We've got lots of delicious salad recipes for you to choose from. When you're eating healthily, salads are often top of the menu but this doesn't have to be a bad thing. Despite their boring reputation, salads can be really, really delicious and can often rival standard main meal options - you just need to know how to give them plenty of flavour.
How to make tasty salads
Every good salad starts with a tasty base. This can be a pulse such as lentils or a grain such as couscous but they're traditionally a salad leaf. Lettuce is a classic base and provides a fresh, crisp bite, rocket will add a lovely peppery taste, spinach a nice rich flavour - and you can often get bagged salad leaves that mix them all together!
Tip: Try finely slicing raw courgette with a potato peeler for a salad base.
It's easy to grab a bottle of ready made salad dressing but they're often not as healthy (or as tasty) as a homemade one. You can have two different types of salad dressing. A creamy sauce, like Caesar, is a little harder to make as you need to blend oil and egg yolks to get the right consistency. For a lighter sauce, pick a oil-based dressing. Once you've got extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and some vinegars in (white wine, cider and balsamic are musts), you'll be able to whip a dressing in seconds. Mixing honey and mustard with a little olive oil is also a speedy dressing to make.
Tip: Combine olive oil with lemon juice, white wine vinegar and some dried mint for an easy dressing that works with most salads.
To make your salad really shine, you need a few star ingredients that will provide intense bursts of flavour. Salty ingredients such as anchovies, capers, pesto and olives are lovely mixed into salads. Avocado, aubergine and sweet potato not only provide a nice flavour, they also make the salad nice and filling.
Tip: Tinned fish such as tuna, mackerel and sardines are an easy way to add instant flavour to a salad.
It may not be the healthiest ingredient to add to a salad but a small sprinkling of cheese will make sure you actually enjoy eating it! Parmesan is very strong in flavour so you only need a light sprinkling. Mozzarella, halloumi and goat's cheese are also common cheeses to add to a salad, just make sure you don't add to much as the fat content will negate the healthiness of the salad!
Tip: You can often get lower-fat versions of cheese so if you're watching what you eat, opt for these.
Nice and filling
One of the most important things when it comes to making a salad is to make sure it will keep you as full as a standard meal. It's no good having a healthy salad for lunch if you're left so hungry you snack all afternoon! A few key ingredients can make a salad filling. Adding carbs into the mix will bulk it out and it doesn't have to be pasta or rice (although these are good options), couscous, quinoa and bulgar wheat are lighter grains that are very easy to cook. You can also opt for beans such as cannellini beans and broad beans to make your salad nice and filling.
Tip: Make sure you always have a serving of protein in your salad, this could be egg, chicken, chickpeas or tuna.
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