Salads don’t have the best rep. They’re seen as restrictive, boring and filled with lifeless lettuce leaves. Well, I’m here to tell you this does not have to be the case! Salads can in fact be filling, hearty and wholesome. Want to discover how to make them more appealing? Carry on reading…
Build your salad base with a helping of healthy grains. Choose from couscous, bulgur wheat or quinoa. If you’re in a rush, these can be bought in microwavable pouches in many different flavours! Couscous can be cooked in under 10 minutes and is great to batch prep and store in the fridge for the week.
If your salad isn’t quite hitting the spot, you may need to look at the source of protein you’re opting for. If you eat meat, chicken is a versatile and lean protein dense option which works with almost any dressing. If you’re a pescatarian, boiled eggs, tuna or prawns are a great addition. If you’re veggie/vegan, why not try some crispy seasoned tofu, chickpeas, beans or falafel?
Another reliable way to make your salad more satisfying is by incorporating a healthy fat source. Avocado, hummus, feta cheese and olives are some of my favourites. If you’re not an avocado lover, try making it into a delicious guacamole.
Making your salad as colourful as possible is one way to increase the interest (and the aesthetic). Add all your favourite veggies – tomatoes, peppers, cucumber, corn, sweet potato, sundried tomatoes – anything goes! Pickled vegetables such as beetroot, gherkins and red cabbage add a whole other dimension which really set off the flavours.
A finishing touch to any salad should be a sprinkle of nuts or seeds, for taste and texture. From pumpkin and sunflower seeds, to flaked almonds, pine nuts and cashews, go for your favourite and you won’t regret it. If that’s not your thing, croutons or pitta bread are equally tasty additions.
To elevate the flavour, dressings and seasonings are going to be your best friend! Go Mediterranean with olive oil and balsamic or opt for the taste of Italy by mixing up some pesto and fresh lemon juice. Sea salt, black pepper, garlic salt and chilli flakes are all total must-haves.
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