Monday, 4 February 2013

Salad style

Apologies for the lack of blog yesterday.  A busy weekend culminated in a trip to IKEA which, if any of you have been, you'll understand can put the best of us into a catatonic state!!

Not only was I incapable of blogging, I was also incapable of making my lunch for work, so instead picked up a cooked Salmon salad from Itsu which was delicious.

Whilst buying lunch out every day in the city can be pretty pricey, it's worth doing every now and again for some lunch inspiration. A salad out is usually nicer than a salad from home and for me at least, this is down to the number of ingredients.  My Itsu salad contained the following amongst I'm sure more ingredients than I was aware of: Salmon, some kind of oil based herb dressing, parsley, coriander, carrot, beetroot, pumpkin seeds, poppy seeds.  Together these created a salad that was delicious and kept me interested to the end.

The key to recreating this at home is having a well stocked pantry. Obviously the leaves, salad or cooked veg and herbs need to be fresh from the fridge but it's the added extras that can make a salad interesting and vary the flavour.  It's also a great way to keep your diet varied and make sure you're getting a comprehensive range of nutrients, as even within a small group such as seeds, each seed will have a different nutrient composition

Here are my favourite salad pantry supplies:

Nuts & seeds for some crunch: I rotate between pumpkin, sunflower, poppy and seeds as well as pine nuts, pecans or walnuts to add some flavour, flaked almonds are also lovely with an Asian style salad

Antipasto: bottled olives, artichokes, capers, anchovies, peppers and sundried or sunblush tomatoes add a lovely flourish and liven up even the most boring salad

Seaweed: Yes the weed from the sea! Clearspring sell a good selection and I add a few wakame flakes to my salad every now and then for a great source of minerals

Emergency supplies: Food is always best fresh but for when the cupboards are bare some tinned sweetcorn or tinned asparagus and some tinned tuna can be rustled into a nice quick salad with some leaves

Fruity finish: a sprinkle of sultanas, goji berries, or even some chopped apricots, can add a lovely sweetness to bitter leaves - just use sparingly to avoid overpowering the salad

Dressing: I always keep a bottle of Newmans own Italian dressing in my fridge for a lazy day, but otherwise I rotate between olive oil or sesame oil combined with lemon juice, various vinegars (balsamic, cider, rice wine and my new favourite Ume Plum from Waitrose).

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