After being indoors for over a year and indulging in every kind of baked good and restaurant delivered meals you are probably not feeling your fittest. If you’re making an effort to eat better, salads are a great option, especially in summer. It’s an easy way to get plenty of fresh vegetables in a low-calorie meal. If you find you’re getting tired of the same old recipes, however, there are a few things you can do. Shake things up with some new ingredients, fresh herbs, or even an exotic twist. There’s no reason why salads can’t be just as tasty as they are healthy. Here are five simple ways to make salads more exciting.
Add plenty of fresh herbs
Herbs add wonderful aromas to salads and they’re just as good for you as traditional greens. You can spice up your salads with your favorite flavors or even use herbs as a base. This is standard in traditional Mediterranean cooking, and you can experiment with different recipes. You could even start your own herb garden and add homegrown ingredients to your salads. Mint and thyme are perfect to freshen up any bland tasting salad. Check out this herby salad recipe for inspiration.
Grow your own ingredients
As well as growing your own herbs you can also grow salad greens all year round. Homegrown crops tend to be much tastier than shop-bought and you’ll have your own supply. Salad leaves also grow very quickly so you won’t have to wait long to sample your own produce. It’s very satisfying to cook with ingredients you’ve grown yourself. Gardening is also a very therapeutic hobby. You can even grow vegetables in small pots so you don’t need much space. You can use a window ledge that gets the morning sun, you’d be surprised how much seeing your plantsgrow can inspire you to try them in new ways. Chives, scallions, ginger, garlic, mint, and basil all grow relatively quickly and you can prune a little bit each day to add to your dinner.
Add an exotic twist
You could try exotic new recipes such as this thai salad at Feasting At Home. It’s packed full of vegetables and noodles tossed in a delicious peanut sauce. Thai salad recipes traditionally include a blend of delicate flavors and aromas. You can impress your friends at your next potluck dinner or summer BBQ with your new creations. Alternatively, they make a great choice for a healthy lunch.
Combine a mix of textures
If you want to improve your culinary skillsthis summer try playing around with different combinations of textures. Nuts and seeds add a nice crunch to salads and you could balance this out with soft ingredients such as avocado or cheese. You could also add a few juicy tomatoes, olives, and caper berries for a bit of zest. If you like you can even put fruit in your salads, like pomegrante seeds or dried cranberries. Try combining your favorite ingredients to come up with something new and original.
Making your own dressing
Do you know how amazing a fresh dressing tastes? Making salad dressing at home isn’t hard at all, it is just about the proportion of oil and liquid (that could be lemon or lime juice or vinegar). The right balance of seasoning and liquids make for a preservative free and healthy dressing over a flavorful salad. Don’t forget to add the dressing last with a pinch of salt mixed in. A basic vinaigrette goes with every combination of ingredients.
Include your favorite protein
Include your favorite protein and turn your salad into a delicious yet balanced meal. You could add chicken, steak, fish, or turkey for a leaner option. If you’re vegetarian or vegan beans, tempeh, and pulses are a great alternative. Here are a few high-protein salad recipes to give you an idea. The great thing about salad is that it’s very versatile. You can add the ingredients you like best to make yours more exciting. Have fun inventing your own recipes this summer and share your delicious creations with your friends and family.
I love a good ingredient packed salad. What are your favorite ingredients to put in a salad? What is your favorite salad dressing? Tell me allabout your favorites in the comments.
Until our next rendezvous…