A tasty salad relies on fresh ingredients and a touch of creativity. Foreverfit offers some sumptuous recipes for salads and dressings.
Many of us eat salad as an appetizer to a meal or associate it with a bleak diet food. We also tend to buy dressings in the market rather than make our own, and sprinkle on the croutons wildly, to make it tasty and satisfying.
In the process, we end up eating too many unnecessary calories, and turn a health-food into a junk food.
Follow these guidelines to prepare delicious salad yourself at home
#1 As much as possible, try to purchase organic salad leaves. Although the cost might seem prohibitive, it is important to note that salad leaves do not have a protective covering like other fruits and vegetables.
If this isn’t possible, wash your leaves several times and gently massage them with your hands to get rid of dirt and pesticide residue.
#2 Do not wash leaves prior to refrigeration as they will wilt. Instead, wait to wash them prior to salad preparation. Remember- you eat with your eyes first!
If you are storing salads in the fridge, put them in a container to retain their freshness. A quick way to perk up some wilted leaves is to plunge them into a bowl of ice water.
#3 Try incorporating spinach, kale, arugula (rocket), cabbage and even lettuce into your salads. Feel free to mix different leaves together to give a more complex flavor to your salad.
#4 Remember to add complementary ingredients of different colors to your salad to make it more appealing. If you are packing a salad, keep the dressings and toppings separate; no one likes to eat a soggy salad!
#5 Avoid cutting microgreens and salad greens with a knife. It is faster to tear them by hand and toss them in a bowl, and this process retains the flavor profile and integrity of the greens.
#6 As much as possible, use high-quality, cold-pressed oils such as olive oil, avocado oil, sesame oil or peanut oil.
#7 Add lentils, brown rice, chickpea, quinoa or other grains and pulses to make the salad more satisfying. You can even add apples, avocados or other fruits to add more flavours to your salads.
Just make sure to squeeze some lemon on top so that the fruits don’t get oxidized and turn brown. Good combinations include raisins and carrots, watermelon and feta, apples and walnuts, tomatoes and avocados.
#8 Put some crumbled feta, olives or capers into your salad instead of adding salt.
#9 Add the dressing, seeds, and nuts right before serving for maximum crunch!
5 easy to make dressings
#1 Vinaigrette: use vinegar and or vinaigrette (flavored vinegar) to add some acidity to your salad. Vinaigrette can be made by adding lemongrass, chilli, herbs, and spices to a mixture of olive oil and vinegar. Top with some walnuts, peanuts or some sliced almonds.
#2 Asian dressing: Peanut butter, hot sauce and honey make a great combination for a sweet and sour, Asian-inspired dressing. You can adjust the ratio of the three ingredients to your own taste but remember to add less honey instead of more since peanut butter will be sweet, too.
Another idea for an Asian-inspired dressing: combine 2 tbsp of roasted and ground sesame seeds with 1 tsp of ginger, 1 tsp of soy sauce, 1 tsp of vinegar, and 1 tsp of sugar or honey.
#3 Hung Curd: for a creamier yogurt-based dressing, hang about 100 g of curd in a muslin cloth and drain the water from it. Add ½ tbsp minced garlic, some lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste.
#4 French: make your own French dressing by mixing 2 tbsp vinegar, 1 tsp mustard powder, 1 tsp sugar, 2 tsp lemon juice, salt and pepper.
#5 Honey Mustard: to make honey mustard, mix 5 tbsp honey with ½ tsp mustard powder, 1 tsp oil and 4 tsp vinegar.