To dismiss salads as a serving of limp lettuce with a few tomato wedges and rounds of cucumber thrown in, is to underestimate what can be an appetizingly delicious meal. With the right ingredients and a sprinkling of culinary creativity you can transform a boring side into a magnificent, healthy main and change your eating habits as well as your lifestyle for the better.
Instead of seeing a salad as a dieter’s option on the menu and a meal to frown over believing you are missing out on tasty fare, start to behold the wonderful versatility of the salad and welcome the fact that you can create so many different flavors with so many healthy salad recipes. If you find it tough to think beyond simple salad ingredients and styles then here are a few ideas to give your salads a healthy and appetizing twist.
Get fruity: You add tomatoes to a salad, right? And they are fruits not vegetables so why not add in some extra sweetness with some chopped up fruit. The tingling sourness of plums works amazingly with so many other salad ingredients, while pineapple is considered to help the digestive process. Peel a soft, ripe pear or an avocado and add in melt-in-the-mouth slithers. Be seasonal and pair sweet and savoury flavors.
Make a superfood salad: With an avocado salad you already have a great superfood salad base which you can build on. Dry fry some pine nuts so they are nicely toasted to throw on top, perhaps with a few crumblings of walnuts; great with an organic salmon and spinach salad. Throw in some blueberries, making sure they are organic, to avoid pesticide residue. Add some pomegranate seeds and a splash of color with some shoestring beets. Add a side to your salad with a quinoa creation.
Create flavor intensity: A common complaint about salads is that they do not have much flavor. It is true that making a salad can be an afterthought and not much thought can go into taste. However, a salad can pack a powerfully intense flavor if you use the right ingredients. Add in some chopped anchovies for a salad rich in Omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. You really don’t need that many either as the salty flavor is really concentrated. Peppery watercress with slices of red radish can add some heat to a salad, while cooked asparagus adds a distinct flavor, as do artichokes.
Be quirky and creative: One of the best ways to enjoy salads is to experiment with different flavors and ingredients and see what works best. An example might be hot chicken livers on a bed of spinach leaves with slices of avocado and a raspberry dressing. You could try shredded green mango or strips of mango with peanuts, lime juice and some chopped chili and cooked shrimp for an Asian-inspired salad. There are no rules in salads!
Add texture: Because you have so many ingredients mixed together but still distinct, you really have a great opportunity to make every mouthful of a salad a soft, crunchy, velvety and even chewy taste sensation. Roasted red peppers are silky smooth, while celery creates a good crispy bite. A sprinkle of healthy nuts can be a great way to add a layer of crunch too, while hard boiled eggs and flakes of peppered mackerel add some softer ingredients to chew on that are rich in healthy nutrients too.
If you need help getting excited about salads or you enjoy a bowl of greens but are too big a fan of high-fat dressings, then let us show you how to be healthy with a happy and practical approach to your diet. Whether you want to lose weight, cut down on fats or add a more nutritious balance into your life, we can serve up some great healthy eating ideas, so get in touch.
Next month we will look at more ways you can add give salads an appetizing twist!