The word salad for some people conjure up an uninteresting dish of what some may consider a little more than rabbit food. Just some raw green leaves. That thought however, is for those persons who have not experienced the diversity of today’s salads and probably have no idea how to do salads which are not boring but are delicious and nutritious. Rather than just some raw leafy greens, with the large variety of possible mix-ins that are available, your salad can be a super-healthy meal complete with several servings of vegetables, protein and numerous essential nutrients.
Types of salads
Like we just said, it’s more than just leafy greens so don’t be scared when someone offers you a salad. There are so many types, I am sure you will find one to suit your taste.
Tossed salads are the most common kind of salads. You will probably find a lot of greens in this type of salad. It is prepared by tossing the greens along with other vegetables such as tomatoes, onions, carrots, cabbage or cucumber. Most times, it is had with a dressing. You can use various leafy greens in your salad, such as lettuce, spinach or watercress. Lettuce tends to be the most popular choice. It is important to remember that the greens be well dried before tossing. If the leaves are wet, the dressing won’t properly adhere to the greens causing the dressing to become watered down and generally not very enjoyable. Your tossed salad can be garnished with seeds or nuts. Raisins or dried cranberries also go well with tossed salads. Add your favourite dressing and enjoy.
This is a salad of many ingredients but these are not tossed together. Instead, they are artfully arranged, on a plate or in a bowl. Attention is paid to complimentary flavors and colors.
The most common type of composed salad is the bedded. It normally consists of the base, the body, the garnish and the dressing.
The bedded salad starts with a bed of salad greens with the other ingredients arranged on top. The body can be a protein rich food such as tofu along with some other vegetables such as beets and snap peas. Garnish with some spring onions and drizzle a dressing of your choice.
Composed salads can also have a mounded presentation. With this arrangement, the components are arranged in a mound on the plate. Sometimes the components are arranged in individual mounds. Each mound is dressed separately and may be a salad in its own right,
A flat presentation is when sliced components and other ingredients are arranged flat on a plate, often overlapping. These tend to be the most visually appealing.
Both raw and cooked items can be used to make a composed salad.
Bound salads do not generally have the leafy greens we are used to in other salads. Instead, they are generally made of hearty, filling ingredients bound together by a thick dressing. As the name suggests a bound salad literally means each of the ingredients is bound together in one mass. They can include pasta, potatoes, quinoa as the base and they are mostly bound by mayonnaise.
I bet all this time you have been eating your lovely potato salad and pasta salads you didn’t realize that it had a special name. Yup. You were eating a bound salad.
Summarizing the salads:
In tossed salads and bound salads, all the ingredients are mixed together. A composed salad, by contrast, is a plate or a platter on which the various parts of the salad are laid out separately, usually on a bed of green salad leaves for visual appeal. Both raw and cooked items can be used.
We will mention one more type of salad.
You have probably never heard of this salad but I am sure you have seen it before.
A farinaceous dish refers to dishes made from pasta, noodles, rice or polenta.
Farinaceous commodities are highly nutritious and provide energy and dietary fiber. And yes. You can have a farinaceous salad.
A farinaceous salad is a salad that is made with potatoes, pasta or grains. You may be thinking “Hey, that farinaceous salad sounds the same as a bound salad?” Well not exactly. The fact is many farinaceous salads are not bound.
Many pasta salads for example, use combinations of light dressing and flavorful ingredients to bring it together. A farinaceous salad is almost always tossed but can be used as the body for a composed salad. Potato salad, (although it can be categorized as a bound salad if it is held together with a thick dressing such as mayonnaise) is also a popular farinaceous salad.
Is it starting to get too confusing? You know what, don’t worry yourself about it. Just make your salads and enjoy them.
What is the healthiest salad?
It is hard to find an unhealthy salad. The healthiest salads are the ones which provide you with lots of nutrients (such as vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, fiber etc.). Of course this covers just about all your salads so don’t be scared when you hear the word “salad”. Just make sure they are not loaded with lots of high fat or otherwise unhealthy dressings
What can you put in a salad
There are so many ingredients to choose from.
- Lettuce (all variety)
- Bell Peppers
- Beans (so many to choose from)
- Seeds (Sunflower seed, flaxseed, sesame seed
A salad can provide all the nutrients you need
Do you want your salad to be your complete meal? It can be. You can add almost any food. Just ensure that you add nutritious toppings to the salad
Here are some healthy toppings you can try.
chopped, raw vegetables
nuts and seeds
beans and legumes
These provide vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, proteins and healthy fats.
Can you lose weight eating salads?
You certainly can lose weight eating salads. As a matter of fact, you can eat an extremely large serving of salads which will fill you up but you will still end up with a much lower caloric intake than you would if you ate even a smaller serving of other foods instead. One thing to look out for is that you are not consuming lots of high fat salad dressings along with this salad. This will end up defeating your weight loss efforts.
Healthy Salad Dressing
The salad dressings you buy at the store are packed with large amounts of sugar, salt, preservatives and other not too healthy additives. Adding these dressings to you salads just about cancels out all the good you were trying to achieve by eating the salad in the first place.
A better option is to make your own healthy salad dressing. You will then have control over what goes in and what stays out of your dressings.
Here are 3 simple yet delicious dressings to try.
Honey Mustard Salad Dressing
- 1/4 cup dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 tsp lemon zest
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tsp raw honey
- 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
- 3 tbsp olive oil
Sesame Ginger Salad Dressing
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced OR 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoons peel and grated fresh ginger OR 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- Combine all ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid.
- Shake vigorously until well combined.
- Refrigerate and let flavors blend for at least 30 minutes, preferably 2 hours, before serving.
How much salad should you eat?
There are so many people who share out a couple spoons of salad into their plates and think they are eating enough. That method won’t even bring you close to the recommended 5 servings of vegetables per day.
At least 2 cups of salad per meal is a good amount to strive for. However if the salad is the entire meal, one large bowl is not too much. And I mean the bowl you would normally use to make salad for the whole family. No kidding.
Check out Erin’s lunch from EatMoveRest.
I suppose we have to give an honorary mention to the fruit salad. After all, it is a salad as well. However, we dedicate this post to the vegetable salad and we will discuss the fruit salad in another post here.
Are you a salad lover? Share some of your recipes with us. If you are not a salad lover, try some of the suggestions above . You might just be converted.
Share your experience with us in the comments section below.