10 Ways to Spice up Your Salad Bar

After the first week or so of eating primally in college, you probably start to notice something. You start to notice that the salad bar is rapidly becoming your best friend. That’s right, the salad bar. Because you figured that you needed to give that indoor pan grill some rest. Maybe that day, they breaded the chicken, or pizza was the entree, or maybe lasagna. You stay true to your primal beliefs, so you stroll on over to the salad bar where it’s the same 10 cut-up veggies they had yesterday, and the day before, and the day before, and the day before. What can you do?

  1. Rotate your greens. Sometimes in college, we can get into a routine. This is not a bad thing when it comes to our academics, clubs and athletics. However, when it comes to food, you want to try and avoid an everyday routine; it gets boring. A wise man once said, “Variety is the spice of life.” By switching up your greens, you will get a variety of different nutrients. Whatever your dining hall serves up: Rommaine, Mixed Greens, Kale, Spinach, Arugala, etc. Make sure to mix and match as much as possible.
  2. Add an entree. People tend to get caught up on the salad bar options. But they dont realize that there is a whole other area of the dining hall! The entree station, or grill station can have some really great options. Be it grilled chicken, steak, meatloaf (watch out for bread crumbs in it), salmon, maybe even some sweet potatoes or yams! All of these options can really make a salad that much better.
  3. Try a new dressing. Extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar can get kind of old after a little while. So, we encourage you to try a new dressing! However, primal basics still apply in this situation. Look for dressings, like honey mustard, that don’t have vegetable oils in them. It can be hard, but if you look for it, you will be able to find it.
  4. Pick pickled vegetables. In terms of flavor, pickled veggies can really add a BIG kick to your salad. These little devils do have a bit of salt in them though, so don’t go too crazy. Look for some pickles, pickled peppers, jalapeños, etc.
  5. Add dried fruit. Similar to pickled vegetables, dried fruit can add some really good flavor to your salad. However, don’t over-do the dried fruit. The sugar can really add up on these. Adding a handful of raisins to your salad can completely change the flavor profiles, making a delicious meal.
  6. Try some fresh fruit. Add some mandarine oranges, apple slices, or even berries! Fresh fruit can give your salad that sweet and salty taste that you are craving after a long study-day.
  7. Bring your own. Have some really good dressing, or almond slivers in your room? Bring them along with you to the dining hall to add some new and exciting flavors!
  8. Go lettuce-less. Some of the best salads (think caprese, israeli, etc) are made without lettuce! Just because it is always the first thing on the salad bar doesn’t mean that you HAVE to put it in your salad. Mix up some veggies, tuna and seeds with a little extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar for a great salad!
  9. Bacon, bacon and more bacon. You probably caught on to this one already. But incase you missed it, bacon is delicious in salads. Bacon is delicious everywhere, and better yet, its good for you! Bacon is a great way to crank your salad up to 11.
  10. Add some seeds. Missing those crunchy, non-primal snacks? Add some seeds or nuts to your salad! Packed with protein, vitamin E and some other goodies, almonds can really pack a nutrient dense punch and crunch.

Have any good salad tips? What do you put in your salads at school? Leave a Comment!

About The Author


Max is a passionate pursuer of integrative health. He has been drafted by a professional baseball team, worked in publishing scientific laboratories and spoken to groups of students on health and well-being. He is currently a biology major and philosophy minor at Denison University. Max spends his time reading, weightlifting, traveling and learning. Email Max at mungar810@gmail.com.

11 Responses

  1. Danny Weiss
    Danny Weiss September 10, 2012 at 11:29 am | | Reply

    Hi Max! I hope all is well at Denison. I really enjoyed this article because I myself love a good salad but do find that it can get a little old sometimes. I do have a quick question though: what in your opinion would be the best and most healthy way to cook bacon? My billet family LOVES their bacon but when it is all slathered in grease I have a hard time believing that is healthy for you. Am I wrong? And is there a better and healthier way for my new family to enjoy their classic American bacon and egg breakfast?

  2. Jordan Tuwiner
    Jordan Tuwiner September 12, 2012 at 2:02 pm | | Reply

    Hey Max!

    My school has tons of vegetables, including some grilled and steamed ones. I always get tons of fresh vegetables, but I wanted your opinion on the grilled and steamed ones. Do they lose a lot of nutritional value when cooked?

  3. Chelsea
    Chelsea September 19, 2012 at 11:38 pm | | Reply

    It’s really interesting how my dressings choices have changed over the years. In high school I would only eat salads with “goddess dressing” (vegetarian/vegan days), then when I started college I used balsamic and olive oil…and now my salads are so flavorful in their nakedness…that I barely need any dressing at all. I pile on sauerkraut, artichoke hearts, sardines/salmon, carrots, beets or other flavorful veggies and it taste delicious with just some oil sprinkled on top! Thanks for the article Max!

  4. GiGi Eats Celebrities
    GiGi Eats Celebrities November 4, 2012 at 12:55 am | | Reply

    Totally love: artichoke hearts, eggs, green beans, grilled vegetables, roasted butternut squash, tuna, chicken, salmon, capers, sun dried tomatoes, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes…… Mmmm!!! All on my salad…. At the same time? Maybe so! LOL!

Leave a Reply