Big F*ckin’ Salad (B.F.S.) // How to Build the Ultimate Salad that Doesn’t Suck

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Tasty Yummies Big Fuckin’ Salad. Big Fucking Salad. Big F*ckin Salad.

Big F*ckin' Salad (B.F.S.) // How to Build the Ultimate Salad that Doesn't Suck

If you’ve followed me on Instagram for some time, you know that the Big F*ckin’ Salad is a total staple in my kitchen, and yah ok, my potty mouth is also a staple in well, life – but I do my best to keep is mostly PG-ish, most of the time! Nearly every single day, in the Brickey household, we rip a colossal nutrient-dense salad for a meal. It’s a great way to get it loads and loads of important nutrients in one sitting, it’s filling, easy to make, fun to get creative with and they are just dang yummy! I actually feel like if I build an amazing B.F.S. at least once a day, I can be certain no matter what the rest of my day looks like, I am getting a huge dose of super important nutrients. Generally in the summer months, it’s what’s for dinner most nights, but oftentimes it’s lunch and I’ve even been known to crush an epic Big F*ckin’ Breakfast Salad, too! One of my favorites.

Big F*ckin' Salad (B.F.S.) // How to Build the Ultimate Salad that Doesn't Suck

I am finally walking you through my basic formula for building the perfect loaded up Big F*ckin’ Salad, so you can be a B.F.S-building Queen (or King). As far as I am concerned, all you need for a successful B.F.S. is quality greens, protein, fat, some crunchy stuff (from extra raw veggies or other add-ons) and an amazing homemade dressing. That’s it.

Best part about a daily B.F.S? You can be sure you are loading yourself up with tons of plant based nutrients, lots of fiber and of course some quality fat and protein. Follow my formula and make yourself a B.F.S. every day to get in your nutrients and I promise you will never ever get bored.

First things first, get yourself a SOLID gigantic bowl for your B.F.S. I love our huge wide bowls for Ikea (seen here), but I am not mad about a big salad being served in a gigantic mixing bowl (glass OR metal), either.

Tasty Yummies Big Fuckin’ Salad. Big Fucking Salad. Big F*ckin Salad.

Big F*ckin' Salad (B.F.S.) // How to Build the Ultimate Salad that Doesn't Suck

(+ extras if you want ’em)

First major rule of the B.F.S. Club:
there are NO RULES!!

Big F*ckin' Salad (B.F.S.) // How to Build the Ultimate Salad that Doesn't Suck

Start with a BIG Pile of Greens

This is the base of your B.F.S. Choose organic, whenever possible. Pick one or a few. I personally like nutrient-dense dark leafy greens like spinach, kale or wild arugula, but often I will include romaine cuz I really love the crunch. You can hand tear larger leafy greens, roughly chop or go with a smaller chop with a hand salad chopper tool – if you want a chopped salad vibe.

  • Spinach
  • Arugula
  • Kale*
  • Romaine, Iceberg, Boston, Butter, Bibb, Little Gem, Green Leaf, Red Leaf and other Lettuces
  • Endive
  • Radicchio**
  • Collard Greens
  • Swiss Chard
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli Slaw
  • Watercress
  • Frisée
  • Mixed green lettuce blends, baby greens, etc.

* For kale salads, I recommend massaging raw kale with a little sea salt and olive oil or lemon juice to soften the fibrous nature of the kale and cut down on the bitterness.

** Try soaking your radicchio in an ice water bath for approximately 15 minutes to cut down on it’s bitterness

Big F*ckin' Salad (B.F.S.) // How to Build the Ultimate Salad that Doesn't Suck

Add Your Protein

If you want your B.F.S to be a well-rounded meal, a high-quality protein is necessary!! This can make or break your salad and it sets the tone for the salad vibes you are going for. Ground meat makes for an epic taco or Mexican salad, try sliced steak with veggies, crispy skinned fish and a little nori, maybe some Buffalo chicken tenders for something fun or eggs and bacon for a breakfast salad. There’s really no wrong way. Plus, your Big F*ckin’ Salad is an amazing way to use up leftover cooked proteins. As an FYI, I always suggest 25-35 grams of protein per meal, as a good general guideline to follow.

  • Wild-caught salmon, tuna, halibut or other fish
  • Sardines, anchovies and other canned wild-caught fish
  • Grass-fed beef, bison or lamb
  • Organic, free-range, chicken or turkey
  • Pasture-raised pork
  • Pasture-raised eggs
  • Shrimp, scallops or other shellfish
  • High-quality deli and cured meats like salami, ham, turkey, pancetta, prosciutto, sausage, bacon, etc

Big F*ckin' Salad (B.F.S.) // How to Build the Ultimate Salad that Doesn't Suck

Go Wild with Veggies (and maybe a ‘lil fruit, too)

This is where you can load up extra nutrients, plus you get lots of colors and crunch, here too. Choose as many or as few as you’d like.

  • Radishes
  • Cucumber
  • Tomatoes
  • Bell peppers
  • Avocado
  • Celery
  • Red or green onion
  • Broccoli or broccolini
  • Cauliflower
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Asparagus
  • Snap peas
  • Kohlrabi
  • Cooked beets
  • Mushrooms
  • Zucchini
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Berries
  • Oranges/grapefruit

* I really love dumping leftover roasted veggies on my Big F*ckin’ Salads, roasted Brussels, roasted sweet potato or butternut squash, roasted broccoli. YUM! Pickled veggies are also a nice addition to a B.F.S


Big F*ckin' Salad (B.F.S.) // How to Build the Ultimate Salad that Doesn't Suck

Have Fun with Extras:

This is the bonus group, the boosts, the extras. This is where we go for the crunch, some funky tang, extra nutrients, etc.

  • Nuts and seeds – I love sprouted pumpkin seeds, hemp hearts, pili or macadamia nuts, walnuts or savory grain-free granola
  • Grain-free croutons (I’ll use a grain-free bread, drizzle on some olive oil and garlic powder put in the toaster oven and make epic croutons)
  • Broccoli sprouts or other sprouts
  • Olives
  • Fresh herbs like parsley, cilantro, dill, mint, basil, etc
  • Fermented goodies like sauerkraut or kimchi
  • Cheese (I am partial to feta cheese and goat cheeses or a raw sheep milk cheese like manchego)
  • Quick pickled onions or other pickled veggies
  • Nori or other seaweed snacks/sheets
  • Shredded coconut
  • Cruncy chickpeas or other beans
  • Grains and pseudo grains like quinoa, rice, millet, etc.
  • The list goes on and on and on.

Big F*ckin' Salad (B.F.S.) // How to Build the Ultimate Salad that Doesn't Suck

A Important Note About Fat on Your B.F.S.

Fats play a very important role in helping you to properly absorb all of the amazing nutrients in your salads. You always wanna include quality fats in all of your meals, and I find that this is generally effortless with a B.F.S. You are possibly going to get some fat in your protein (more or less depending on the protein you select), as well as from a (hopefully) homemade dressing made with high-quality extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil, plus you can also get fat from add-ons like avocado, olives, nuts and seeds, any cheeses you include, etc. How much fat to add will depend on your preferences, needs, goals, etc.

As always, just like you would when you are crafting any healthful meal, if you notice you are opting for a leaner protein, like chicken breast, you may want to put extra emphasis on additional fat, by way of avocado, olive oil or otherwise. Often if I am in a rush and don’t have a dressing ready made, I will give a generous pour of extra virgin olive oil over my B.F.S., just to know I am getting my healthy fat!


Big F*ckin' Salad (B.F.S.) // How to Build the Ultimate Salad that Doesn't Suck

Last But Not Least, The Dressing:

The dressing is where you get to really put your own personal spin on things. The sky is the limit here, as well.
Always prioritize a high-quality cold-pressed oil like extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil. If you are going with store-bought, be sure to read labels carefully, look out for vegetable oils and sugar. 

Follow my simple formula making your own homemade salad dressings and vinaigrettes


Have some fun with some of my personal favorites from the TY archives:

Dad’s Greek Dressing, Lemon Tahini Dressing, Dairy-free Ranch, Paleo Buffalo Ranch, 5-Minute Green Goddess, Green Tahini, Creamy Avocado Dressing, Creamy Feta VinaigretteRaspberry Vinaigrette, Creamy Lemon Tarragon Vinaigrette, Lemony Turmeric Yogurt Dressing, Honey Dijon Almond Butter Dressing


Just drizzle on a little quality extra-virgin olive oil, some fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper. Simple and Tasty.

Big F*ckin' Salad (B.F.S.) // How to Build the Ultimate Salad that Doesn't Suck

Some of my Favorite Meal-Ready Salads from the Archives:

Turkey Club Chopped Salad

Beef on Week Salad with Horseradish Caraway Dressing

Banh Mi Salad

Radicchio Salad with Bacon Lardon, Manchego and Six Minute Egg

Tuna and Arugula Salad with Avocado, Black Olives and Lemon Parsley Vinaigrette

Baja Fish Taco Bowl/Salad

Carne Asada Burrito Bowl/Salad

Spring Greens with Roasted Beets, Walnuts and Creamy Feta Vinaigrette*

Grilled Romaine Salad with Blueberries, Avocado and Creamy Lemon Tarragon Vinaigrette *

Kale Salad with Balsamic Roasted Beets, Horseradish Tahini Dressing and Spicy Maple Pepitas *

Baby Kale and Quinoa Salad with Dates, Avocado and Citrus Hibiscus Vinaigrette*

Wilted Kale Salad with Warm Mustard Shallot Vinaigrette and Spicy Butternut Squash Croutons*

Autumn Harvest Salad with Green Horseradish Vinaigrette*

Warm Kale Salad with Roasted Fennel and Cranberry Meyer Lemon Salsa*

Spring Green Salad with Honey Dijon Almond Butter Dressing*

See the full archive of salads here.

*All of these salads can easily be made ito a full meal-ready B.F.S. by selected your favorite protein to serve on top, it’s totally up to you!


Tasty Yummies Big Fuckin’ Salad. Big Fucking Salad. Big F*ckin Salad.

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