You know how important it is to include a salad in your diet every day. But you also want variety, flavour and texture. Here is a basic salad recipe that you can mix and match with whatever you have in the fridge. All you have to do is follow these simple principles for putting it together:
1. Start with some greens. Mesclun greens if you like salad with bite, iceberg lettuce if you prefer a mild flavour. Warrigal greens, nasturtium leaves, even silverbeet if you can get small tender leaves.
2. Add some raw or lightly steamed vegetables for texture, flavour and colour. Like capsicum, tomato, mushroom, green beans, zucchini. Vegetables in season will have more flavour. Organic of course, for optimum nutrition!
3. Add a protein food: Like boiled egg, tofu, chick peas or other legumes, cheese, seafood, cooked chicken, beef, lamb or pork. In winter, make your salad a warm salad by cooking your meat or egg just before you assemble the salad. My favourite is char grilled chicken fresh from the barbeque.
4. Add something creamy: Like avocado, soft white cheese, cold roast pumpkin, or cooked chat potatoes.
5. Add something tangy: Like olives or anchovies. Or save the tang for the dressing.
6. Need something more? Try adding a sprinkle of toasted almonds, sesame seeds, noodles, or croutons.
7. Make sure the salad is colourful; this makes it more appealing to the eye
8. The dressing must be good, so you do not feel that you are eating rabbit food. For a basic dressing, use one part vinegar or lemon juice to three parts oil (flaxseed or olive oil for example). Add flavourings such as mustard, green herbs, garlic or chilli. Yoghourt can make a great salad dressing all on its own.
Your salad is now a complete meal. The possibilities are endless – you can change the combination every day and never get bored!
Here are some ideas to get you started:
· Mesclun greens topped with sliced red capsicum, chick peas and marinated barbequed lamb. Use balsamic vinegar in the dressing.
· Salmon and potato on greens with anchovies and a yoghourt dressing
· Greek salad: Salad greens, tomato, cucumber, feta cheese, olives.