Let’s talk about salads. Sure, everyone knows that salads are healthy, vital, and essential to healthy living. However, as healthy as salads are, they do have a reputation for being boring and bland. Even though this tends to be the case more than not, understand that eating a plate of greens does not have to be dry and a tasteless effort. Create a salad with a variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.
You can add various vegetables, perhaps some berries for a sweet taste, tangerines for a tangy flavor, and nuts or seeds for some added crunch.
There’s More than Just Lettuce and Tomato
You’ll never create an exciting salad if you’re only using lettuce, cucumber and tomato. Creating a salad is an art. Have an open mindset and introduce the whole garden: peppers, olives, corn, onions, broccoli, beets, carrots, avocados, all the things. Dried fruit is also a good option: raisins, banana chips, or dried cherries. Adding fruit enhances a sweet flavor and can take away some of the more bitter taste some of the vegetables can bring off.
Enhance Your Salad with Protein
If you want your salad to be more than a side, consider adding some protein sources. Kidney beans, tofu, walnuts and edamame are a few vegetarian options rich in protein. There’s also the option of fish and meat – this chicken salad recipe is a great option if you’re looking for a more hearty salad and you have no dietary restrictions. Just be cautious where you get your protein sources from and watch the fat content. It’s easy to get sidetracked and lose control of your proportions. Stick with clean and lean protein options and you won’t run into consuming a “fatty” salad.
Texture Your Salad
Crunchy adds flavor and texture. Lettuce, celery, and croutons are great forms of texture if you want something crispy. However, avocado and beans are a great add for a softer salad. Also, don’t forget quinoa and couscous: great options of grains that also create a more filling salad.
Cut Your Veggies
Rather than using large chunks, consider using finer cuts and shavings. This can sometimes help to bring out flavour. A vegetable slicer could be a worthy investment for making fine-cutting a little easier. Or you can have a bed of greens and some shredded carrots, beets, and/or cabbage sprinkled on top.
Learn New Salad Dressings
A drizzle of dressing could help to add an extra kick of flavor. It’s always best to create your own, because you can’t hide any unknown ingredients. Store bought dressings tend to contain large amount of hidden added sugars. And it’s also easy to get carried away when drizzling dressing on your salad. There are plenty of recipes online on how to make your own salad dressing.
Season, season, season!
Don’t be afraid to season– herbs and spices like pepper, mint, tarragon, basil and parsley can bring your salad to life. You can even add some salt, although a pinch is all you need – this will bring out the flavors of the other ingredients without making your greens too salty. Remember, even though you want to add flavor, you still need to eat the salad and not disguise it too much with a bunch of flavors.
Seek Local and Fresh
Fresh and local ingredients are where it’s at. Vegetables grown in season are likely to taste the most flavorsome. Also choose organic if possible. Most organic produce tends to have a crunchier taste and fresher. Besides, organic means less pesticides and chemicals and you can enjoy the full benefit of the produce.
Salads are a staple and a must. You can never overload on a salad if you stick to healthy toppings and sugar free dressings. Be creative, have fun, and find your taste when fixing your next plate of greens!