If you want be healthy but not hungry, you need to super-boost your summer salads. The key is to liven up those leaves with some ‘stick to your ribs’ ingredients which are packed with fat, fibre or protein. Fill up on these tasty, vitamin-loaded meals at lunchtime – and you won’t be tucking into a Mars bar two hours later.
Here are 5 of our favourite recipes to get you started:
If you want something easy to prepare but bulging with vitamins try this Powerhouse Bulgar salad with orange vinaigrette. Bulgur wheat has a nutty chewiness which is highly satisfying to eat, yet only takes 15 minutes to cook. The pecans add extra protein and general deliciousness. And there’s no law against adding some avocado or feta cheese either. Go wild!
This chunky quinoa, chickpea and almond salad is guaranteed to get your taste buds drooling and tummy thanking you. The chickpeas and toasted almonds are a hunger-crushing form of fibre as well as being highly nourishing. Oh, and they taste amazing too!
We simply say ‘yum’ to this easy-to-make warm new potato salad with bacon and blue cheese. The fantastic fusion of textures and flavours you get from the salty bacon, blue cheese and firm mushrooms make it look and taste very substantial. The potatoes balance this well, while the dressing adds a final wow for your taste buds. It’s also great eaten cold the next day, so make plenty.
This Thai beef salad will get you full on protein, flavour and fibre. Using trimmed rump steaks means you get all the hunger-busting protein without the saturated fat. The zingy combination of grapes and chillies will freshen you up and re-energize you after the most gruelling workouts.
Potato and apple salad with mackerel wins the award for tastes of the unexpected. The fennel, apple and beetroot are an unusual combo, but it all somehow works! The smoked mackerel is packed with nutritious and delicious protein that makes this a proper satisfying meal.
If you don’t fancy any of the above, create your own salad. There are countless ingredients you can add to make them more filling. Oily fish, meat and poultry are reliable favourites. Pulses and nuts such as puy lentils (pre-packed are convenient), chickpeas, walnuts and sunflower seeds can be added to anything. Or be brave and try some less usual ingredients like pomegranate seeds, samphire, linseeds and shelled hemp seeds.
Finally, remember all salads are best eaten with a healthy dose of sunshine!
That thai beef salad looks amazing. I have made similar ones myself but must admit have never added grapes. I guess you can really chuck what you like in salads.
Wow - the quino, chickpea and almond salad sounds amazing and looks really filling. Shame it looks a little long winded to make. I think I could create my own version using the same ingredients in half the time.
I never realised the word salad could cover all these sorts of meals. I was brought up on iceberg lettuce and salad cream so it takes me a while to get used to thinking of salads as anything else. But these are great!
Just looking at that photo made me hungry! We love a good steak or beef salad in my house but have never tried those Thai flavourings so will have to give that a go.
I tend to get creative with my salads. Leftover rice or quinoa gets chucked in with leftover potatoes and any chopped up/grated veggies. Plus a homemade salad dressing, squeeze of lemon and some olives and anything tastes good!
I have tried the warm potato salad with blue cheese and can vouch it's delicious as a lunch or tea. Even my fussy children liked it, though I must admit I used chedddar in their version.