Let's Talk Salad.
Saturday, January 26, 2013
Okay, so some of you may be eating salads religiously every day. Some of you may not even know how to put together a salad. Some of you maybe can't remember the last time you ate a salad. Anyway, for most people, salad = boring. The only way to enjoy it is by dumping some creamy dressing on it, they may think. But it doesn't have to be this way!
You can enjoy salad WITH the dressing, just not the creamy one. You dont have to eat an assortment of bland veggies in a bowl everyday, and torture yourself with the boredom of it. I make salads every day in my home, (mostly cause if one of my siblings did it, they'd just chop a squishy tomato and toss it in a bowl with cucumber, unlike the tender loving care I give my salads ;D) and I've become pretty good at it. I want to share with you all some tips and tricks for livening up boring salads.
So, most salads for me consist of these basics:
- bell peppers
- cherry tomato
Its usually a mix of these basic veggies, and then I play with it from there. I add in some nuts, dressing, grate some Parmasean cheese, and what not. Dont shy away from fruits in salads! Try some of these:
- orange wedges
- mango strips
- pineapple chunks
These particularly taste good with spinach and tomatoes , in my opinion (except for the apple, that doesnt go with tomatoes). Adding fruit gives it a sophisticated flair that sets it apart from an everyday TCL - tomato, cucumber, lettuce - salad. Once my mother brought a salad containing strawberries to a potluck and everyone was raving about how unique and spectacular it was.
And nuts! They add protein and give salads a nice, earthy flavor.
- toasted sunflower seeds (just pop them on a nonstick pan and shake it around while they brown)
- slivered almonds
- pine nuts
And here are some suggestions for salad dressing ingredients. I usually use an olive oil base and mix in other things such as:
- freshly squeezed lemon juice
- flax seed oil (so good for you!)
- orange juice (just about any kind of juice!)
- dijon mustard
- freshly ground black pepper
- garlic-infused oil
- chopped fresh mint
- chopped fresh basil
- italian seasoning
- garlic salt
- red wine vinegar
- balsamic vinegar
So you just mix and match till you come up with what you're looking for! I usually like something a bit sweet and tangy, so I go with some kind of oil, add lemon or a kind of vinegar for the acidity, then sweeten with honey and spice it up. Adding ginger ot mint gives a very refreshing taste to the salad, try it out! Oh, and you might want to pop the dressing in the fridge for a bit so the oil and everything else can emulsify. Here are some other toppings:
- grated parmesean cheese
- spring onions
- cottage cheese. crumbled
I hope I gave you some inspiration for your next salad! Remember, eating salad doesnt have to be bland and tedious, it can be sophisticated and oh-so-delish! :D