, and cheeses. Each of these are loaded with flavor and great on their own, but package them all up in a bowl and voila! So. Much. Flavor. Then to finish off, drizzle on any dressing or add your favorite condiments on top. Sometimes I will keep it simple and just use mayonnaise, mustard, and a dash of salt and pepper. I used to enjoy the old-school Grinder sandwich, but I prefer it as a salad now! If you haven’t tried this one yet, you must! The Italian Grinder Salad, is loaded with veggies and filled with Italian deli meats. Try it with Cloud 9® Bite-Sized Fruity Tomatoes to make the flavor pop! Their sweetness pairs well with the tangy Italian dressing and the spicy pepperoncini peppers. You won’t even notice that you are missing bread! Though the salad calls for croutons, you can easily omit if you are following a low-carb diet.
TRANSFORM THE CLASSICS –
Growing up, my favorite way that my father used leftover chicken or roasted turkey was to make chicken and turkey salad sandwiches. The classic version includes toasted white bread that is then piled high with the creamy goodness containing the meat, mayo, and other seasonings. These creamy “meat salads” traditionally served on bread work really well with spinach as the base, and extra vegetables like cucumbers included for crunch. To avoid bad breath, I now choose cucumbers over onions in salads for that extra crunch. This Cucumber Turkey Salad is a quick and easy salad that uses Uno BitesTM Nano Cucumbers and can easily be made with leftover turkey or chicken, which is great for meal planning. I love how the crunchy cucumbers, dried cranberries, and pecans add a variety of textures. This is a step up from the traditional sammy!
GET CREATIVE WITH YOUR FAVORITES –
You can easily be inspired by what you see in the media and or on restaurant menus to develop new favorite salad creations. For example, I’ve been seeing Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwiches popping up everywhere! I know I can’t order that off the menu because most sauces aren’t keto-friendly and it wouldn’t be as easy to remove the bread. I did some research on what ingredients to use and how to make the sauce sugar-free and I’m happy to report, it was super easy to modify! To make Nashville-style Hot Chicken Salad, I chopped up some cabbage, chicken, pickles, cucumbers, and Tomatoes On-the-Vine and drizzled them with my sugar-free Nashville hot sauce and mayonnaise. The ideas are endless for creating fun and exciting salads, and with my diet lifestyle, there is a substitute so I can still enjoy!
SALADS FOR ANY LIFESTYLE –
When I first started my keto lifestyle journey, I discovered that I still get to eat delicious food and that I am not missing out on anything by adopting this new way of life. I can depend on using Pure Flavor® fresh greenhouse grown fruits and vegetables all year-round to add lots of flavor. They help me turn some of my favorites into a version that will work for my way of eating! I feel better now that I’ve omitted the processed foods. I am now refuelling my body with natural electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals. If you’re looking for a fresh meal idea, why not try a salad instead of a sandwich the next time you crave one? You’ll be giving your body healthy, natural ingredients that it can use to fuel your busy life. Load up on fruits and vegetables for carbohydrates, a good source of protein, and healthy fats to make it satisfying. I love that I can make any type of salad I want, at any time of year, because I can always get fresh greenhouse grown produce! If you are starting a new way of eating, don’t be scared that you can’t have your favorite things. Sometimes you just need to find a way to adapt and make it work for you!