Gone are the days where a salad consisted of sad iceberg lettuce, a few tomato wedges, and stale croutons. Salads have a much more creative and tasty side to them. In honor of the crisp, light and flavorful salad, let’s take a look at our seasonal favorites and how you can create variations of your own.
Four of Our Favorite Salads
Cherries give this classic quinoa salad a bright, sweet flavor. Pecans, cheese and wild rice make it a hearty meal. This salad a great source of minerals like magnesium, copper and zinc.
- Calories: 282
- Active Time: 30 minutes
Grilled calamari is an excellent way to diversify the protein in your salad. Try this as a healthy alternative to a typical BBQ-style potato salad. It’s high in vitamin A, vitamin C and offers 24 grams of protein per serving.
- Calories: 429
- Active Time: 1 hour
White beans make this salad a hearty protein-packed vegetarian option. White beans are a good source of fiber, while portobello mushrooms are rich in copper, selenium and phosphorus. Like many of our salads, it’s also loaded with vitamin C. Raw vegetables are a great way to get vitamin C, as cooking can denature this delicate vitamin.
- Calories: 312
- Active Time: 45 minutes
Tart, sweet cranberries help cut the peppery bite of watercress in this salad. Watercress is chock full of antioxidants and loaded with vitamin K, which helps keep your bones strong.
- Calories: 141
- Active time: 40 minutes
How to Liven up Your Salad
As you can see from the recipes above, salad can be much more than lettuce, tomato and dressing. And you can create a salad with just about anything you have on hand. Here are some ideas to help you craft a salad masterpiece:
- Put your leftovers to use. This is a great way to minimize food waste and clean out your fridge at the end of the week. Combine your leftover veggies and proteins with olive oil, lemon juice and seasonings for a quick and tasty salad.
- Think beyond lettuce. There are many nutrient-dense greens out there, all with varying flavor profiles and textures. Try mixing up your salad routine with arugula, chard, spinach or kale.
- Add fruit. Veggies don’t always have to be the main component. Try using fresh seasonal fruit as the base of a salad, then add your other ingredients.
- Make it crunchy. You don’t need croutons to make your salad crunchy. Almonds, cashews, walnuts, pumpkin and sunflower seeds add plenty of crunch while adding vitamins and minerals too.
- Add flavor-boosters: Extras like citrus juice, sesame seeds and nutritional yeast add loads of flavor.
- Make your own dressing. Start with a high-quality fat like olive oil, then add an acid like lemon juice or vinegar. Season with fresh or dried herbs, spices, and salt and pepper. This way, you can control what’s in your dressing and avoid preservatives and food additives.
What’s your favorite way to jazz up your salads? Share your tips in the comments below.