Let’s be honest, we all have a love-hate relationship with salads. Not many would enjoy having salad all the time, especially if it’s the same combination of greens day in, day out.
If you’re sick of your boring salad, maybe it’s time to make it a little more interesting – not just iceberg lettuce and tomatoes! Make your salad a nutritious and satisfying meal that you’d look forward to with the tips below.
Build a base
Pile on the fresh vegetables for your salad base! Give up the iceberg lettuce and try red or green romaine, spinach, arugula and watercress; these other greens are rich in vitamins A, C and K, manganese and folate. Add some dietary fibre with some raw broccoli and cauliflower. Slices of red and yellow bell peppers also contribute vitamin C, while shredded carrots provide beta-carotene that promotes eye health. To make your salad extra filling, add some roasted veggies such as sweet potato, pumpkin, zucchini, and onion.
Load up on the protein
Top up your greens with lean protein as they help keep you full for longer. Lean protein helps with building muscles, skin and tissues. Skip on protein that is deep-fried and breaded. This adds unnecessary cholesterol, sodium and fat to your salad. Healthy protein choices include grilled chicken, eggs, salmon, beef and turkey. Plant sources that work well with salads include black, cannellini beans, chickpeas, tofu and soy nuts.
Have a Crunchy Topping
Experience different textures while amplifying the flavours in your salad by adding a crunch! Sure, bacon bits or croutons are an easy choice, but you are spoilt for choices with the variety of nuts, seeds and other healthy crisp and crunchy foods that you can reach for! Toasted grains are also a great way to add crunch and whole grain nutrition. So, top it with quinoa, cous cous and even whole grain pasta for the extra fibre!
Add colour to your salad
Ever considered adding fruit to green salads? Thanks to their natural sweetness and freshness, fruit complements slightly bitter greens. Fruits such as pears, apples, berries and dried fruits such as apricots and cranberries make lovely salad additions, and they provide lots of vitamins too. Try sliced strawberries on spinach leaves for a boost of vitamin C, or citrus fruits on a bed of rocket salad, just to give you an idea.
Dress it up with dressing!
Creamy dressings consist of unnecessary fat and calories. Even the ones considered healthier such as vinaigrettes often contain sugar. Experiment with tahini, nut butter (almond butters and peanut butters), yoghurt, herbs and spices. Adding a different dressing can transform the entire salad into something new, so go ahead and modify your dressing with different spices! And making your own dressing will ensure you know exactly what goes into it.