We all know that salads are an excellent way to get your 8 a day, but for many the word ‘salad’ evokes feelings of boredom coupled with a complete lack of desire. Salads are often dubbed ‘diet food’ and anything ‘diet’ related is usually thought to be tasteless. This should not be the case!
If you are limiting your salads to lettuce, cucumber and tomato then you are missing a trick. When you get creative with your ingredients, a simple salad turns into a taste extravaganza. Try mixing it up with some of the ideas below and you might just find you start looking forward to eating salad on a regular basis.
On a base of well washed leaves, add:
- Tuna, mixed beans, orange segments, cashew nuts and French dressing
- Avocado, red grapefruit segments, grated ginger and caraway seeds
- Beans sprouts or alfalfa, sweet corn kernels, sliced mushrooms – raw or cooked and pine nuts and/or sunflower or pumpkin seeds
- Apple, celery, walnut pieces and beans
- Beans, sweet corn kernels and green beans
- Avocado, smoked tofu and pineapple
- Beetroot, prunes, walnut pieces and lemon juice
- Cooked brown rice, beans, peas, sliced red onion and mixed herbs (fresh or dried)
- Cooked brown rice, grated carrot, chopped celery, sunflower seeds and sliced radish
- New potatoes, boiled egg, chicken and toasted almond flakes
- Shredded red cabbage, raisins, walnut pieces and a sprinkle of cinnamon
- Cherry tomatoes, basil leaves and crumbled feta cheese
- Cooked peas, mint leaves, goats cheese and pumpkin seeds
- Grated carrot, sultanas and a splash of balsamic vinegar
- Prawns, sweet corn, sliced avocado and sesame seeds
There are some acceptable shop-bought products, but do check the label for added sugar, preservatives and wheat and dairy if you are avoiding these.
Making your own:
Use a base of extra virgin olive oil, flaxseed, hemp seed, sesame, pumpkin seed oil or a mixture of 2 or 3.
You can add any of the following:
- lemon juice
- lime juice
- balsamic or apple cider vinegar (if you are not currently avoiding these)
- wholegrain or Dijon mustard
- pesto (red or green)
- grated or powered ginger or cinnamon
- paprika or cayenne pepper (go easy on this)
- fresh or dried herbs
- yoghurt, tamari or honey
These can be mixed directly in the bowl, or put them in a jar with a lid, give a vigorous shake and enjoy.