Well, believe it or not, salads are a great meal for these hot summer days! They are light, refreshing, and most importantly nutritious. Vegetables, which make up the bulk of a salad, are filled with water and will also provide your body with some additional fluids!
When it comes to creating the perfect salad, there are endless combinations and possibilities.Luckily, this weekis National Salad Weekandthe perfect time to celebrate, as it’s going to be hot, hot, hot!
5 Steps to Building the Perfect Salad
- Pick your base:A salad does not always have to start with your basic lettuce. Experiment with mixed greens, mesclun, kale, or even spinach. You can even use whole wheat penne or brown rice for a heartier option loaded with fiber.
- Select your protein:Choosing to includea protein with your salad is a great way to make it more filling and nutrient-packed. Some options for protein toppers are chicken, quinoa, shrimp, tofu, lean cut beef, hard boiled egg, chickpeas, or salmon. You can even mix and match a couple of options if you can’t decide!
- Include healthy fats:Add in healthy fats to create a salad with a satiating mouth feel. Try tossing in some sliced avocado, nuts, or seeds!
- Toppings, toppings, toppings!Here’s your chance to really get creative. Pick fruits and/or vegetables that will complement your salad and enhance the flavor and color. These can be anything, such as raw fruit (strawberries, mandarian oranges, mango, blueberries, or apples)and veggies (broccoli, carrots, peppers, onions, or cauliflower),to sautéed or grilled options. Don’t be afraid to get creative!
- Dress to impress!The dressing you choose for your salad can greatly impact its flavor, as well as nutrient content.Try to lightly dress your salad with a vinaigrette, oil and vinegar, or a “light” salad dressing.You can even add in some fresh herbs and pepper to further boost the flavor!
Hopefully by now your creative wheels are turning and you’re thinking of different combinations and ideas for your sensational summer salads. As you can see, it only takes a few simple steps to make it into a fantastic meal. It’s time to say “so-long” to the days of boring salads, and “hello” to great new recipes.
Here are recipes for some of my favorite salads!
- Roasted Apple and Butternut Squash Salad with Olives
- Wilted Spinach Salad with Strawberries, Dates and Macadamia Nuts
- Edamame Chickpea Salad
- Mango Red Pepper Salad with Spice Crusted Tuna and Lime Dressing
- Roasted Beet and Sweet Potato Salad with Balsamic Dijon Vinaigrette
- Warm Brow Rice Salad with Peas, Sundried Tomatoes and Mint
- Roasted Tomato, Mushroom and Halloumi Cheese
At your next get-together or family meal, impress everyone by creating something tasteful and healthy!
Your turn to take action: What sizzling combinations can you come up with for National Salad Week? Let me know in the comments below!