Many of us strive to eat healthy but struggle with the lack of appeal of some healthier foods. While there are perfectly delicious veggies and other things out there, let’s face it, salads can be extremely boring. I personally really enjoy fresh foods, but I have had a hard time constructing salads that keep me coming back for another bite. In the past, I’ve usually ended up losing enthusiasm and stopped making salads all together.
After coming across a helpful post about salad building on bonzaiaphrodite.com, I’m excited to say that I think my salad days have just been revived! This post offers some fantastic tips on creating salads that really are delicious and filling. So far, I’ve made two different salads and one dressing using this blogger’s advice with satisfying, yummy results! The first salad that I made was sort of a Greek-style salad that included ingredients like chickpeas, roasted red peppers, carrots, and olives. For this particular salad, I followed a tip from the blog mentioned above and made dressing by thinning out some of my favorite hummus with a bit of water, (she also suggests using vinegar). The second salad that I made was even more successful than the first. I made a Mexican salad using black beans, carrots, avocado, salad greens, shredded vegan almond “mozzarella”, and a few scoops of my favorite salsa for the dressing-like component. I enjoyed this salad just as much as I usually enjoy some of my favorite comfort foods!
The trick to a really good salad is all about selecting a combination of ingredients that produce a balanced flavor. To summarize what I’ve learned about salad building:
- Be sure to include protein such as beans, legumes, cheese, tofu, etc.
- Have an idea of what flavor concept you’re going for before you start. Are you in the mood for an Italian-style meal? Pick ingredients that follow the palette that you’re after.
- Dressing can be made out of so many different things! Salsa or thinned out hummus, for example. Or skip dressing and instead add ingredients like guacamole and lemon juice.
- Umami is a must! Umami is the full, savory flavors that help a meal feel satisfying. This is by far the most helpful tip that I read on the blog post mentioned above. It will change the way you view salads! Without umami, salads tend to be a little too bland and boring. This is especially true for people like me, who really enjoy full, aromatic flavors.
As a vegetarian trying to avoid dairy at home, learning to make a satisfying salad is great because it opens up many more options for quick and easy meals. What better way to add a variety of veggies to your diet than to pack them into a tasty salad?