By Brittney Bergen
Who doesn’t love a SUPER LEGIT salad?! You know, like the one you’d order at a gourmet restaurant. It shows up at your table towering with glorious toppings. (My mouth is watering just thinking about it.)
Apparently, 9% of you don’t love LEGIT salads.
This blog isn’t for the 9% of you. It’s for the 91% of you who are amped about arugula, stoked about seeds, and fired up about fruit on top of a bed of mixed greens.
Here are my…
Top Tips for Taking Your Salad to Another Level
- Have Fun with Fruit
Make a game out of it: buy a new kind of fruit for your salads every time you go to the grocery store.
Try one of these next time:
- Pear or apple for simple sweetness
- Mango or pineapple for a tropical flair
- Strawberries or raspberries for freshness that tastes like it came straight from the garden
- Avocado (#truth – it’s a fruit) for healthy fat
- Mix Up Your Greens
I don’t mean literally to stir them (although that’s not a bad idea). I mean: try something new!
My personal favourite greens to add into a salad:
- Organic spring mix, kale, or spinach for the base
- Arugula for a sort of “spicy” flavour
- Fresh herbs like cilantro for a taco salad or basil for a salad with fresh fruit (you can grow your own in your windowsill and pull from them whenever)
- Top it with sprouts or pea shoots to enhance the freshness of your feast
- Go Nuts for Seeds
Part of the art of salad-making is bringing a variety of textures to your plate.
Nuts and seeds are a great way to add some heartiness and crunch to your salad.
- Sunflower seeds
- Hemp hearts or chia seeds
Or, my personal favourite: toasted almonds!
Here’s How to Toast Your Own Almonds:
When you make these, your whole house will smell like a heartier, girthier version of popcorn. #aromatherapywin
Buy a bag of almonds, and as soon as you get home set the oven to broil. If your broil setting is adjustable, set it to 400, and if it’s not – that’s okay – just keep an extra close eye on them. 😉
If you have the oven set to 400, toast them for about 5 minutes per side or until they are medium-dark brown. If your broil setting isn’t adjustable, you’ll only need about 2 minutes per side.
You’ll know they’re done when your house smells like toasted heaven and you hear some of the almonds starting to “pop.”
Chop a few warm ones for your salad right now, or cool the whole almonds and store them in a jar until you want to chop them to add to a salad.
- Play With Your Protein
Let’s be honest: we’ve all had enough chicken Caesar salads for one lifetime. It’s time to play with the protein on your plate:
- Try a roasted chicken leg or thigh instead of chicken breast to keep your dish moist without all the dressing
- Make maple-glazed citrus salmon with a little maple syrup and fresh-squeezed orange juice
- Soft-boil some eggs for gorgeous colour and heartwarming texture and taste
Or, try this Almond Crusted Mahi-Mahi Salad recipe.
With all those flavours and textures in your salad, you won’t need much for dressing.
Here are my favourite simple dressing options:
- A maple balsamic vinegar to top a fresh summer salad
- An oil and vinegar combo, like Jalapeno lime balsamic vinegar and Italian Herb and Garlic oil from Oliv
- Guacamole, Greek yogurt, and salsa for a taco salad – you can make the guacamole homemade or buy “Wholly Guacamole Minis” from the store
There you have it, 91%er. My top 5 tips to take your salad to another level.
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Photo of Brittney credit Emma Love Photography