Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Salad days

Everybody knows vegetables are good for us, right? Low in calories and high in fibre, plus packed full of vitamins and minerals. Essential for good health and perfect to fill up on when you want to lose some weight. Salads in particular are great because they're usually fast to prepare. But even if you're a veggie fan (like me), you can get a bit bored now and then.

I've had days in the past when I just couldn't tolerate the idea of another salad. My solution was to make them a lot more interesting and tasty than most people's usual lettuce-tomato-cucumber combos. So if you're bored with salads, give some of these ideas a whirl:

Try adding fruit to your salads – it makes them seem more substantial, and in many cases you won’t need dressing at all, as the juice will provide enough moisture.

• Orange segments go well with rocket, baby spinach and some thinly sliced red onion.
• Diced apple is always great with cucumber and crunchy greens.
• Apple is also good combined with lettuce leaves, celery, walnuts and some fat free natural yoghurt mixed with a little lemon juice and black pepper. Kind of a healthier version of a Waldorf salad.
• Thinly sliced pear also goes well with rocket and onion. Add a few shavings of parmesan and some black pepper.
• Diced mango is fabulous in a leafy salad with some sliced red and yellow capsicum.
• Try watermelon with snow pea shoots and coriander leaves.

Some roasted veggies in your salad makes it special:

• Roasted pumpkin with baby spinach, cucumber and basil leaves
• Roasted or chargrilled capsicums make anything taste great
• Sweet potato can be substituted for pumpkin
• Boiled or baked potatoes, sliced and served warm with salad veggies
• Roasted onion or garlic – yum!

Add some nuts or seeds, but go easy on the amount. Try some of these:

• Walnuts
• Pecans
• Almonds – slivered or flaked work well
• Pine nuts
• Pepitas
• Sunflower seeds
• Sesame seeds

Turn your salad into a salsa. Just chop everything finely and mix:

• Tomato, onion (just a little), capsicum, coriander leaves and avocado
• Roasted capsicum, tomato and onion with balsamic vinegar
• Mango, capsicum, onion, squeeze of lime juice
• Peaches, onion, basil, vinegar and oil

Care to share your favourite salad ideas? Jump in and leave a comment.


Cinders said...

Thanks for these ideas. I had been having a mango almost daily in my salad but sadly I think their season is over. Another thing I do is buy a bbq chook early in the week, shred it and toss it in for a protein hit. A tuna tin or pouch is also a good idea. No mention of pomegranates lol, their not too bad either in a salad.

Kek said...

Thanks, Cinders - and I forgot about pomegranates. LOL

Kerry W said...

I love nuts in salad, especially almonds.

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