Salads have gotten a bad rap for being limp, soggy and boring, but they can actually be bowls of delightful deliciousness — if you know what you are doing, that is. If you are tired of making the same mediocre salad over and over again, we are here to help you transform your salad into your new favorite meal with just a few simple tips, from making your dressings with flavored vinegars to quick pickling your vegetable toppings.
Switch up your salad greens.
If you always pick up the same bag of mixed greens from the grocery store, that is the first thing you should change about your salad. Every type of green has a different taste and texture, and since they form the base of your salad, choosing the right ones is absolutely essential. Most grocery stores carry only a limited selection of greens, and your best bet for the freshest, most unique greens is probably your local farmers market or a food co-op. In fact, you can even get really adventurous and ditch the typical salad greens altogether in favor of grains like quinoa and farro or a bunch of vegetables.
Try a new protein.
After you have sorted your salad greens, the next thing you should consider is the protein. Using a different protein will immediately change the texture and flavor of the salad, automatically making it more interesting. Get creative and do not be afraid to explore non-meat proteins such as eggs, tempeh, tofu, beans, legumes and more. You can also switch up the way you fix the protein — for instance, if you always add plain, baked chicken to your salads, try marinating the meat and grilling it before adding it to your salad.
Make your own dressing.
If you are tired of working your way through the same bottle of salad dressing for weeks at a time, try making your own at home. It only takes a little time and effort and means that you can make a different batch for every single salad for endless variety. We recommend keeping a set of several different olive oils and flavored vinegars (such as The Essential Capsule from Brightland) on hand so you can whip together a new dressing whenever you feel like it.
Do not forget the fruit.
Vegetables, proteins and dressings are not the only things that can go in a salad. Fruit is also an excellent addition, especially if you are looking to add a touch of sweetness. Berries are popular salad toppings (and sometimes do not even require slicing), but experimenting with other fruits such as apples, oranges, peaches and more is totally worthwhile. If you are not already putting fruit on your salads, you are really missing out.