I love to cook but my motivation is at all time low right now. I want the ingredients to get themselves together and just make something already. You know what I mean? Enter salad.
Salad vegetables (and all kinds too of course) are full of vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants, which all help our mind and bodies working day-to-day and reduce our risk of chronic disease.
That said, getting enough of those vegetables does become a little tricky if you leave your daily dose to one meal like dinner, so spreading the vegetable love across the day is key. Of course, you can tick off a bunch at breakfast by adding mushrooms, tomato, spinach or baked beans to a poached egg and then gather speed by adding a crisp, crunchy salad to lunch.
We can most certainly make salad fancy but the question is, do we need to?
Just like a coordinated wardrobe, there are some easy ways to mix and match colours and ingredients to put together a salad that everyone around you will be wishing they had too.
For an all seasons salad mix any of the following:
+1…Go Green – baby spinach leaves, crunchy Cos lettuce, beetroot leaves or tatsoi for a fibre, magnesium and folate boost
+2…Orange all over – roasted warm chunks of orange sweet potato, pumpkin or carrot, all excellent sources of the powerful antioxidant carotene.
+3…Go Fast Red – cherry tomatoes, sliced ripe Roma tomato
And don’t forget to add Exceptional Extra’s like – crunchy cucumber, baby roasted or canned beetroot, sliced mushrooms and crunchy combo sprouts.
Toss your choice of salad ingredients and add:
- Protein Power – lean chicken, sliced cold leftover lamb or beef, lean ham, boiled egg, small tin of 4 bean mix/chickpeas or lentils.
Quick Salad Ideas
- Lentil, Ricotta and Beetroot – combine 220g canned, drained lentils with 3 baby beets, a handful of baby spinach and 100g low fat crumbled ricotta
- Orange, capsicum and avocado – toss a handful of mixed salad leaves with 1 orange peeled, segmented and sliced, ¼ of a sliced avocado and ¼ medium red capsicum topped with 40g crumbled low fat feta
Along with the rest of the world, the distinct green leaves of kale have been one of my favourites for a while. Kale going solo does lack appeal but in this recipe – kaboom!
Try my fave healthy Kale Caesar Salad recipe below and you will see what I mean.
Kale Caesar Salad (serves 6)
½ bunch curly or Tuscan Kale (washed, dried and leaves trimmed of stalks)
4 slices proscuitto (fat trimmed), grilled
4 slices sourdough bread
½ cup low fat natural yoghurt + 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard + 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil + 1 large garlic cloven + ¼ cup lemon juice + 2 tablespoons fresh grated parmesan cheese
Once trimmed, roll up kale leaves, slice finely and place in large salad bowl. Break the grilled proscuitto into small pieces and scatter over the kale leaves.
Tear the bread roughly into 1 cm pieces, place on a baking tray and spray with cooking spray. Bake in a moderate oven for approx. 10 minutes until crispy.
For the dressing, mix all ingredients together in a shaker or jug and pour over kale leaves. Using your hands, mix the dressing through the salad and serve.