We all know that a salad is a great way to receive a quick burst of nutrition. The base ingredients of a salad tend to be packed with vitamins and minerals that make us feel fantastic.
A salad is the perfect answer to a healthy nutritious snack to add to a meal as a nutritious side or as a meal on its own but can be a little bland especially if you are making salad part of your daily healthy eating regime.
Don’t make do with the same boring salad day after day. Take a look at these quick and easy ways to pimp up your salad that will turn even the most boring collection of limp lettuce leaves into a lively tasting dish bursting with goodness, colour and flavour.
Mix It Up
If you are guilty of buying the same choice of lettuce and mixing it with the same ingredients take a quick look down the salad aisle and see what else is available.
Long gone are the days where we are stuck with the good old iceberg lettuce and little else. We have a host of seasonal lettuce leaves available and these can be mixed together to make a colourful dish that looks interesting and tastes just as great.
Add Some Nuts And Seeds
Making a salad interesting to eat isn’t simply about the flavours you add to it. The colour and texture are both just as important to make an overall dish taste amazing. Adding nuts and seeds add texture to a traditional leafy salad that packs a punch with flavour too. This added crunch will make each mouthful slightly different and you won’t get bored of the meal halfway through.
Nuts and seeds are also fab for adding extra nutritional benefits. They are packed full of fibre, healthy fats and extra vitamins. So add a handful to your salad and see the difference this can make.
Choose A Different Protein
Salad is a versatile dish that can be paired with almost any protein for a great meal but if you find yourself getting bored with your usual choices see what else you can find.
Chicken is a traditional choice and can be jazzed up by adding a little cooked and chopped up bacon on top.
If meat and fish are on the menu then your choices really are endless so try a different one with each salad – you will never be bored with your salad again. From flaked poached salmon to leftover roast beef, it all works well in a salad and are a great way to turn a salad into a full dinner meal.
There are so many other options to add protein to a meal that exclude meat or meat products whether you are vegan or not. Why not try adding some pulses and beans such as chickpeas.
Add A Sprinkling Of Cheese
Cheese may not be a great choice for those watching their calorie intake but even the smallest sprinkling of the right cheese can add a ton of flavour and if you choose a strong-tasting cheese that has been grated you don’t even need to add too much to make a difference.
Try breaking up a small piece of stilton into crumbs and sprinkling this through your salad.
Feta cheese is also a great option to mix into a salad for a Mediterranean feel. This cheese is lower in calorie and has a distinctive flavour that will add some pep to your salad.
If you want to go Italian, then you simply cannot go wrong with torn chunks of mozzarella.
Get In A Pickle
Pickles might seem like an old fashioned choice but often the oldest tips are the best.
Adding a little pickled red cabbage as a topping sprinkled over your salad packs a punch with favour and the deep red colour adds great colour. If you love the idea of pickles you don’t have to stop with cabbage!
There is a great selection available with different veg options. Even pickled eggs, which can be chopped up and used as a topping, can give an extra shot of protein and flavour.
Quick pickled onions are a further addition that gives a great hit of flavour. Simply slice up a red onion, cover with apple cider vinegar along with a pinch of salt and sugar then cover in the fridge for an hour or so.
Grab Some Micro-Herbs
You can add interest and vitality to your salad by throwing a few micro herbs in. These are the seedlings of plants that have been picked before the plant is fully grown. These may seem small but their secret is their punchy flavour. This is achieved because of how they are harvested. The plant hasn’t had the time to grow and spread the flavour around so it is concentrated into the roots and seedlings and these go right onto your plate!
Popular micro herbs include radish shoots, pea shoots and coriander.
Be Bold With Dressings
Salad dressings are not new but we have become much more adventurous in recent years with so many options available to make or, if you are short on time, to buy in the dressings section of your local supermarket.
A quick search online will give you plenty of simple recipes to follow that include your favourite flavours and many of these can be made as low-calorie versions.
Drizzle Some Oil
A good quality extra virgin olive oil has a great flavour that can be drizzled over your salad as a quick dressing. It tastes great and is a really quick option for days when you are in a rush. Always opt for extra virgin olive oil from Italy or Greece when consuming it ‘raw’ on salads as they have the best flavour.
Your oil choices don’t have to stop with one flavour though. There are lots of infused oils available with punchy flavours such as chilli or garlic that make a great quick dressing to add to any salad.
A simple salad can quickly be turned into a flavourful experience simply by adding a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. This flavour may not be for everyone but if you love the resulting punchy flavour balsamic adds this is the perfect way to quickly pimp your salad.
To add a little sweetness to your salad there is an easy trick that can make any salad bold, interesting and different to your usual choice. Add some fruit! You get the benefit of a few extra vitamins and a great flavour. Choose the fruit you love and experiment to see what you love. A handful of chopped apple, raisins or even strawberries can make your salad into a fresh new experience.
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