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Tired of cucumbers, tomatoes, black olives, and raw peppers?

Your bowl of greens can be a blank canvas and satisfy every craving you've ever desired with this How To guide to building your own salad, plus my favorite salad recipe combinations.

Keep a few different homemade dressings and some of these fun ingredients chopped up in the fridge for easy mixing-and-matching.  Welcome to your new life -- you can literally enjoy a new salad every single day.

Additionally, salads and salad bars are perfect for parties and entertaining.  Deceptively simple but impressive looking - with minimal to no cooking required - it's just a matter of placing raw and fresh ingredients in beautiful dishes and bowls.

DIY Sala Bar - How To Build Your Own Salad

SALAD BAR INGREDIENT SUGGESTIONS: (scroll down for dressing recipes)

Go Green

  • Arugula
  • Baby, Boston and Butter Lettuce
  • Cabbage
  • Cilantro
  • Iceberg
  • Kale
  • Micro Greens
  • Mint
  • Parsley
  • Romaine
  • Spinach
  • Swiss Chard

Basics, Plus, Plus:

  • Avocado
  • Asian Pears
  • Beets
  • Berries
  • Carrots
  • Celery Ribs
  • Cucumbers
  • Cooked Brown Rice or Tabouli
  • Corn Kernels
  • Dried Fruit (Apples, Cranberries, Peaches)
  • Grapes
  • Jicama
  • Kohlrabi
  • Mango
  • Olives (Green, Kalamata, Spanish)
  • Peaches
  • Radish
  • Roasted Peppers
  • Sautéed Mushrooms (add a little white wine while cooking)
  • Sun Dried Tomatoes
  • Supremed Orange Segments (learn how to cut citrus supremes here)
  • Tomatoes (Heirloom, Grape)

Pack With Protein:

  • Shredded Chicken
  • Sliced Steak
  • Flaked Fish
  • Fresh Mozzarella Balls
  • Feta Cheese
  • Goat Cheese
  • Shaved Parmesan
  • Legumes (Peas, Beans, Alfalfa, Lentils)
  • Nuts
  • Soft or Hard Coked Egg (halved or chopped)
  • Tempeh
  • Tofu
  • Quinoa 

For Fun and Crunch:

  • Banana Chips
  • Candied Nuts
  • Chia
  • Croutons
  • Flax
  • Pita Chips
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Ramen Noodles
  • Sesame Seeds (Black, White, Toasted)
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Taco Chips
salad dressings

You’re never fully dressed without…a good emulsion. Shake these dressings up and keep them in your fridge and the lonely veggies in your produce drawer will always have something to wear.


Caesar Dressing

Green Goddess Dressing

Lemon Basil Dressing

Creamy Sriracha Dressing

Orange Soy Vinaigrette

Fruity Balsamic Dressing



Toasted Sesame Salad - I like the Orange Soy Vinaigrette served over Romaine, tofu, shredded carrots, toasted ramen noodles and sliced scallions. Add avocados, clementines or supremed citrus, to really amp up the salad. 

Go South Salad - What pairs well with the hot flavors of the Creamy Sriracha Dressing? Romaine with sliced tomatoes, sweet corn kernels, avocados, tortilla chips, baby corn, cucumbers, jalapenos—your pick! Or—add a protein and throw it all in a wrap, using the dressing both in the wrap and as a dip.

Caesar with a Punch - Use the Classic Caesar Dressing with Romaine, croutons, roasted mushrooms, anchovies and sun-dried tomatoes. Add Parmesan cheese if you’re making yours dairy. Or mix the dressing with romaine lettuce and top with chickpeas, grains, slice roasted chicken. 

Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese - Mix sweet roasted beets with Romaine, avocado, roasted sweet potato or parsnip and candied pecans, and toss with the Fruity Balsamic Dressing for a salad with a sweeter side. I like using golden beets so there’s less mess and no color bleeding.

Tomato and Arugula Salad - Toss sliced sweet summer grape or cherry tomatoes with arugula with the Green Goddess Dressing. Another surprising combo with green goddess is strawberry, cucumber and radish sprouts. Absolutely STUNNING as well. 

Mediterranean Fusion Salad - Toss the Lemon Basil Dressing with roasted red peppers, tomatoes, black olives, feta cheese, slivered almonds, and fried eggplant for a salad that spans the sunniest sea. This fresh dressing also works wonders with blue cheese, nuts and dried fruit over mixed greens.