My Favorite Fall Salad Recipes
Salads have a bad reputation for being… well, a little lackluster. And while they certainly can be, we don’t have to settle for a boring salad!
Personally, I love salads, and enjoy finding new ways to liven them up throughout the seasons. Fall salads, in particular, are some of my favorite – the ingredients that are in-season this time of year always bring such amazing flavor and texture to a bowl of leafy greens. I have a couple of great recipes up my sleeve, and of course, I have to share them with you!
But, before I share my three favorite fall salad recipes with you, I also wanted to share some of my go-to ‘pro’ tips for building the perfect salad. You’ll never eat a boring salad again:
- Always use a mix of greens – i.e. arugula + spinach, spring mix, kale + red lettuce
- Add fresh herbs, like basil, parsley, sage, cilantro, etc. to your salads for amazing flavor!
- Balance out all the flavors and textures – try to include something sweet, something bitter or acidic, something creamy, and something crunchy
- Make your own dressing!
- Don’t forget to season – salad deserves salt and pepper too (though you should save this until the very end)
Follow these tips, and you’ll never eat a bland salad again! And now, let’s get to my top three fall salad recipes.
What you’ll need…
Roasted Root Vegetable Salad – Serves 2-4 Individuals
- 4 cups mixed greens
- ¾ cup butternut squashed, peeled, cut into ½ inch cubes, and roasted in olive oil, salt, and pepper
- ¾ cup beets, peeled, cut into ½ inch cubes, and roasted in olive oil, salt, and pepper
- ½ cup goat cheese
- ¼ cup pumpkin seeds, roasted until golden brown
- Sage, diced, to taste
- For the dressing: 1/2 cup orange juice, freshly squeezed, 4 tbsps apple cider vinegar, 2 tbsp honey, 2 tbsp dijon mustard, salt and pepper (to taste), 2/3 cup olive oil
Autumnal Apple Salad – Serves 2-4 Individuals
- 4 cups spinach + arugula
- 1 cup apple, cut into ½ inch cubes
- ½ cup red onion, sliced
- ⅓ cup pecans, roasted until lightly browned
- 1/4 cup gorgonzola cheese
- Chives, sliced, to taste
- For the dressing: 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar, 2 tbsp honey, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp dijon mustard
Kale Power Salad – Serves 2-4 Individuals
- 4 cups kale + spinach
- ½ cup golden figs, sliced in half
- 1 cup acorn squash, sliced and roasted in olive oil, salt, and pepper
- ⅓ cup walnuts, roasted until golden brown
- ½ cup feta cheese
- For the dressing: 2 tbsp minced shallot, 1 clove garlic minced, 3 tsp Dijon mustard, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, 2 tbsp honey, 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar, ½ cup oil (olive works well)
For all of these recipes, you’ll need to…
Begin by roasting the vegetables (butternut squash and beets in the first recipe, and acorn squash in the third recipe) in the oven at 375º F for 30 minutes, or until tender. While the vegetables are roasting, combine salad dressing ingredients in a bowl, whisk until well combined. Set aside.
When the vegetables are nearly done, roast the nuts in the oven at 375º F for no more than 3 minutes. If they still need some additional browning, leave them in the oven for another few minutes, checking often to make sure they don’t burn (this happens quickly!).
In a large bowl, add salad ingredients for each of these recipes, and toss together with dressing until well combined. Serve, and enjoy!
What do you think about salads? Whether or not you think salads are the best, you’ll have to let me know if you try one (or all) of these recipes! Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
6 Foods To Boost Your Metabolism
Ah, weight loss. Something so many of us struggle with.
Why is it that it seems so easy for us to gain weight…
But when we want to lose it, it sticks around like glue!?
You’ve probably heard the tired phase: “With proper exercise and diet, you can lose weight.”
While that may be true, many of us are missing another key factor…
Did you know that the foods we eat can actually HELP us lose weight?
You read that right!
There are actually foods out there that work to boost your metabolism!
And let me tell you, there are some delicious foods out there that not only taste great – but they can boost your metabolism too!
Let’s have a look…
6 Foods To Boost Your Metabolism
Starting with my favorite… Cacao! Cacao is a powerful superfood that can really BOOST your metabolism!
Seems almost too good to be true, right? But it’s true!
The monounsaturated fats found in cacao have been known to boost the metabolism which stimulates the body to burn calories faster. Studies have proved that chocolate affects the way our body synthesizes fatty acids and reduces the absorption of fats and carbohydrates. Studies have also found that cacao helps to regulate energy use and metabolism while ALSO increasing feelings of fullness.
Cacao is also rich in phytonutrients and low in fat and sugar, so the calories we get from cocoa powder will be packed with healthy chemicals! In fact, my absolute FAVORITE cacao powder is this one. It’s loaded with nutrients and is low in sugar and additives. Plus it tastes delicious and can be used in all kinds of healthy chocolate recipes like, cupcakes, brownies, cookies, mochas, and much more!
Also, you may be wondering, what is the difference between cacao and cocoa…
Well, they both come from the same plant – the cacao tree – which is native to South America. Once the cacao beans are harvested from the cacao tree, what happens next determines whether it’s considered cacao or cocoa.
To make cocoa: the beans are roasted, ground, and highly processed (additional ingredients are added such as sugar, corn syrup, dairy, artificial flavoring, and hydrogenated oils). This process causes the cacao beans to lose a significant amount of its nutritional value.
To make cacao: the beans are simply fermented and dried (or occasionally heated at a low temperature) which allows the bean to maintain significantly more nutritional value. This form is a great source of antioxidants as well as magnesium, potassium, iron, and calcium.
It’s a no brainer. When searching for a decadent metabolism-boosting superfood, cacao is the way to go!
It must be noted that NOT ALL FRUITS contain metabolism-boosting properties…
However, there are certain fruits that are known to help boost your metabolism!
Those fruits include:
- Melons: Melons, such as Watermelon, Cantaloupe and Honeydew, contain potassium, which helps create glycogen. Glycogen is a substance produced by the liver that helps burn calories in the body.
- Apricots: Small but mighty, they are packed with all-important iron! Low iron can slow down metabolism. So these fruits being jammed full of iron can help quicken up your metabolism. In fact, just two to three fresh apricots per day can supply us almost 20% of your daily need for iron! That is pretty impressive, right?
- Avocado: Avocado is high in healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, which allows us to feel more full. A study published in November 2013 in Nutrition Journal found that adding just half an avocado at lunch may help overweight people feel more satisfied and reduce their desire to eat in the hours following a meal.
- Apples: An apple a day keeps the doctor away! We have all heard that saying, but it really is true! Apples are high in fiber and contain vitamin C. They also contain vitamin B, which helps the body turn protein, fat, and carbs into energy. As well as vitamin K, which metabolizes protein and keeps our blood flowing. Apples also contain pectin; when pectin binds with water in your body, it limits the amount of fat the cells of your body can absorb. That can help reduce the amount of visceral fat (aka belly fat) your body has.
3) Chili & Cayenne Peppers
Calling all spicy fans! Chili peppers contain a chemical called Capsaicin, which has been found to help boost metabolism by increasing the number calories and fat the body burns. A review of 20 research studies reports that capsaicin can help your body burn around 50 extra calories per day.
It does this through a process called diet-induced thermogenesis, which causes an increase in your metabolism.
However-spicy foods are not for everyone so don’t overdo it on the spices if you are not a spicy food lover! Spicy foods can also cause heartburn and make you feel a tad uncomfortable… So, if you want to give the pepper a try, please do so cautiously and in small amounts!
Water does so much for us – it is no wonder it can also help our metabolism!
Studies have shown that drinking 17 ounces (0.5 liters) of water increases resting metabolism by 10–30% for about an hour. This can be even greater if if its COLD water as your body uses energy to heat it up to body temperature
Water is also something that helps fill us up. Studies show that drinking water a half an hour before you eat can help you eat less.
5) Protein-Rich Foods
Protein is said to be one of the best nutrients for weight loss.
It can help boost metabolism and has also been shown to help you feel more full and prevent you from overeating.
Protein rich foods include:
- Nuts and Seeds
These foods work to boost metabolism as they require our body to use more energy to digest them than other foods. This is known as the thermic effect of food (TEF). The TEF refers to the number of calories that your body needs to digest, absorb and process the nutrients in your meals.
Another study found that individuals were likely to eat around 441 fewer calories per day when protein made up 30% of their diet.
So, try incorporating more protein into your diet and see what this powerful nutrient can do you for you!
6) Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has grown in popularity over the years! People are using it topically for their skin and hair, using it for cooking and adding it to their everyday meals.
But no matter how you use it, there is no denying the benefits that come with it!
Coconut oil is high in medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). Once MCTs are absorbed, they go directly to our liver to be turned into energy. This makes them less likely to be stored as fat.
Some of the fatty acids in coconut oil can also work to reduce appetite and increase fat burning, which in turn can help us lose weight. One study found that the long-term consumption of MCT oil may help you burn more calories than a diet that’s heavier in long chain fatty acids, like olive oil, soybean oil, or avocado oil.
When your cells use MCTs instead of glucose for fuel, the body’s metabolism is boosted for up to 24 hours. And speaking of MCTs… Collagen is also a GREAT source of MCTs – especially Complete Collagen+.
With 3000mg of MCTs per tbsp, adding this delectable caramel collagen to your everyday routine can help with your metabolism and have you feeling great both inside and out!
I encourage you to add some of these everyday foods to your food repertoire and see how they can help to boost your metabolism! Stay healthy my friends!