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Saturday, February 18, 2017

HOW TO MAKE THE PERFECT SALAD?


I’ve been on a salad with dinner kick recently. Trying to add more fruits and veggies to our evening meals, salads are an obvious choice. I’ve learned in life there are salads and there are salads. Iceberg lettuce with dried shreds of carrot and cabbage smothered in some dressing is not appealing in my book – more crunch and calories than anything healthy. Then there are salads that are fork-licking good and you think about for days. I realize I get a bit more excited about a good salad than some people (most?), but I really think we can all enjoy a healthy salad if it looks appealing. Getting a good color combination sounds somewhat silly when talking about food, but you eat with your eyes first. Getting the best salad topping combinations takes your dish from a mix of ingredients to a presentation. So here are a few tricks for getting your next salad to look mouth-watering and a list of toppings to consider adding to your next plate of leafy greens.
The first step is visual – so get colorful. To top your lettuce, you want a combination of colors – lighter, darker, and bolder. Since lettuces are green, you’ll want to brighten your dish by adding something red, something orange/yellow, and something white/pale. Here are a few tasty options for each.


RED


  • Tomatoes
  • Red bell peppers
  • Kidney beans
  • Beets
  • Strawberries/cherries
  • Dried cranberries
  • Pomegranate seeds
  • Fresh figs (cut open)

WHITE/PALE


  • Goat/Burrata/Feta Cheese
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Quinoa
  • Croutons
  • Cucumbers
  • Roasted potatoes
  • Sliced apples
  • Toasted/Roasted Nuts

ORANGE/YELLOW


  • ORANGE/YELLOW BELL PEPPERS
  • ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH
  • ROASTED SWEET POTATOES
  • CARROTS
  • HEIRLOOM TOMATOES
  • MANGO
  • FRESH CORN
  • CITRUS (E.G. ORANGES)


After you get the colors figured out, you’ll want to get the right consistency mix. If we all had to pick a favorite salad topping, most of us would probably pick something crunchy – croutons or nuts. That crunch provides such a great contrast to the lettuce leaves that it makes the whole vegetable situation worthwhile, right? The key to really taking your salad to the next level is getting a combination of consistencies. Besides something crunchy (usually nuts or seeds for us), I add one or two things that are softer and don’t require much chewing – my favorites are roasted squash and sweet potato. Your salad with be over the top delicious adding in cheese and fresh/dried fruit since they each add their own level of consistency to the whole situation.

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