With the summer season upon us, most people are turning to a healthy summer salad over steamed/cooked veggies. It’s an easy way to meet your 5 servings of veg for the day but is also often considered to be a boring option. So how do you jazz them up to make them filling, appetising and as nutritious as possible?
When making a salad, you should be ticking the following boxes:
- Good options to choose from include leftover cold meat/chicken, tinned fish, hot smoked salmon fillets or boiled eggs.
- A serving of complex carbohydrates to promote good energy levels across the day. Good options include leftover roasted sweet potato, leftover cooked pasta, tinned legumes (chickpeas, 4 bean mix etc) or a whole grain such as quinoa or pearl barley.
- Lots of veg! This goes without saying but the more colour the more antioxidants and health benefits. Aim for a rainbow in your bowl (baby spinach leaves, cherry tomato, grated carrot, red onion, shredded purple cabbage etc).
And here are some tips to make them as interesting as possible:
- Get creative with flavour. A good quality dressing, fresh herbs or a sprinkle of feta over the top can really lift an otherwise boring choice to the next level.
- Change your cooking methods. Adding some roasted veggies (sweet potato, capsicum, broccoli, cauliflower) into a leafy green salad can add textural variety.
- Add a healthy fat serve. Using extra virgin olive oil-based dressings, pesto or a sprinkle of nuts/seeds over the top not only makes the salad more flavourful but the healthy fats also help your body to absorb some of the vitamins and minerals in the salad vegetables themselves.
As always, one of our Accredited Practising Dietitians from Fuel Your Life will be able to point you in the right direction to meet any individual requirements. To chat to us, or to hear another one of our healthy summer salad recipes, get in contact now!