Spruce Up Your Salad
Tips on Sprucing Up Your Salad from Chef Christina Curry; Epicurean Endeavors, Inc.
Are you trying to make healthier choices by choosing salads for lunch or dinner options? I love a good fresh salad but sometimes you just get tired of eating lettuce. Here are some ideas to spruce up your salad but keep it healthy at the same time:
1. Add fruit to salad greens. Consider adding fresh fruits like strawberries, blueberries, apples, or grapes. Or toss in some dried fruits like cranberries, apricots, and golden raisins.
2. Cheese often goes well with fruit. Mixing in blue, feta, or goat cheese is a great way to add tons of flavor and some protein too. And speaking of protein, you can easily turn any salad into a main meal with the addition of shrimp, chicken, sliced steak, or even tofu.
3. Avocados, olives, and toasted nuts add a whole new taste dimension, not to mention some heart-healthy oils. Cooked whole grains such as hard wheat berries, quinoa, and bulgur add fiber. Beans or chickpeas add protein and fiber.
4. Choose from a variety of tasty greens: some are sweeter, like Boston, green and red leaf, red oak, and romaine, while others have a nutty or bitter taste, like endive, radicchio, arugula, watercress, and spinach. Mix the tastes and textures and even throw in a few herbs like dill or cilantro so that each bite surprises your taste buds.
5. Pull your salad together with dressing. Choose a ginger dressing for Thai chicken over a mix of crisp romaine and watercress. Try lime-cilantro vinaigrette for that steak, black bean, and avocado salad. You can make your own healthy vinaigrettes by infusing vinegars with some of your favorite herbs...and you can turn high-fat creamy dressings into healthier vinaigrettes. You'll have a salad you'll be proud to serve to your guests!