I've been experimenting with ways to make that big bowl of green salad in the refrigerator more tempting to Hans (and sometimes myself), and here is what I've come up with so far:
1. It's all in the way you cut the vegetables. Seriously! I had no idea julienned carrots tasted better and are easier to eat with a fork than plain old sliced or diced carrots. If there is a vegetable you've tried and tried in your salad, but it's just not working, try cutting it in a different way. Of course, a nice set of kitchen knives is a must!
2. Fresh fruit. These add such a springy, crisp, juicy flavor to salad. I love mixing salty with sweet, and you can't go wrong with apples (especially when they are in season and CHEAP!). Again, I like to julienne these. If you add apples to your salad, be sure to sprinkle some lemon juice on them so they don't brown. Lemon also adds a great zing. My mom and sister also make a great strawberry spinach salad, and I like sliced grapes and mandarin oranges. Experiment adding different fresh fruits to your leafy greens!
(I'm beginning to sound like a women's magazine article, aren't I? You know what? I don't care!)
3. Dried fruit. My mom puts dried cranberries in her salads and I love them. Unfortunately I can't find them in Japan, but I do like raisins and dried blueberries in my salad. Again, these are good for cutting the saltiness of salad dressing.
4. Nuts. Add some protein to your salad! It makes it way more filling, so you can actually feel satisfied having had a salad as a meal. I personally like whole, raw, unsalted almonds. I'm sure walnuts or pine nuts would be great too. Use nuts sparingly though, a little go a long way as far as fat intake goes.
5. Sesame seeds - raw, toasted, white or black. In Japan they have salad dressings with sesame seeds, which I love.
6. Use a variety of colors. I'm way more interested in a salad that has greens, reds, yellows and oranges than one that is monochromatic (different shades of the same color). Also, yellow, orange and red stimulate the appetite, so using these colors in your salad makes it look a lot yummier.
(I just went back and deleted 10 exclamation marks to make this blog just a little more palatable.)
What about all of you? What are some of your favorite salad recipes?