It’s hot outside and the season to eat cool, healthy meals. Is your family bored with your usual side salad? Ours are! That’s why we’re sharing some sure fire ways to jazz up salads at our table. With a bit of creativity you can replace regular meals with inventive salads in an effort to better enjoy the bathing suit opportunities that are coming our way this summer! We’re sharing a few thoughts on the core components of salads to inspire you and hopefully make super, new salads that your family will actually look forward to:
Of course you have to start with the right foundation….lettuce! But often times an amazing salad starts with a varied mix of greens. You’ll want to use fresh product to get a nice crunch and be sure to take the time to chop in bite sized pieces to get the best texture. It’s a science really. Ooh and don’t stop at iceberg lettuce! I love to start with spinach or romaine hearts as the base and add in finely chopped kale for a nutritious punch or add micro greens like arugula or pea shoots for flavor. Put a little love into your mix of greens and they’ll notice a flavor and texture boost.
Yes, salads are always better with timeless tomatoes! My personal favorites are sweet grape tomatoes tossed on top! Tomatoes are a juicy treat which are good for your heart and your bones. Also consider adding sun dried tomatoes for a stronger flavor. To make tomatoes taste amazing chop them and then while they’re still on the cutting board, sprinkle with sea salt and set aside. Let them sit for a bit while the salt boosts the flavor and add to the salad just prior to serving.
A perfect alternative to tomatoes and hey…we all struggle to get our daily fruit servings in! Why not add them to your salad? I love to add little chunks of pear, mango, apple, or dried berries. Also, the fruit will add so much beautiful color to the salad, which will make it look more appetizing! Yum!
If you really want to make a meal out of your salad you have to add some delicious protein. My personal favorite is lean meat like chicken breast. Sometimes I will add low sodium deli meat for a quick solution, and more often, I cook chicken breasts in my slow cooker. Line the bottom of the slow cooked with sliced lemons and season some chicken breasts with lemon pepper seasoning. Then slow cook for 4 hours on high and shred the chicken once it’s tender. It’s delicious on a salad and will fill you right up. Here are some more delicious chicken salad recipes.
The additions of yummy toasted, seasoned almonds or caramelized walnuts or pecans are often what people look forward to most in their favorite salad! Other fun additions are bleu cheese crumbles, feta cheese, shredded parmesan, and cottage cheese. Beans and corn and tortilla strips can be added to taco salad to complete a little fiesta flavor profile for Taco Tuesday at your house!
Dressings are really important to consider when completing the flavor profile of your salad. Sometimes simple oil and vinegar is the way to go. Sometimes you want blue cheese with your pear and gorgonzola salad, or sometimes the situation calls for ranch dressing with your barbeque chicken chopped salad with beans and corn and avocado? As this article reveals, you could add avocado or walnut oil to make it taste unique. A dash of miracle whip or mayo can turn an ordinary breast of chicken into a delicious chicken salad that can be eaten on crisp romaine lettuce topped with cranberries and almonds. SO GOOD!
One way to make your salads more exciting to kids, is to cook a little pasta and add it to the salad once it’s gone cold. Check out these Italian pasta salads for more ideas on what to make for the family.
The best advice I can give you for making your salads truly delicious is be adventurous! Mix it up! Spice it up! Don’t be scared to try something new! You will be surprised at what your family will love! AND what you can create.