How to make friends with salad
Think salads are boring and tasteless? When you think of salad you might picture a bowl of soggy lettuce, a few mushy tomatoes and cucumber? It doesn’t have to be this way! Salads are a staple in my house especially in summer or when entertaining. Making friends with salad can be easy with these simple tips below.
Start with a fresh base
Salads don’t always have to use lettuce as a base. Try switching up your usual lettuce to something different like spinach, rocket or kale. Or if you aren’t a huge fan of greens you could use a base of rice, couscous, quinoa, lentils, chickpeas or edamame. Starting with a different salad base instantly makes salad more interesting.
Including a protein source in your salad will keep you feeling fuller for longer. You can use meats like chicken, beef, pork or turkey or for a plant based alternative the options are endless. Cook up some tofu or tempeh and add that in or you can boost the protein content with tinned legumes such as chickpeas or lentils that don’t require any cooking.
Adding as many colours as possible to your salads is a great way to not only maximise the nutrients on your plate but make it look appealing too. Here are some ways to eat the rainbow –
- Red – Try tomatoes, capsicum, radishes or fruits like strawberries, watermelon or pomegranate
- Orange and yellow – Try carrots, pumpkin, sweet potato, corn or fruits like oranges and lemons
- Green – Try spinach, rocket, green beans, avocado or broccoli
- Blue and purple – Try eggplant, purple cabbage or blueberries
- White and brown – Try cauliflower, mushrooms or nuts like almonds or walnuts
For something fresh and different try adding fruits to your salad. Some of my favourites include nectarines, berries, pineapple, papaya, watermelon, oranges or mango for a burst of sweetness and colour. These additions can instantly elevate your salad and make it even more delicious. Including citrus like lemons or oranges to a dressing can add a pop of flavour as well.
My favourite tip for making salads more interesting is too add some texture and crunch. Once you have assembled all your ingredients don’t forget to add some crunch on top with chopped nuts like almonds, walnuts or pistachios or why not add some pomegranate arils. Nuts are a great source of healthy fats so they not only add crunch but up the nutrition factor as well.
Adding a delicious salad dressing can make all the difference. Making your own dressing can be simple and so much better for you than store bought dressings that can be full of sugar. By including a source of healthy fats like olive oil or tahini you can ensure your salad is balanced and will fill you up. Some of my favourite ingredients to make a dressing include olive oil, lemon, tahini, Dijon mustard or Greek yoghurt. Super simple but they all taste delicious.
As you can see salads don’t have to be boring. Mixing up your usual garden salad and creating something delicious with these tips will ensure you enjoy eating salad again and again. These quick tips will ensure your salad fills you up with a good balance of protein, healthy fats, carbs, fibre and lots of colour. Exactly what you need for a delicious and nutritious meal!