Take a walk on the wild side. For added flavor, try adding seasonal fruit too (it’s currently peak season for strawberries). Produce currently available for salad creations galore include: carrots, turnip, lettuce and leafy greens of many types, sweet onion, spring onions, beets and don’t forget to eat the green leafy tops of beets too.
Earlier this week at the Lane County’s Farmer Market in Eugene, a local vendor suggested I try bietola in my salad. Bietola, a green, leafy vegetable, is a variety of the chard family. It’s in season, packed with flavor and is super nutritious. A good trade from the traditional Caesar or Cobb salad.
If you’re like me, you don’t like to cook much in hot weather. Pick up a good selection of fruit and veggies, mix them together and call it a meal. The most exciting meals come from experimenting.
My favorite spring and summer meals include adding protein (mostly fish, pork or chicken), to whatever produce is available, which requires minimal cooking. If you can’t bear the heat, a good alternative is to grill or cook up meat the night before (when temperatures are cooler), and add to the salad for future meals. Canned tuna works great too.
For those veggie only connoisseurs, a great alternative is beans and nuts. Hummus is also fabulous for nearly any kind of fresh veggie – just dip and eat!
I’ve found that if you can make one weekly trip to the local Farmer’s Market or your neighborhood store that carries locally grown produce (because they’re much healthier, taste so much better and support local growers), you can have salad variations for days.
It’s still early in the growing season for many varieties of produce. It’s never too early to start experimenting now with what is available. The best part is that you learn about new types of foods and get healthy while you do it.
Get creating and start eating!
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