No more puny salads! How to make a big vegan chopped salad that's a meal

If you want to grab control of your health and wellness for the New Year, there’s no more important skill than learning how to make a proper vegan chopped salad. A big one the size of a dinner plate. A salad that fills you up with protein, fiber and every nutrient in the rainbow with every bite to give your body the power to heal and renew itself daily (with very little added calories or fat). To right itself from previous wrongs. To turn off cancer cells and regulate blood sugar levels. To reduce inflammation in your body.

In fact, in a study published in the journal Hypertension, those who ate a nitrate-rich meal, such as a simple bowl of lettuce, experienced a substantial drop in both diastolic and systolic blood pressure within just a few hours of the meal that lasted all day long (just like the most widely prescribed nitrate drugs) so it lowers your risk of stroke and heart attack substantially. Rich sources of nitrates include all lettuces, arugula, kale, bok choy, cabbage, spinach and beets, so you want to get a salad like this into your diet every day.

Why leave out the meat and cheese? Because these two ingredients contain no fiber or antioxidants, are the largest sources of fat and cholesterol in the standard American diet and they counteract the disease-fighting, calorie-saving powers of eating this salad.

Not to mention, when you’ve already like eaten this, you’re less likely to eat a lot of other junk food.

Here's how to get one on the table in just minutes using everything you have in the fridge right now:

Vegan Cooking Level: Beginner

Step 1. Peruse the fridge looking for salad-worthy leftovers to give your salad POW. Grab any one of the following and set it aside: small amounts of pasta, roasted veggies, falafels or fritters, any beans or chick peas, quinoa or rice.