While winter weather is perfect for enjoying decadent comfort foods, many people are more than ready to move on to longer, sunnier days and fresh spring flavours. And what’s better than a colourful, flavourful salad?
If you’re tired of the same boring greens, think outside the box and try something new. Salad can be much more than a simple side dish. In fact, it can be a well-balanced, one-dish meal.
You don’t need a specific recipe to make a salad. Just make sure you’re getting a hearty mix of protein, whole grains and veggies by including each of the following components.
This is often the base of a salad. Choose foods such as spinach, kale, endive, lettuce, arugula, collards, chard or mixed greens.
Bonus fruits and veggies
Add flavour and texture by including raw or roasted veggies. Try roasted sweet potato, brussels sprouts, raw peppers, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, beets and/or carrots. Also try adding fruits, such as berries, sliced peaches, pears, oranges and/or mangoes.
Turn your salad into a meal by incorporating leftover chicken, canned tuna or salmon packed in water, canned beans (with no salt added), nuts, seeds, eggs or tofu. The options are endless.
Grains or starch
Consider adding high-fibre grains or starchy vegetables to bulk up your salad. Grains, such as quinoa, barley and whole-grain pasta, are great options to help keep you feeling full longer.
Salad should taste good. Go ahead and add some cheese, dried fruit and/or your favourite salad dressing. To make a simple salad dressing at home, all you need is an oil, acid and something for flavour.
My go-to simple salad dressing starts with olive oil, lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, garlic and dried herbs. You can also add mustard, honey or maple syrup, depending on the salad. Get creative!
Need more salad inspiration? Try these combinations:
spinach, strawberries, slivered almonds, goat cheese and balsamic vinegar with olive oil;
mixed greens, roasted sweet potato, sliced apple, avocado, chicken, cheddar and poppyseed dressing;
or lettuce, tomato, red onion, peppers and boiled egg with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and honey for the salad dressing.
Salad is a wonderful way to incorporate more vegetables into your diet. If you’re looking for additional ways to boost your vegetable intake, your in-store dietitians are here to help. Visit bookadietitian.ca to book your personalized nutrition consultation.