I love salads, find making them a creative outlet, helpful in calorie control and a joy to eat. Ran across these 8 steps for a great salad. Sharing...and adding my 2 cents.
1. A green, leafy vegetable is the most suitable base for a fresh salad.
You can pick one of the following: romaine lettuce, butter lettuce or Bibb, kale, cabbage, arugula, spinach, mixed greens, but don't be afraid to use other none-leaf like broccoli as a base.
2. You can add a different leafy one or go for starchy vegetables instead and add variety.
Try cucumber, zucchini, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, spring onion, etc.
3. Add color. We don’t want our salad to be the “fifty shades of green” now, do we? Let’s make it a little more vibrant with a colorful addition! You can use carrots, tomatoes, red peppers, corn, red onions, etc.
4. Add a fruit. Maybe you have already used tomatoes, but one more fruity flavor is not a bad idea. If you don’t like sweetness in your salad you can omit this step or add avocado or olives.
If you like sweets, try small pieces of fresh fruit. Apples, pears, strawberries, peaches, pomegranates, pineapple, etc.If you like it sweet, try dried fruit which have an even bigger concentration of sugar. Prunes, apricots, raisins, cranberries, dates, blueberries, etc.
5. Add crunch. Freshly-cut vegetables are already crispy but a little extra crunchiness will add even more freshness to your salad and make it more filling. You can make your own croutons or add nuts or seeds which is your best option.You can choose among walnuts, almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame, etc.
6. Add protein. That’s where you make your salad a balanced meal. You can choose from a wide variety of protein sources.Try adding eggs, cheese, tuna, salmon, seafood, chicken, etc.
If you’re a vegetarian, you can opt for plant-based proteins like legumes or nuts.Good protein sources are beans, lentils, chickpeas, edamame, almonds, etc.
7. Add herbs. Or more if you like, but usually when it comes to herbs in a salad, a little goes a long way. We don’t want to cover up the freshness of our vegetables. We just want a little extra touch of aroma.Try basil, spearmint, oregano, thyme, rosemary, sage, dill, parsley, etc.
8. Time to dress it up! Skip the mayo and other fatty dressings. Pick a healthy kind of oil as your base. Olive oil is your best choice but sesame oil is also good. Add an acidic substance like lemon juice or vinegar. In fact that’s all you need to make a perfect vinaigrette. However, if you feel bold enough to experiment or you absolutely need a rich, creamy dressing, then get creative! Pick ingredients like yogurt, cream cheese, mustard, tahini, honey, molasses, peanut butter and discover new taste combinations. Personally, the only thing I use is Seasoned rice vinegar or lemon juice and pepper. But that's just me!