Who needs coffee when you can have a salad for an afternoon energy boost!
Wait…What??? It’s true, all of the ingredients in this salad are classified as “superfoods” and will replenish your body with natural, long-lasting energy. If you will be making one of these meals to bring to work or on the go, keep in mind that some meal preparation is required. As there are roasted vegetables involved I would suggest making the salad the night before so you can save time in the morning by having a healthy meal at the ready. Let’s get started!
The energy-boosting superfood you will need is half of a sweet potato. These orange veggies are rich in complex carbohydrates which offer fuel in the form of glucose. This simple sugar is easy for your body to break down and the energy utilized in your brain and central nervous system. Rather than the short lived buzz that accompanies a sugary snack, the nutrients found in sweet potatoes will keep you feeling on your game for hours.
Next you will need to slice 3/4 of a cup of cherry tomatoes and measure out 1/2 a cup of pre-sliced mushrooms. Tomatoes have a high content of biotin, an essential B vitamin the water in your body breaks down. Biotin is known as an “energy vitamin” which improves the performance of enzymes. As a result, apart from low physical energy, you may experience the symptoms of low blood sugar between meals. Mushrooms are also a way to wake up your mind. In a recent Hong Kong study, researchers discovered that mushrooms and other fungi increase the body’s ability to produce ATP, our main source of energy! Combine the sweet potato, mushroom, and tomato in a roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil. Let the mixture bake for 35-40 minutes at 400 degrees.While the vegetables are roasting, prepare the lettuce in whatever container you will be eating your salad. I used about 3 cups of lettuce, but feel free to use more or less depending on how hungry you are! While romaine lettuce is known for being very low in calories, it actually does contain 1 gram of fiber and 2 grams of carbohydrates per cup. Both of these vital molecules are necessary for providing sustainable energy. Sprinkle the lettuce with some shaved carrots for a healthy crunch!
Finally, cut half of an avocado into chunks and add to your salad. The avocado has more benefits than I could fit into this post, but one of its most important characteristics is its composition of monounsaturated fats. These nutritious fats are used by the body to create energy quickly, meaning avocados can provide your body with a great source of energy without increasing your protein or carbohydrate intake.
When the veggies are done roasting, allow to cool for a few minutes and then add to the salad. I used a Ken’s Lite Northern Italian dressing, but a lite balsamic would also be delicious! As a finishing touch, drizzle the salad in hot sauce. This will not only get your neurons firing, but also your metabolism! To store, place undressed salad in the refrigerator overnight. Make sure that it is uncovered or the heat from the roasted vegetables will wilt the lettuce. Happy eating!Ingredients:
- 1/2 sweet potato
- 3/4 cup sliced tomatoes
- 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
- shaved carrots
- 3 cups romaine lettucce
- hot sauce
- 1/2 avocado
- dressing of our choice
- Cube sweet potato and slice mushrooms and tomatoes. Add to roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil. Let roast for 35-40 minutes at 400 degrees.
- Prepare lettuce and add carrot shavings and 1/2 avocado sliced or cubed.
- Top salad with roasted veggies, hot sauce, and dressing. Enjoy!