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  • Writer's pictureElissa Strassman

Celebrating a Staple: Salad! May is National Salad Month.

What can be eaten as an appetizer, side, entree, or even dessert? Served hot or cold? Taste savory, sweet, or even both? Served on a stick, in a jar, or in a bowl?

Fruit Salad, Spinach Salad. Tomato Salad

If you guessed salad- guess what? You’d be right! Perhaps one of the most versatile foods, limited only by your own imagination for all the different possible ingredient and flavor combinations.

And, I am not going to lie…this is probably why salad is one of my most favorite foods! How can you get sick of such a limitless food?!

Growing up, salad was always on our dinner table, although we always passed this food after the main meal was served. What does your family do?

Aside from the burst of flavors, textures and attractive colors, that salads may offer, they also can help us acquire key vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, phytochemicals, fiber and water, and, when served with a little bit of fat can help us to better absorb fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K and antioxidants alpha carotene, beta carotene, lutein and lycopene.

So how can you make salad that’s great?

Think color, texture and flavor!

Mixed Salad Greens

Salads offer great opportunities to pair numerous textures, flavors, and colors to make eating this versatile food exciting, appealing to the eye, and fun and delicious to eat.

  • Try combining different greens for different color, flavor, and texture combinations, mixing savory and sweet, and adding in crunchy, juicy or tender foods, and different colors to make things interesting.

Look to the season for inspiration.

Fresh picked radish

Salads can evolve with what is available to you throughout the year.

  • For information on what produce may be available in-season or available locally near you, click here.

Use up whatever you have in your refrigerator.

Salads can be a great vehicle to use up any leftovers, and help to reduce food waste. Roasted or grilled vegetables, leftover protein, all can be added here.

Making salad an entree?

Consider including a protein(like seafood, poultry, meat, soy/tofu, eggs, nuts, cheese, beans or legumes), and, if you desire, a carbohydrate(think croutons, grains, or a crusty bread or roll on the side), to help provide energy and staying power to help carry you through.

If you are in need of some ideas for salad, I invite you to check out a few different salad recipes here:

What's your favorite salad combination?

As always, I invite you to comment and share.

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