“You don’t make friends with saa-lad…you don’t make friends with saa-lad” (sung while doing a little cha cha).
Being a dietitian with a love of the Simpsons and fussy eating husband, I am often taunted with this song. But you know what? I couldn’t disagree more. You can absolutely make friends with salad. Here’s why.
What is a friend?
A friend is supportive and helpful…. Veggies are supportive. To support the environment we need to eat more of a plant based diet. By upping your salad and reducing your meat a little, not only are you helping to create a more sustainable future for the world, you are helping your body too. Veggies are supportive to your body. They protect us from disease now and in the future. Around 11% of all cancers could be avoided if Australians ate more fruits and veggies. They prevent deficiencies, help us age more gracefully, reduce the incidence and severity of colds. Different coloured veggies (delete jargon word: photochemicals) support our bodies in different ways. Red for glowing skin and hair and healthy blood, purple for memory, green for your insides and orange for your eyes. Increasing veggies supports a healthy weight as they are high in nutrients but low in calories.
A friend makes you feel good about yourself…. veggies are full of vitamins and minerals which help our body access energy from the food we eat. More energy to do the things you want to do, function at your peak at work and at play.
A friend is fun….. salad can be fun too. Play around with colours, flavours and textures. Try a salad in a jar or cup by layering different coloured veggies and fruits. To take one to work, put the dressing on the bottom, add the harder veggies (carrots, celery, red capsicum followed by nuts, seeds, cheese, eggs/beans/tuna/leftover meat then topped with lettuce or spinach beetroot). When it’s lunchtime, shake and invert on a plate
Try a variety of dressings. Add nuts, seeds or a little feta to make it a bit fancy. Try BBQ salad (red capsicums, mushrooms, asparagus, corn). See below for ideas.
A friend deserves a second chance (especially in the best dressed category)… Don’t be too quick to judge. Give different salads a chance. Dress them up with yogurt or vinegar based dressings (you can add a little olive oil).
Unlike a friend (hopefully)….salads can be cheap… see what’s cheap in the green grocers or try a fruit and veggie delivery. Cheaper veggies are in season, better for environment and full of nutrients.
How to make friends with salad?
Be organised. Stock the fridge, cupboard and freezer with delicious salad ingredients. Find more ideas here. You can cut up veggies for the week on the weekend. Or make a couple of salads in a jar and take one each day. Buy enough salad to last the week.
Variety – don’t get bored. Change your salad ingredients (there are so many to choose from). Top with a variety of dressings. Try different salads. Google recipes, ask friends. Try warm roasted veggie salads in winter and raw, fresh salads in summer. Try serving a deconstructed salad with a dip. Hummus and tzatzki are some of my favorites.
Keep it simple, make it delicious. Simple salads, rainbow salads. I like my salads simply topped with balsamic. Quick, easy, healthy and friends!
Here are some of my favourite salads recipes.
What’s your favourite salad?