Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Best Ways To Spruce Up Your Salads For Summer

It's summertime and summer salads have teamed up with their light and tasty counterparts such as sweet summer fruits, lightly grilled proteins, earthy, crunchy toasted nuts, herbal vinaigrettes and low-calorie creamy dressings. By adding these ingredients to your salads you can spruce up a well known side dish or starter and make an entree meal that's full-filling, satisfying and delicious.

Consider adding fresh fruits like strawberries, blueberries, apples and grapes. Or toss in some dried fruits like cranberries, apricots, and golden raisins to make your salads come alive with the vibrant tastes of sweet and refreshing ingredients.

Hot off the grill proteins easily turn any salad into a main meal with the addition of succulent shrimp, juicy chicken, savory salmon, sliced steak and marinated tofu. You can also add the protein of cheese. Cheese such as blue, feta, goat and mozzarella often goes well with fruit and adds tons of flavor.

Avocados, olives, and toasted nuts add a whole new taste dimension, not to mention some heart-healthy oils. Cooked whole grains such as hard wheat berries, quinoa, and bulgur add fiber. Beans or chickpeas add protein and fiber. A variety of great greens like the sweet tastes of Boston, red and green leaf and romaine are great and have nutritious value. While others have a nutty or bitter taste, like endive, radicchio, arugula, watercress and spinach. Mix and match the tastes and textures for an explosion of mother nature's gardeny green goodness. You can also throw in herbs like basil, dill or cilantro so that each bite surprises your taste buds.
To top it all off go with a vinaigrette and low-calorie creamy dressings. Choose a vegan-ranch made with tofu and veganese mayo for a Grilled Chicken California Cobb Salad over a mix of crisp romaine and spinach. Try a sesame-soy vinaigrette with grilled shrimp, avocado, toasted almonds and mandarin oranges over a mix of romaine, raddichio and watercress. Or how about a lime-cilantro vinaigrette for that steak, chick pea, corn and avocado salad. You can make your own healthy vinaigrettes by infusing vinegars with some of your favorite herbs…and you can turn high-fat creamy dressings into healthier vinaigrettes. You're guests will surely enjoy every lasting bite!

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