Variations for Building a Tasty Salad
Salads are a great way to help you get your 5-7 fruits plus veggies a day. Salads don’t have to be just lettuce, tomato, cucumber. You can mix and match any kinds of greens, fruits, veggies, a few nuts, to discover what combos you like. Here’s some colorful examples to try:
Pack a salad for lunch
Salad Variation #1 – Salads are so easy to take for lunch. I often pack my lunch in the plastic containers the mixed leaf lettuce comes in; this is an organic baby spinach spring mix. I usually pack enough for more than one day. Broccoli, asparagus, red pepper, carrot and celery are a delicious combo on greens. The next day I could build a salad with apple, celery and broccoli. The photo also shows roasted vegetables with butter beans; I made extra over the week end
and they are delicious heated up with lunch.
Use your favorite Vegan no oil dressings – scroll down for some ideas and recipes. I often just use a Balsamic vinegar or Bolthouse Vinaigrette which is very tasty.
Romaine, clementines, blackberries and red cabbage
Salad Variation #2 Use this colorful combination to make another delicious lunch salad. You can add some garbanzo beans (aka chick peas) to make it a complete lunch. This can had a “pop top”, so it was easy to take in my lunch bag with the fruit, a wedge of red cabbage and some Romaine leaves. Balsamic vinegar is yum on this.
A delicious side salad.
Salad Variation #3 I made this salad when I discovered some more green beans frozen garden-fresh hiding in the freezer. These are easily thawed at room temperature and keep their texture; of course you can use fresh beans. Green beans, carrots, lettuce, asparagus, celery, broccoli go perfectly together. The apple adds a nice sweet contrast.
Kids have fun making salads
Salad Variation #4 – by Kalea. Letting kids make the salad is a great way to get them to enjoy salads and try new things. My granddaughter Kalea ( age 9) has been cooking with her mom since she could sit up; she would sit on the counter while Mom made supper . When I was visiting she volunteered to make the salad and went to the fridge and pulled out her own choice of ingredients. She put orange, pineapple, red cabbage and avocado on a bed of greens — with some pecans sprinkled on top. Delicious.
Fennel and apple on greens
Salad Variation #5 Fennel is a wonderful addition to any salad (and also in roasted vegetables!). Wonderful with mixed greens, raspberries and apple. Be sure to experiment with fennel in any salad combo.
Salad Variation #6 Aren’t these ingredients just so beautiful!! Kohlrabi (the purple veggie) can actually have a slightly sweet flavor. Peal kohlrabi for a salad; for roast veggies it does OK without pealing. It adds a fun crisp texture to a salad. It also can work fine in a Chinese dish to replace water chestnut! Put the greens in the bowl first and then break the kale up over it; “Massage” the kale with some juice from the orange – to tenderize and take any bitterness away. Toss in the chopped (or slivered) Kohlrabi . The black berries, raspberries and orange are delicious on top with some parsley finely chopped over it for an added zing.
Try Mushrooms in your salad
Salad Variation #7 For a different taste and texture add mushrooms (and their minerals and B vitamins) to Romaine lettuce, celery, carrot, tomato, and chopped red cabbage. (By the way a wedge of crisp red cabbage makes a delicious snack – taste tested by my grand kids)
Cranberries for another flavor
Salad Variation #8 Simple and delicious – Romaine, dried cranberries, orange, celery – toss on your choice of almonds or walnuts; balsamic, raspberry, or red wine vinaigrette all add zip. Cranberries are a very good source of Iodine — that your thyroid uses to make thyroxine. For another variation you could also add thinly sliced or chopped apple to this. Of course, leave the nutritious and delicious peal on!