Salads are one of the easiest dishes to prepare. You just need a few vegetables or fruits, throw in some seasonings and you have a super low calorie accompaniment to a main dish or a simple starter. Nowadays we add in nuts, cheese, quinoa as well. There isn't any right or wrong here. Choose what you like in salads or whatever is at home. It's your call :))
4 tips to prepare a salad :
1) Direction - firstly you need a theme. Is it going to be Italian or Mediterranean? Or a simple garden salad? This will help to narrow down your ingredients. It's also good to decide based on the seasonal fruits and vegs available.
Spring : snap peas, radishes, carrots or strawberries
Summer : cucumber, zucchini, tomatoes or peppers
Fall : butternut squash, dried cranberries
Winter : kale, sweet potatoes, beets, apples or orange segments
2) Quality - whatever you choose , get the best quality vegetables. The quality of the vegs, fruits or cheese will affect the end result.
3) Add Crunch & Variety - seeds, nuts, cheese and fruits add pizzazz to the salad. Some of these add a boost of protein or healthy fats. Cheese gives a savory kick to the salad. Make sure it's low fat or fat free.
4) Finish it off with a Fresh dressing - I use a basic dressing of lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper for my garden salads. Or you can try balsamic vinegarette which goes well with just about any salads or honey mustard dressing. For a Mexican flair, try a mix of olive oil, lime juice, honey and fresh cilantro.
Ingredients for a Simple Garden Salad
( Serves 4)
3 cups spinach, washed
1 tomato, cut into big pieces
1/3 cucumber, sliced and cut half
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
1/2 cup fat free feta cheese crumbles( Yes you guessed it!! )
2 tbsp olive oil
1 lemon juiced
Salt & pepper for seasoning
Place all the vegs, walnuts and feta cheese in a bowl and toss it.
Mix the dressing in a separate bowl and season with salt & pepper.
Pour the dressing over the salad and toss again.
A simple salad to be served with a heavy dish like Risotto, Mac & Cheese etc.