With every new year, the one resolution that comes up every time is to change up one’s diet. “This year”, you vow at the stroke of midnight “this year will be different!”. Out with the exciting weekly pizza delivery or burger and fries with friends, and in with the same, boring, tasteless salads.
However, deciding is one thing, but committing is another. Which is why we will be walking you through it all: from salad, to dressing!
Salads may sound easy to some, and tricky to others.
At their core, salads are just a leafy vegetable base with an assortment of vegetables and protein seasoned and dressed. However, we think they have the potential to be so much more than that. Here are some things to keep in mind that will breathe new life to your plate of greens:
There is more than lettuce in the leafy vegetable world. Try some arugula, cabbage or spinach to change things up.
One of the main downfalls of a salad is that it tends to stagnate. But it does not have to be that way. Variation is key and salads are forgiving enough that almost every ingredient under the sun can be added to one. So our main advice is: Embrace change!
Wet greens and vegetables will prevent your dressing from sticking and result in a slimy texture and a soggy salad. To prevent this, wrap your greens in a clean cotton kitchen towel or paper towel and gently pat the excess moisture off.
We understand it is not the most convenient solution, however we guarantee it will be the tastiest. This is because the fresher your ingredients, the more nutrition you will get out of them. Pay a visit to your local farmer’s market and source fresh seasonal produce that will keep you nurished. It is also the perfect opportunity to sharpen your knife skills!
Nothing in life is one dimensional, and that should extend to your salads. Croutons are a classic add-on for texture, but don’t be afraid to substitute them with nuts, seeds and even fruit (dried or fresh). Not only will it keep you fuller for longer, it will also turn every bite into an exciting adventure.
By cooking some of your vegetables. This allows for seasonal variations and the chance to incorporate more ingredients that will feed into point #1. Some examples include artichoke hearts and roasted butternut pumpkin, but also legumes such as lentils, or grains like orzo, rice or quinoa.
Don’t know how? Let us show you.
Salad dressings are the equivalent of a sauce to a dish. They make or break a salad, and there is nothing like making your own.
While it might seem daunting, it is actually very easy to whip up: It’s all about the ratios!
Dressings are broken down into 3 main categories:
3 parts oil, 1 part acid and ½ part emulsifier, herbs and the basic sprinkle of salt and pepper.
2 parts mayonnaise and 1 part liquid, such as citrus juice or sauces (soy, Worcestershire, vinegar) plus flavorings, herbs and the basic sprinkle of salt and pepper.
2 parts dairy such as yogurt or buttermilk, 1 part oil and 1 part liquid such as vinegar or lemon juice, plus flavorings, herbs and the basic sprinkle of salt and pepper.
We will focus on categories 1 and 3 for today’s recipes, since we have a resolution to keep.