Salads can be so much more than an afterthought or a collection of side-dish ingredients thrown together for convenience. With the right amount of care, thought, and creativity, your salads can become center stage stars that are loaded with rich flavors and exciting textures. Whether you’re a foodie looking to take it up a notch when it comes to homemade dishes or a chef searching for inspiration on how to serve up tasty entree salads, this blog post has helpful strategies that’ll give your salad bowls plenty of variety. So get ready to venture beyond the basics – it’s time to make every meal something special!
What is an ordinary salad?
An ordinary salad is a combination of fresh and usually raw vegetables, tossed together in a light dressing. The types of vegetables in an ordinary salad vary widely depending on the region and preferences of the chef, but typically include tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, onions, carrots, celery, artichokes, spinach leaves and many other vegetables. Salads can also include croutons or other crunchy toppings. Depending on the chef’s creativity and inspiration a salad can be made from almost any combination of fruits or vegetables. A basic dressing for an ordinary salad is often simply vinaigrette or olive oil with some herbs for added flavor.
Why do we eat salads?
Eating a salad is not only delicious, it’s also beneficial to your overall health. Salads are full of essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.
Eating salads can provide the body with many of the daily nutritional requirements that it needs to function properly. Additionally, they contain high amounts of fiber to keep you feeling fuller longer and help with digestion in the long run.
Salads are also low in calories which can be helpful for weight management when balanced correctly with other meals throughout the day.
Eating salads can provide us with different combinations of fruits and vegetables which helps increase our intake of antioxidants like vitamins A, C and E that help fight free radicals and disease formation. By eating an occasional salad you will not only enjoy its flavor but also reap the benefits of nutrition for your body!
Why are salads so boring?
Salads can sometimes seem boring as they typically consist of similar ingredients like lettuce, tomatoes, carrots and cucumbers. Let’s see if we can do better:
Get creative with your greens.
Gone are the days of boring iceberg lettuce salads. There are so many different types of greens available these days, from arugula to watercress to spinach. Mix and match different greens to find a combination that you love.
- Red Leaf
- Green Leaf
- Lolla Rosa
- Lolla Rossa di Verona
- Ruby Red Romaine
Add some color.
In addition to greens, add some other colorful vegetables to your salad for added visual appeal. Red peppers, yellow squash, and purple onions are all great options.
- Bell Peppers
- Snap Peas
Add some crunch to your salad with croutons, nuts, or seeds. This will also add some additional texture and flavor.
- sunflower seeds
- pumpkin seeds
- pine nuts
- macadamia nuts
- sesame seeds
- poppy seeds
- chia seeds
- hemp hearts
Use fresh herbs.
Fresh herbs can really take a salad to the next level. Try adding some chopped basil, mint, or cilantro for a flavorful punch.
- Mustard Greens
Make your own dressing.
Skip the store-bought dressings and make your own! It’s easy to do and you can tailor it exactly to your taste preferences. Plus, homemade dressings are usually healthier than their store-bought counterparts.
Honey Mustard DressingRecipe: Combine 1/4 cup of honey, 3 tablespoons of Dijon mustard, 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar and 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl or whisk until combined.
Balsamic VinaigretteRecipe: In a bowl, combine 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, freshly ground pepper to taste and 2 cloves garlic crushed. Add in 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil and whisk together until combined.
Creamy Greek Yogurt DressingRecipe: In a blender or food processor , mix 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt, 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 2 teaspoons minced garlic, 1 teaspoon dijon mustard and salt and pepper to taste until creamy. Slowly add in up to ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil while blending at low speed until desired consistency is reached.
Ranch DressingRecipe: In a large bowl, combine ½ cup mayonnaise with ¼ cup buttermilk , ¼ teaspoon onion powder , 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar , ¼ teaspoon dried dill weed , ¼ teaspoon parsley flakes and salt and pepper to taste . Whisk ingredients together well until mixed throughout dressing .
Caesar Salad DressingRecipe: In a blender or food processor , blend 3 cloves of garlic, 2 anchovy fillets (optional), 2 tablespoons lemon juice , 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce , ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil ¼ teaspoon dry mustard powder and few drops hot sauce together for about 10 seconds . Pour mixture into container with lid and chill overnight before using .
Avocado Pesto DressingRecipe: Place one avocado into the blender or food processor along with two cloves minced garlic , ½ cup packed fresh basil leaves few chopped green onion stalks or chives , 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional) 2 teaspoons lemon juice and ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil . Blend ingredients together well until smooth dressing is created
Honey Balsamic VinaigretteRecipe: Combine 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar with 4 teaspoons honey in a small bowl . Slowly add in up to 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil while whisking together vigorously at same time . Season with salt and pepper as desired .
French VinaigretteRecipe: In a medium bowl mix together 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar with 1 tablespoon grainy mustard , 1 clove crushed garlic and pinch of sugar . Slowly add 6 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil while whisking vigorously at same time . Season with salt and pepper as desired before use
Apple Cider Vinegar DressingRecipe : In small bowl combine 4 tablespoon apple cider vinegar with 3 tablespoon honey .. Gradually add 5 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil while whisking continuously at same time.. Add pinch of sea salt as desired before use
Lemon VinaigretteRecipe :In medium bowl mix together 4 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice with1 tablespoon water.. Gradually add 5 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil while whisking continuously at same time.. Add pinch of sea salt as desired before use
Consider grilled vegetables .
Grilling vegetables like zucchini, eggplant, and mushrooms adds a nice smoky flavor to them that can really elevate a salad
Take these tips with you the next time you’re feeling like your salad game is subpar. With a little effort, you can turn any salad into a delicious and nutritious meal. And if all else fails, remember that there’s always the option of hiring a personal chef to help you make the best decision possible.