The Perfect Salad
Posted by LaDale Anderson on Aug 2, 2014 - 4:51:39 PM
UNITED STATES—I must admit I am a lover of a good salad. I’ve even joked to people that I could eat a salad every single day, and the scary thing is I mean it. While so many people may frown about eating a salad, think about all the creativity and originality that you can bring to a salad by thinking outside of the box.
One of the most important things to point out is that a salad allows you to get those veggies and fruits into the body for the day. First and foremost, the great thing about any salad is the lettuce that you choose to use. Rather its iceberg, romaine, bibb, butter, kale, spinach, try to mix things up. Each salad should consist of a different texture. All lettuce is not the same, and anyone who tells you that doesn’t know good lettuce.
How can you make your salad appealing? Remember when it comes to food we eat with our eyes first, the more visually stunning the food looks the more salivating it becomes to the mouth. Color is key and this is where veggies come front and center. In my opinion, you can’t have a salad without cucumbers. They are green, round and crunchy. The type that you use is completely up to you though; you have hot house, mini, English or even pickle cucumbers to choose from. Just remember thinly sliced pieces are best.
A salad can be dressed up so many different ways.
Next, nothing brightens a salad better than a carrot. It’s bright, crisp and slightly sweet. I prefer carrots to be shredded. A tomato is a must, for that fresh burst of red and crunchy, yet slightly smooth texture. I love grape tomatoes, but I’m also a lover of Roma tomatoes for their color. Cucumbers, tomatoes and carrots are staples to any salad in my opinion, but we can’t forget about the radish.
So many people frown about radishes, but that purplish/red color they deliver, not to mention the crunch makes it worthwhile. It’s preferable to purchase fresh radishes in my opinion. If that taste is something difficult to get past, then consider pickling the veggie with some of your favorite spices to kick up the flavor.There is a bevy of other veggies that can be added like peppers, onions, broccoli, parsnips, Brussels sprouts, the list goes on and on, but consider a theme each time. Root veggies vs. crunchy veggies.
When it comes to fruit, it makes a tasty addition to most salads, but I like to keep it to a minimum of just one. Yes, that’s right, just one. I think when you start adding multiple fruits it takes away from things and adds unnecessary calories you don’t need. An apple, dried cranberries, a mango, pear, orange segments or even papaya provide just enough sweetness to crave that sweet tooth many exhibit during the day.
Another addition to a salad can be some sort of nut. Sunflower seeds are a favorite of mine, but you can also use slivered almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews or pistachios. Use what you like most and remember just a small handful is needed.
Perhaps the biggest mistake people who eat salad make is the dressing. Yep, good ole dressing is a must for many salad eaters, but over indulging is a calorie disaster. Just one to two tablespoons of dressing can equal 300 calories added onto your lunch or mid-day snack. It’s always best to make your dressing from scratch and at home because you control what goes into it. All you need is olive oil, vinegar and some of your favorite spices and condiments to add.
I will admit the biggest weakness I have when it comes to salad is the cheese that I use. I’m not a fan of the basic cheddar or mozzarella, I like to venture out and try new things. I’m a huge lover of Fontina cheese, that has a creaminess to it to die for and it melts unlike any other. I’m also a lover of Manchego, which has a slightly nutty flavor, it reminds me a bit of Parmesan, but it melts with a gooeyness that is hard to describe.
Whatever cheese you use, keep it to a minimum; just enough to spread evenly around the entire salad. Hoping these tips will get you to try to be creative when making a salad from scratch.
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