Readers, I come to you today to extol the virtue—nay, defend the honor—of the big-ass keto salad. You might not think such a thing is necessary, but you’d be surprised how many people minimize their vegetable intake when they’re eating keto, believing (erroneously) that vegetables must play only a small supporting role in a keto diet.
Yes, it’s true that keto is a low-carb diet, and it’s also true that vegetables contain carbohydrates. Some more than others, but even the lowest-carb vegetables contain some. But that’s not a reason to cut big, colorful, delicious salads out of your life.
Vegetables also contain vitamins, mineral, phytonutrients, and fiber. In fact, much of the carbohydrate content of vegetables is fiber, especially when we’re talking about vegetables of the above-ground, non-starchy variety. That’s important because fiber doesn’t stimulate an insulin response or interfere with ketosis. The net carb burden of a big-ass salad is usually quite low (the recipe below only has 9 grams of net carbs). Also I usually only eat two meals a day, so I don’t worry if a big-ass salad contains 20 or more grams of total carbs, especially from fiber-rich vegetables, because my daily intake is still well within keto ranges.
So no, I don’t shy away from vegetables on keto. In fact, I highly recommend plenty of above-ground vegetables and even berries for an optimally varied, nutrient-dense keto diet. And let’s not forget that big-ass salads are an excellent vehicle for the healthy fats that keto eaters love.
This salad we’re talking about today is no side dish for sure. With a whole avocado, a generous chunk of Emmental cheese (my favorite cheese when I’m in ketosis), and a hefty helping of my own Primal Kitchen® Caesar Dressing with all the rich goodness of avocado oil, this salad is the perfect meal for any keto eater. See if it won’t make you a keto salad believer.
Sisson’s Big-Ass Keto Salad
Prep Time: 5-10 minutes
2-3 cups of greens (I prefer a mix of romaine lettuce and dark leafy greens)
6 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 whole avocado, chopped
3 broccolini stalks (raw, steamed, or roasted), roughly chopped
Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.