- Salads have been a part of our diet since time memorial.
- We have always been tied up with certain conventional methods of incorporating few vegetable slices in raw forms like the mix of cucumber, tomato or radish slices. These can be a little monotonous and bored sometimes.
- Hence we can explore innovative ideas in making salads which can be exciting, healthy and tasty.
- Thus, let’s take an insight into trying various ingredients in making a healthy salad.
Long back salads used to be just a mere side dish to the main course and consisted of sliced cucumber, tomato, onions and radish that has been sprinkled with salt and pepper or squeezed with lime juice. You just have one or two slices of raw veggies with your meal and its done. If this is what you have in mind when we say salads, it is time to review and rethink. Salad can be now considered with various combinations of different food groups and also be explored well to bring out colorful, healthy and wholesome food. There is no doubt in saying salads can be made balanced with all nutrients and can fulfill the role of the meal by itself.
Whenever we hear “salads”, we tend to flinch and feel it be part of weight loss plan which is bland and flavorless without any idea to go ahead with it. Salads mean ones that need to be eaten only to lose weight. Gone were those days. Nowadays salads are preferred by all age groups increasing the avenues for more vegetables or fruits with extra healthy toppings of nuts, seeds, and herbs.
How Are Salads Important?
Salads are a powerhouse of many gems like antioxidants, phytochemicals, fiber and other nutrients that can protect the body from harmful agents, lowering the cholesterol and relief from constipation. Having raw form or lightly toasted form of food provides you with maximum nutrients which can be lost if the vegetables are cooked for a longer time.
- Adding healthy fat into the salads like monounsaturated fat foods like olive oil, nuts or avocados help in absorption of the phytochemicals from the vegetables such as absorbing lycopene from tomatoes.
- A healthy dressing like vinegar based, lemon based or yogurt based on the salads not only enhance the taste but also adds loads of antioxidants. These dressings improve the flavor and reduce the need to add heavy or high caloric dressings made up of cheese or cream.
- To make a salad wholesome you can add brown rice or tofu or protein-packed quinoa or grilled chicken. If nothing else, you can add boiled beans and make the salad nutritious.
- You can add a dash of olive oil or canola oil in order to absorb fat-soluble vitamins like Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E and Vitamin K from the salad.
Hence bring out the creativity in you and explore all possibilities with the variety of ingredients, vegetables, and fruits and let’s have healthy and sizzling salads that anyone can die for.
Some of the healthy salad recipes are as follow.
Healthy Salad Recipes
1. Beetroot And Purple Cabbage Salad
The combination of Vitamin C and anthocyanin in this salad makes this salad a go-getter. Sprouts are the best in terms of nutritional quality that contains readily absorbable nutrients and is easily digestible. Apart from this beetroot also contain betaine and dietary fiber; both the veggies are low caloric and contain carotenoids that make this combination a deadly one.
- Purple cabbage -1/4
- Mixed sprouts- 2 tbsp.
- Peanut powder (roasted and powdered)-1 tsp.
- Oil-1/4 tsp.
- Pepper powder- to taste
- Black salt- a pinch
Scrape beetroot and keep aside. Shred cabbage into thin slices. Now heat oil in a pan, add the beetroot, cabbage, and sprouts into the pan and mix well and cook for just 2 mins. Add black salt and pepper powder. Switch off the gas, add peanut powder. Mix well. Serve.
2. Mixed Vegetable Salad
Addition of various vegetables in the salad brings out the various nutrients in a balanced form. Rich in fiber, flavonoids and low in calories this salad is an answer for mid snack that fills the stomach and is nutritious.
- French Beans-4 to 5
- Broccoli- few florets
- Baby corn- 2 to3
- Bell peppers (yellow/red)- ½ piece
- Soya chunks- 4 to 5
- Sorghum powder- 1 tsp.
- Milk – ½ cup
- Red chili flakes- according to taste
- Oregano powder- according to taste
- Garlic powder- to taste
- Salt (optional)- a pinch
Roast sorghum powder in a pan. Add milk and allow it to boil till the solution becomes thick. Keep aside. Take a big pan. Fill the pan with water and allow it to boil for 5 minutes. Switch off the gas and add pieces of carrot, French beans, broccoli florets, baby corn in the pan and allow the vegetable to remain in water for 2 minutes. Strain out the water. Place the parboiled vegetables in a bowl. Add boiled and strained soya chunks, chopped bell peppers. Toss well. Add the sorghum solution into the vegetables, chili flakes, oregano powder, garlic powder, and salt. Toss well. Can add a dash of olive oil in the end. Also can sprinkle roasted and powdered flaxseeds into the salad.
3. Pasta And Vegetable Salad
This salad is a favorite for all age groups. This salad is a combination of yogurt, pasta, vegetables, and fruits thus making it a wholesome food. It’s a cold salad and needs to be kept in the refrigerator before serving.
- Wheat pasta- ½ cup
- Corn (boiled) – 2 tsp.
- Carrot- 1 grated
- Cabbage- ¼ (thinly shredded)
- Capsicum – 1 (thinly sliced)
- Onion – ½ (finely chopped)
- Apples- ½ (thinly sliced)
- Grapes- few (cut into half)
- Yogurt- 1 cup
- Honey- 1 Tsp.
- Tomato sauce- 1 tbsp.
- Vinegar – 1 tsp.
- Salt- a pinch
- Pepper- a pinch.
Whisk yogurt well so that it is smooth. Add tomato sauce, vinegar, Honey, salt, and pepper. Now add the vegetables, corn, and fruits and mix well. Add boiled pasta into the mixture. Mix and keep it refrigerated. Serve chilled.
4. Corn And Vegetable Salad
This salad contains a colorful combination of antioxidants and phytochemicals and brimming with essential nutrients making the salad palatable and tempting.
- Fresh corn (boiled)- ½ cup
- Yellow capsicum – 1
- Red capsicum-1
- Cabbage- ¼ piece
- Green onion- 3
- Salt to taste
- Pepper- a pinch
- Olive oil – ½ tsp.
- Cheese grated (optional)
Finely chop green onion, cabbage, yellow capsicum, red capsicum. Heat oil, add the finely chopped vegetables and sauté for few minutes. Then add the boiled fresh corn and sauté for few minutes. Add salt and pepper powder to taste. Mix well. Switch off the flame. You can add grated cheese when the salad is warm. Sprinkle oregano powder and mix well.
Hence variety and innovations can always be done in the selection of vegetable or fruits or any other items while preparing salad and you can bring out a yummy, nutritious recipe for a salad. Salads need not be just a side dish or an extra accessory to the main meal. In fact, if we are careful with selecting the ingredients for salad in terms of nutritional content then salads can also take the place of a meal that is well balanced and proportionate.
Frequently Asked Questions About Salads
1. How can you incorporate avocados to salads?
Ans – Avocados improve the quality of salad. It enhances the taste and flavor of a normal recipe. You can add avocados even in a normal raw salad. You can chop 1 onion, 1 tomato, and 1 cucumber. Place it in the bowl. Add chopped avocados into the vegetables and mix all the vegetables well. Before serving, you can add a drizzle of lemon juice and warm olive oil and a pinch of rock salt.
2. Can we store salads?
Ans – The shelf life of every salad depends on the ingredients added. If the salads are fully prepared with dressings and ready to eat, then it is advisable to consume it as soon as possible when the vegetables are fresh or maximum you can store the salad in an airtight container but consume it by the next meal. Hence prepare saladsRead more amounts and if possible eat fresh.
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