Salad Bar

NOT JUST GREENS

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After a visit to the local farm, I couldn’t help but come home with a bag of fresh produce.  One of the best ways to eat healthy is to prepare your fruits and veggies ahead of time and have plenty of additions to make your salads interesting.  Having said that, this coming month is all about the salads.

The best part about salads is the variety that you get.  All you need are some basics and from there you can specialize within the basics.  Mix and match all kinds of awesome combinations.  The possibilities are endless.

This month I may be able to draw you to the dark side, or at least the colourful, fresh, crisp side.  Mix and match from the following categories to create your own, personalized salad masterpieces.

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Presentation

Part of the fun is assembling the salad.  

stacked          tossed

layered          arranged in a pattern

cubed             sliced

chopped         served on a bowl

on a plate      in a mason jar

Veggies

More colour, prettier salad.

beets            heirloom tomatoes     alfalfa             artichokes               cauliflower

red onion    carrots                           pea shoots     heart of palm         kale

radishes      cucumber                      broccoli          peppers                   leeks

cabbage       lettuce (so many)        kohlrabi          spinach                   celery

avocado      corn                               mushrooms    arugula                    endive

Seeds/Nuts

Add a bit of texture and crunch.

walnuts           pecans

cashews          pistachios

almonds         sesame

sunflower      poppy

pumpkin        chia

Fruits

Contrast of flavours to a traditional salad.

apples               blackberries          mango

pears                raspberries             papaya

watermelon    strawberries          kiwi

blueberries     grapes                    pomegranate

peaches           oranges                  cantaloupe

Cheese

Try out a specialty food shop and choose from cow, sheep and goat milk cheeses.

halloumi         chèvre

paneer             boursin

kefalotiri        blue cheese

gruyere           feta

bur rata           sweet cheese (they exist!)

Protein

Will keep you full longer.

eggs                tuna              lobster (if you want to get fancy)

chicken          salmon         chickpeas

beef                prawns         turkey

pork              scallops        tofu

sausage         crab              beans (kidney, adzuki, falafel, lentils, etc)

Dressing

Where the flavours are.

olive oil and balsamic vinegar

add herbs (basil, thyme, parsley, cilantro, sage, mint, oregano etc)

add flavours (dijon, saffron, lemon, garlic, chilli, zest, capers, etc)

salt and pepper

others (yogurt, juice, mayonnaise, flavoured oils and vinegars, peanut butter, etc)

Starch

Because it is satisfying.

potatoes             bread

sweet potato     croutons

pasta                  couscous

brown rice        bulgar

quinoa               wild rice

Watermarked20

With spring officially here, you may consider popping into your local farmer’s market and picking out something you have never tried,  or experimenting with a couple of things.

Keep in mind that those beautiful salads are often times not low in calories BUT you will be getting some good nutrition from it vs. eating something fried with the same calories.  The World’s Healthiest Foods has some great suggestions to start you off on things to choose plus you can find out specific nutritional value as well.  Be creative and have fun!

The world is your salad bar!

 “Salad Basics” photos source: http://bit.ly/1mo51kj

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