Ahhh, the perfect salad. A very subjective statement, yes. Which ingredients to include? Which protein to add? Any fruit? Even dressings and seasonings can be difficult to choose. There are so many options!! This is why salads are some of the most versatile foods one can create/order (way more than smoothies- see my last blog). Well here’s a guideline to creating the perfect salad, with whatever delicious and fresh ingredients you deem worthy for your meal that day.
I would say the first thing you need to do to build the perfect salad is… go grocery shopping. Make sure you have a good variety of proteins, greens, other veggies, dried or fresh fruits, dressings, seasonings… etc. so that you don’t go wanting extra ingredients after your salad is made. That being said, I have perfected the “love salad,” which I define as a salad that I throw together with whatever sounds good and is fresh in my fridge. It almost always turns out delicious, and I always have a nice assortment of salad combinations that way. It’s no fun to get stuck in a “same-salad rut”!
One of my favorite salads, thanks to my trip to Rome last year, is the caprese salad. Simple, absolutely divine, and satisfies the pallet more than any other combination of flavors. It’s as simple as fresh tomatoes, fresh slices of mozzarella cheese, the best and crispest basil leaves you can find… topped off with some EVOO and/or Balsamic. All the flavors meld together so perfectly – I love making it on a hot summer’s day, enjoying the blended sweetness, cheesiness and vinegary-taste… mmm! So fantastic. Give me more!
This Springtime Salmon Salad sounds like it would be a new favorite of mine… when I actually get around to making it! It’s important to have protein in your salads, otherwise, if you’re like me, they don’t keep you full very long; salmon is such a light and healthy way to add that. I am obsessed with asparagus and peas, so those are an obvious addition, as well as the sweetness of the mandarin oranges?! Sounds like a perfect salad to me.
Avocados are one of my favorite salad toppings- they had a great amount of essential healthy fats and since I eat them cold, it adds a smooth and refreshing bite to the rest of the salad. I even make my salads around the avocado, I love them so much!
Salad dressings are an interesting topic of discussion, as well. I do not use them. Ever. Sometimes I’ll drizzle a light balsamic vinaigrette on top of my salads (especially caprese!), however I really do not favor a “wet salad.” That being said, I love adding spices on top of mine. Lawry’s Seasoning Salt is one of my favorites, along with Slap Ya Mama – the Slap Ya Mama spices line is seriously one of the best spice lines ever created. They’re spicy, yes, but I love spicy. And they make shakers for all kinds of food (I use the yellow one for my salads). I would highly recommend adding a few sprinkles of this on top of your next crisp salad!
This is the salad I’d like to try next…. Brussel sprouts…shrimp…bacon? Yes, please I’ll take them all! I will keep you posted on how it goes! Now go on out there and make YOUR perfect salad 🙂