With summer bearing down upon us, bikini season is on everyone’s mind and salads seam to be the staple meal amongst friends and around the office at lunch times. But long gone are the days when a salad consists purely of chicken breast and iceberg.
No not anymore, they can be more filling than a BLT and a lot more nutritious. So impress your colleagues and your stomach with these handy tips to reinvigorate your salad.
Change your greens
Iceberg can get boring after a while and there are much more nutritious leafy options to try. Spinich, red leaf and kale all pack in plenty of vitamins A and K along with iron and plenty of taste.
Mix up your base
But you don’t have to use a leafy, green lettuce as your salad base, instead you could try vegetables such as spiralised cucumber or courgette or a selection of grilled vegetables, like bell peppers, red onion and tomatoes.
No this point isn’t supposed to be in a ‘beach wave tutorial post,’ but adding different textures can be a great way to eat slower, meaning you could be fuller quicker. Try almonds, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, grated carrot, celery or pomegranate seeds for some extra crunch, not to mention flavour.
Add something smooth
Crunch is all well and good but that needs balancing out with smoothness to avoid getting bored of chewing. Try avocado slices or make some fresh guacamole, add beetroot, soft goats cheese or homemade sweet potato mash.
Heat it up
Adding some warm grilled chicken or a small amount of melted blue cheese can create a pretty tasty meal and doesn’t feel as though you’re eating a plain dry salad. Plus, you’ll be eating slower as it’s likely to be quite warm!
Pack in more flavour
Give your salad a real kick with fresh herbs such as coriander (controversial) or basil and go for a refreshingly light dressing such as a simple squeeze of lemon or lime and a sprinkling of black pepper.
Add something sweet
Taste buds getting bored of savoury flavours? Then try adding raisins, dried cranberries, pomegranate seeds, strawberries or watermelon (trust me it’s good).
Mix up your carbs
Dry croutons aren’t exactly the most excited carbohydrate to add to your salad nor the most nutrient filled. So go for grains that are going to keep you full for longer and not give you that post lunch slump. Try quinoa with edamame beans, whole wheat cous cous with roasted veg or bulgar wheat with lemon and black pepper. Most supermarkets are now concocting their own grain pots which are perfect for adding into your salad, for those of us who don’t have time to cook from scratch. Marks and Spencer and Aldi do these pretty well and at good prices.
Let me know in the comments how you make your salad more interesting.
Please note images are not mine.