Salad side dishes aren’t alien to the Filipino table. Our culinary culture usually features ensaladas beside our fried foods and grilled meats. Yet, the idea of eating just a salad as a main is not something most of us are not used to. After all, eating a plate of green salad does not evoke images of a hearty and tasty meal.
Today, we are changing the misconception that salads are tasteless and unsatisfying. With the proper ingredients and prep, a salad can move from being a sidekick to the main course. Try our satisfying green salad recipe below and don't be surprised if you start adding more veggie dishes to your weekly menu.
A Green Salad Recipe That Fills You Up
Perhaps the primary reason green salads do not appeal to the majority is the impression that mesclun typically comprises leaves. It's a fair assumption, but it doesn't encompass all salads. You can add more ingredients to make your salads more colorful, filling, and delicious.
As a rule of thumb, green salads contain at least three different types of lettuce. Arugula, iceberg, and romaine are the usual choices. You can pair your green salad with a heavier protein or just enjoy it solo. This Green Goddess Pasta Salad can work either way.
Green salad dressing:
- 1 cup Lady’s Choice Real Mayonnaise
- 1 cup fresh basil
- juice of 1 lemon
- 2 cloves of garlic
- salt to taste
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 2/3 cup sour cream
- 2 anchovies
- 4-5 stalks green onions
- In a food processor or blender, combine all ingredients except for the sour cream
- Process until consistency is smooth and creamy
- Stir in the sour cream
- Season with salt and pepper to taste
- Set aside and store in a clean airtight container
- 450gms boiled pasta (elbow macaroni, bow tie, fusilli, rotini, or penne)
- 100gms marinated artichokes
- 200gms cherry tomatoes, halved
- 50gms arugula
- 50gms rocket lettuce
- 2 tbsp microgreens (optional)
- ¼ cup pitted black olives
- 1 red or yellow bell pepper, chopped
- mozzarella balls, feta, ricotta, or kesongputi
- Drain and rinse cooked pasta
- Set aside to cool
- In a large bowl, combine salad ingredients
- Add cooled pasta
- Toss gently with ½ cup of the dressing
- Chill for at least 1 hour before serving
Pasta salads combine greens and a healthy amount of carbs. To serve, ditch the white rice. Instead, enjoy this salad alongside meaty dishes. If you want to avoid noodles, you can always replace the pasta with healthy grains. We’ve got some delectable suggestions, so keep reading.
Ways to Make Green Salads Healthy and Enticing
Fussy eaters exist and if you happen to know one, here are some things you can do to encourage them to try out your salad.
#1 Add carbs to your greens.
While it is great to have as many leafy greats as possible, variety keeps you from getting palate fatigue. Repetitive flavors can result in your taste buds getting tired of the flavor.
Don’t be afraid to add some carbs if you want to keep yourself interested in eating healthy and nutritious greens. It can be a piece of bread or perhaps some grains. Starch-based grains can add a little depth to the medley. So next time you put together green salad ingredients, you can consider mixing some couscous, wild rice, adlai, and quinoa. The occasional pasta salad isn’t a bad option for keeping you full either.
#2 Don’t skip fat-based salad dressings.
Did you know that some vitamins are fat-soluble? They are best absorbed by the body when you consume some fat. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published research that shows how participants who consumed salads with fat-free salad dressing had trouble absorbing nutrients like beta carotene and lycopene. However, those who indulged in some fatty sauces had a higher level of nutrients in their blood.
Ideally, 6 grams of added fat in your salad can do you some good. Aside from helping the body absorb nutrients, fat keeps you full and satisfied for much longer. Go ahead and add Lady’s Choice Real Mayonnaise. It can turn your ordinary dressing into something extraordinary!
#3 Always include some proteins.
Just like fat, some people are under the impression that proteins shouldn’t be anywhere near the garden on your plate. Nutritionists suggest 15-30 grams of protein in the three main meals of the day. Even salad lovers shouldn't shy away from proteins like meat, poultry, or fish.
For plant-based protein sources, vegetarian or vegan salads will benefit from at least half a cup of beans, equivalent to 8 grams of protein. Although significantly half the recommended amount of protein per meal, you can supplement these by adding grains, nuts, cheeses, asparagus, broccoli, or brussels sprouts.
#4 Be adventurous, play with some flavors!
There are so many green salad recipes and it's unlikely that you'll love all of them. Take note of which ingredients don't entice you. Think about adding elements you enjoy in place of it. Some love adding hummus to greens since it introduces a new texture. More importantly, it helps bulk up the meal.
Other flavors like pickled veggies (onions, sauerkraut, capers, etc.) give green salads a new dimension thanks to the salty, tangy, and crunchy mouth feel it lends to the healthy dish.
#5 Coat those greens with enough dressing
A great-tasting salad often boils down to how well each element is coated in dressing. It’s the sweet spot between being drenched and hardly having any. A large bowl and a pair of thongs address any uneven coating issues. Sufficiently coated salad greens taste better.
Eating healthy doesn’t have to be complex or expensive. You can use your cursory lettuces, but you can also add other vegetables that are rich in essential vitamins and nutrients without sacrificing taste.
Whether you are looking to boost your workout routine or just want to include healthier food choices in your everyday baon, the humble green salad is the perfect base to experiment with ingredient combinations and dressings. You can eat your salad with a main course or enjoy it as a standalone dish.