On a mission to prove that salad doesn’t just mean the lettuce filled side dish that takes up a quarter of your lunch plate out of habit, we have created the #NotASideDish hashtag to promote healthier eating habits and help you fall in love with salads just as much as we love them.

The truth is, salads can be as exciting or as boring as you make them. Having a complete salad meal for your lunch or dinner can provide all of your vegetable requirements for the day and leave you feeling lighter, yet more satisfied. A well constructed salad made with love and expertise can serve you with each of the main macronutrients your body needs daily; carbs, protein, and fats. Not to mention, vegetables are the richest source of various vitamins and minerals. So what better way to achieve your nutrient requirements than by combining a multitude of veggies in a large, body-loving bowl. Not sure how exactly a salad can be a complete meal? Keep reading.

How to Make Your Salad a Complete Meal

Taste the rainbow: The rule is every meal you should eat should contain at least three vibrant natural The more colorful your salad is from additions of a variety of vegetables, the more nutritious nutrients you will be delivery to your body. Each specific vegetable has unique vitamins and minerals that cannot be found anywhere else, and when combined in a salad the absorption of most of these compounds is enhanced. For example, adding tomatoes to your spinach will enhance the absorption of folic acid and iron from the spinach.

Don’t be afraid of carbs: Incorporate any of your favorite healthy carbs into your salad to give you energy, help you feel fuller, and also boost your fiber intake. Tip: using leftover carbohydrates, such as quinoa or brown pasta, is a great way of avoiding waste.

Include a high quality protein source: This can be either plant or animal based. Grilled chicken, seared beef, chickpeas, lentils or kidney beans are some of our favorite salad protein toppings.

Sprinkle some seeds: Sprinkling seeds onto your completed salad will boost the nutritional profile of your meal even further. They also add extra texture and flavor to your meal to help you feel fuller faster, without providing too many calories (perfect for weight loss). Check out our pick of the most nutritious seeds here.

Experiment with dressings: Having the classic oil, vinegar, and lemon dressing to salads is great but a lack of variety means boredom and ultimately a lack of commitment to your daily salad routine-to-be. Experimenting with different dressing options means you can have a new tasting meal everyday while using the same base ingredients. Play around in the kitchen and be creative in mixing spices and flavors.

This healthy eating campaign is in collaboration with Kcal. Find out exactly how a salad can be a complete meal by ordering one of Kcal’s scrumptious salads. Because we love spoiling our readers and making them as healthy as possible, simply mention The Daily Crisp next time you are ordering from Kcal and enjoy a FREE salad for #FreeSaladFebruary!