“A woman should never be seen eating or drinking, unless it be
lobster salad and Champagne, the only true feminine and becoming viands”
– Lord Byron
– Lord Byron
Salad, the word alone is enough to make some peoples stomachs growl with hunger without even having to see one. Salad has long instilled images in our minds of starved-looking models chewing emotionlessly on leaves of lettuce or little rabbits nibbling unenthusiastically on vegetation while the rest of the world looks on wondering how either species survives on such vaporous fare.
But this is far from the truth… Salads are and can be a filling and deliciously healthy lunch and even dinner when they are made right…a.k.a..with a little thought and love!
I honesty think a salad is only boring if you fail to put some effort into it, (basically, if you’re lazy!)
Let’s start with the main component, which is usually some kind of lettuce or leafy greens. At most deli’s its usually iceberg lettuce but this, in my opinion is one of the most tasteless lettuces, although not as nutrition-less as we’ve previously been led to believe! It does have a place in our diet, but for me, I prefer the taste of romaine, or spinach leaves , rocket lettuce/Arugula or a mix of all three, which is known as mixed greens!
Lettuce is not just a pretty base to a salad, as it also, more importantly packs quite a nutritional punch. Lettuce leaves are
Storehouses of phytonutrients that have health promoting and disease preventing attributes. Its also full of vitamins and minerals, mainly
- Vitamin A and beta carotenes ( which means healthy skin and great vision) ,
- Vitamin K (which helps increase bone mass, and has also established a role in Alzheimers disease patients by limiting neuronal damage in the brain) as well as
- Folates (important for a developing fetus) and
- Vitamin C (which is a powerful anti-oxidant and helps prevent pro-inflammatory free radicals).
And so now that the making of your salad is off to a very nutritious start, its time to add some protein, which is what makes the difference between a salad leaving you feel like there’s still a big empty whole in your tummy, and the feeling of a full and happy tummy!
The choices are pretty simple;
–Chicken (Roasted/warm/grilled/or just cold)
– Tuna (canned/ or read seared tuna(insanely delicious but rather expensive)
– Beans (Kidney/Garbanzo/Black)
– Salmon (grilled/smoked)
Boiled Eggs and Nuts are additions to Salads that add that extra bit of protein while also adding flavor.
So we have our choice of lettuce, or choice of protein, and from there it’s time to get creative! Things you can add to Salads to make them filling and delicious are;
-Dried Fruits (Cranberries/ Raisins/Dates/apricots
-Fruit (Strawberries/Apples/Oranges/Avacado/Peaches etc.)
-Nuts of all sorts
-Bacon Bits (don’t make this a daily habit though)
-Crumbled and grated Cheeses (Feta/Goats/Mozzarella)
-Green/Red/Yellow/Orange Peppers (roasted or raw)
Of course you can pick and choose according to your palate and what flavors you like together: Some common combinations include;
Mixed Greens, Walnuts, Pears and Goat cheese with Chicken (aka Waldorf Salad)
Olives, Sundried tomatoes, Feta, Cucumber, Red Onions (Greek Salad)
Romaine and Endive lettuce, Bacon Bits, Chicken, Avacado, Chooped Boiled Eggs, Chopped Tomatoes (aka Cobb Salad)
Combinations are endless so don’t be afraid to try new things, as you never know what may end up being delish!
And as for Salad Dressings; Healthy dressings are usually light and either oil or vinegar based and try to make your own dressings as store prepared are often full of crappy additives and flavors you don’t want in your body;
I’d recommend a Little Olive Oil with Balsamic Vinegar
Or Olive Oil and Pesto can be a delicious combination (just make sure to check the pesto ingredients!)
And a touch of fresh lemon juice can add zest to a Salad as well!!
Here is the recipe to the Salad that my sisters makes so well! It’s sort of her own concoction and we don’t really know the measurements of how much goes in, but it is a hit in this house so I have to share!
Fiona’s Fabulously Fruity Chicken Salad
Breasts of Organic Roasted Chicken
1 medium bag of organic baby spinach
1 small bag of organic rocket lettuce
1 large sweet organic apple chopped
Handful roasted nuts
Handful of raisins
Half an organic Avocado
5 chopped Sundried Tomatoes
Drizzling of Olive Oil
2 tablespoons of good quality Pesto
Put all ingredients into a large salad bowl, excluding the Chicken, Olive oil and Pesto.
Mix well, then Add the olive oil and pesto. Mix it all up together before putting onto a dinner plate. Put Roasted Chicken pieces on top. Easy as that! Eat and Enjoy!