Food For Thought: Mix Up Your Salads

Salads are the perfect summer meal solution. They are delicious, easy to make and won’t heat your up kitchen when temperatures soar. Stock your kitchen with a variety of salad ingredients so you can toss one together in no time.
Most salads begin with greens. Add variety to your salad by using different leafy greens, such as spinach, baby kale, romaine lettuce or spring mix. Top your salad with a mix of veggies to keep it interesting. Broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, mushrooms, bell peppers and sugar snap peas all make tasty additions to salads. You don’t have to limit your salads to only veggies. Adding fruit to your salad is a great way to add new flavours! Try apple, orange or grapefruit pieces, chunks of melon or pineapple, or fresh berries. Save time by using ready-to-eat greens and pre-cut veggies and fruit.
Make your salad into a full meal. Add protein to help keep you feeling full. Try topping your salad with cooked chicken, pork, beef, salmon or canned tuna. Add a sprinkle of cheese such as mozzarella, feta or goat cheese. Looking for vegetarian options? Include nuts, seeds or canned beans such as kidney beans, black beans or chickpeas to add plant based protein. Add more fibre to your salad by including whole grains. Along with protein they can help make your salad more filling. Add cooked and cooled grains to your salad, such as whole grain pasta, brown rice, bulgur or quinoa.
Looking to add more flavour to your salad? Try mixing your salad greens with chopped fresh herbs such as basil, cilantro or mint. If you are new to using herbs, start with small amounts until you discover which flavors you enjoy the most. Or finish your salad with a splash of salad dressing. Salad dressings (homemade or store bought) contain healthy fat, but calories can still add up quickly. Use just the amount you need to enjoy your salad.
Mix up your salad by experimenting with new flavour combinations! Try spring mix, fresh berries, slivered almonds and raspberry vinaigrette. Toss together cooked pasta, grape tomatoes, chopped cucumber, baby spinach, feta cheese and Greek salad dressing. For a quick appetizer, try sliced tomatoes, fresh basil and bocconcini cheese drizzled with balsamic vinegar. Or combine baby arugula, canned mandarin oranges, pecans and fresh mint leaves. Mix olive oil with some of the juice from the mandarin oranges for a tasty dressing.
Interested in learning more? Contact Caroline Black, or Mary Ann Peters Gallant, to learn more about nutrition classes at Sobeys.