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7 easy ways to make your lunchbox salads special

Lunchbox salads can be healthy, delicious and filling Ė but there is a knack to giving them the wow factor so you donít end up with boxes of limp and lifeless leaves in your handbag or picnic box.
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The basics of an interesting packed salad are easy to follow:

• Use good basic ingredients – you want fresh leaves, veg and fruit.

• Vary your main ingredients so that they don’t bore you: give pasta salad, pickled cabbage or pineapple the chance to take centre stage, as well as the more obvious salad stars, like cheese and chicken.

• Get a big box! Make your salads-on-the-go gloriously large so that you can dive in and graze until you’re full.

To combat the boring salad blues Harvester’s salad expert Chris Griffin has devised some easy ways to give your salad a bit of oomph:

Dry leaves
Invest in a salad spinner to ensure leaves are dry. Don’t have a salad spinner? Pop washed leaves in a clean pillowcase and spin it – it works a treat

Hint of onion
Raw onion adds a great flavour to salad, but if you find the taste too strong, mellow it by soaking the onions in ice-cold water for 5-10 minutes.
Super seeds
Pumpkin, sesame, nigella, sunflower, alfalfa – there’s a world of salad seeds to explore that bring an extra element to your lunch. Dry fry them for a few seconds for extra flavour.

Spice it up
A pinch of chilli flakes or a hint of chopped chilli will give salads a kick. Chilli is fantastic when paired with unlikely ingredients such as chunks of melon, pineapple and cucumber – trust us!

Hot colours
Make salads extra-appetising with vibrant colours - try pomegranate seeds, radishes, yellow tomatoes, peppers, black olives and kiwi fruit.

Perfect cuts
Slice tomatoes through the stem or you’ll cut through the segments, releasing juice, which can make salads soggy.

Get grating
A topping of grated carrot is one of the very best salad-on-the-go quick fixes around. Grated courgette adds a new and surprising flavour too.

Top toppers
Dried onion flakes, croutons, raisins and chopped nuts can all add a touch of magic to a lunchbox salad. Sprinkle them on!

For more info on Harvester’s delicious salad bars, go to harvester.co.uk.

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