A summer salad can be a super healthy meal. But for some, salad means eating the same boring combination of thing lettuce, tomato and cucumber, feeling unsatisfied afterwards and looking around for something else to eat – often something a lot less healthy! Would you love to be able to make your summer salads more interesting and enjoyable without spending hours in the kitchen! Read on for some of my fav tips
WHY SUMMER SALADS ARE GOOD FOR YOU?
Salads contain a variety of different vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals, all of which can help boost your immune system and stop you getting frequent illnesses. These nutrients can also help develop healthier looking skin and hair so that you look and feel amazing. If you want to look forward to eating summer salads, here are some tips to help you make them more interesting.
5 WAYS TO MAKE SUMMER SALADS INTERESTING
Use a recipe – use other people’s recipes in books, magazines, the internet. www.bbc.co.uk/food is a good website, just search for salad and filter your search to quick and easy recipes. At the moment my favourite recipe book for salads (and vegetable in general) is Much More Veg by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall – I pick out the salads that are easy and quick to prepare. So far they have been delicious and are good on their own or alongside a meat or fish dish.
Set yourself a challenge: do one new salad recipe once a week or once every two weeks – make sure your save the recipe in a folder so that you build a resource of different salads to fall back on. As you get used to making these different salads you will be able to improvise and add your own little touches. Preparation will get quicker.
Use a sharp knife –
this makes cutting quicker, easier and more fun. Also try cutting in a different way, it can
fool your brain into thinking you are eating something different eg if you normally
cut your veg lengthways in salads, try cutting widthways or cut thinner or
thicker slices than usual.
Try different varieties of the same thing – if you always use cherry tomatoes use plum cherry tomatoes instead or different coloured cherry tomatoes, replace your usual lettuce with coriander leaves, parsley leaves, rocket or even lightly steamed green beans, try a different dressing like yoghurt mixed with a little chopped garlic, salt and pepper instead of olive oil and white wine vinegar.
Copy salads you have eaten elsewhere – if you have a salad you loved in a restaurant try and remember the combinations, take a photo or even ask the chef how they made it and recreate it at home.
SOME SUMMER SALAD RECIPES TO TRY
Inspired by a recent holiday on the Greek island of Chios. If there are left overs, take them to work with you the next day for lunch or have them as a vegetable side dish to accompany roast chicken instead of roast potatoes and 2 veg. I love the combination of hot meat with cold salad.
Greek salad – this served 2 people
1 big beef tomato and half a cucumber cut up into big chunks and put into a big salad bowl; add half red onion and 1 green pepper sliced into strips. Add 1 handful of olives (I like the Moroccan dry black ones, but any strongly flavoured ones will do), 1 tablespoon of capers, handful of samphire and 1 handful of feta cheese cut into cubes, add some olive oil and a good squeeze of lemon juice from a whole lemon, sea salt and black pepper to taste. Mix together and serve.
I loved this, especially with the taste of the fruit. Chop up two dried figs into small cubes (I tried it with fresh figs and they were just as tasty) and put in a bowl, peel an orange, half it and separate into segments, chop the segments into little pieces and add to the figs in the bowl, add some olive oil and some of the juice of the other half of the orange, mix it all up. Put a handful of rocket and handful of romaine lettuce cut into strips onto a plate and spoon the fig, orange, olive oil mixture on top, finish with shavings of Parmesan cheese and some nigella seeds (optional).
Mixed leaf salad
Put rocket and some other dark green leaves eg lambs lettuce, watercress into a bowl, crumble some feta on top (you could use stilton, Roquefort instead if you prefer), add 4 baby plum tomatoes cut in half lengthways on top, drizzle with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar. This worked well with cooked puy lentils instead of the feta. If you are not a big fan of balsamic vinegar, try sprinkling fresh pomegranate seeds on top instead.
There’s more to feeling good about yourself than eating salad – if you want to reclaim your confidence, feel amazing in your clothes and enjoy your life more, let’s chat about how I can help – book a Free Getting to Know you Call here