It’s time to celebrate beautiful Australian seasonal produce, and I can’t think of a better season to kick off heavy heels and meals than springtime.
I love this time of year, especially when still-crisp mornings fill the air and the heady aromatics of magnolias linger to awaken your senses.
Today, I’m embracing spring with two of my favourite salads. I can already feel the days getting a little brighter and longer, and with the warmth of summer nipping at my feet, it’s time to let go of the sluggishness of winter and the heavy and rich foods that accompany it.
Delving into the mountains of fresh fruits and vegetables that become available in spring means you’ll find an abundance of bright and colourful produce, the kind of ingredients that make each and every dish exciting and a pleasure to eat. Think kaleidoscopic lunches and dinners using vibrant and freshly available produce.
This season, I’m encouraging you to forego the pre-made salad bags and embrace bunches of whole leaves, colourful vegetables and fruits and nuts to create salad bowls that scream energy.
Opting for more green leafies and whole veggies makes sense, as they’re undoubtedly one of the cheapest and readily available unprocessed foods on the planet. Plus, they’re a fabulous plant based source of non-haem iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, vitamins A, C, K, E as well as several B vitamins, and fibre.
It’s so easy to design your own delicious salads and it doesn’t take long, there’s really no need to go any where near a salad bar chain. It’s just as affordable to create a healthy salad using the freshest, most nutritious ingredients, minus the sugar- and salt-laden dressings.
If you’re looking to get out of your salad rut, read my top five steps to building a healthy salad from scratch. You’ll soon realise it’s a snap!
When starting with a base of greens, you can mix and match your own by using three different varieties. The basic formula is to use a milder lettuce like butter or Cos to start and then add a darker green such as romaine or spinach or kale, then top it off with a handful of peppery greens like rocket, dandelion greens or radicchio.
Speaking of healthy salads, if you haven't already, you’ll happily farewell processed bacon once you’ve had a taste of my Supercharged Caesar Salad. Fried tempeh with tamari gives the exact hit of saltiness needed to boost the flavor in this vegan-friendly twist on the original.
Simple Vegan Caesar
Another favourite spring salad that screams springtime, is my Mixed Leaf Seeded Salad with Cashew Nut Mayo. It’s a magical salad that’ll really blow any of your preconceived ideas about boring salads right out the open window. It's seriously simple, but has huge flavour.
When choosing your mixed leaves for this super salad, be sure to really go for variety, and deep green colours to get the maximum nutrient hit possible. Some of my favourite salad leaves include kale, spinach, rocket, beet leaves, Cos lettuce and chard. There are so many yummy varieties of greens out there; go nuts, because every different plant contains unique and powerful medicinal properties.
Mixed Leaf Seeded Salad with Cashew Nut Mayo