As the days begin to get cooler and the ability to bounce out of bed and get an early morning sweat session in start to dwindle, the burst of motivation to prepare chilled smoothies and crisp salads also naturally starts to fall to the wayside. And who could blame us? Is there anything worse than a cold iceberg lettuce salad on a Winter’s day when all you really want is a big bowl of pasta? While it’s completely natural to give in to your body’s cravings and eat intuitively as the season changes – in fact in Ayurveda they are all about eating depending on the body type and eating hot or cold foods accordingly – it is important to keep to our healthy, veggie eating habits. Cue – ‘Winter-fied’ salads.
Much like our healthy Summer staple, these salads still have all of the nutritious, wholefood, healthy and colourful ingredients, they are just all the more hearty and wholesome and make meal time more appealing on those ‘don’t want to leave the office’ cosy indoor days. To learn how to curate the perfect ‘Winter-fied’ salads, we’ve compiled 10 new ways to spice up a go-to salad with the help of youfoodz development chef Jimmy Demos.
1. Rev up the roasted veggies
“Taking the time to roast your veg is a great way to add depth to Winter salads. When it comes to veggies that make the perfect base to a hearty salad I recommend sweet potato, Brussels sprouts, pumpkin, zucchini!”
2. Say ola to oregano
“Oregano is such a versatile and delicious herb that can add a European flavour to meat (think Greek) or vegetables, making for a Mediterranean spin on a traditional salad.”
3. Lean on leftovers as a secret ingredient
“Be creative in how you repurpose your meals. If you’ve had a big roast dinner the night before, add some of the leftover meat to boiled potatoes, mix in sour cream, seeded mustard and chives and you can create a delicious and hearty potato salad that’ll impress your colleagues at the lunch table.”
4. Dress to impress
“Never forget the finishing touch to a salad – the dressing! Spices such as cumin, fennel and turmeric go great with yogurt to make earthy dressings for Winter based salads.”
5. Cook with cumin
“Curry your favourite meats with cumin for a rich and delicious flavour that’ll bring serious flavour to the table.”
6. Fire it up with fennel and honey
“This combination makes a great dressing when paired with chicken. The fennel’s sweet, perfumy taste marries seamlessly with a woody-honey flavour that’s sure to brighten up any Winter dish.”
“Instead of relying on lettuce or spinach leaves to make up the bulk of your salad, try sourcing seasonal root vegetables to use as a substitute for lighter leaves. Experiment with beetroot, leek or cauliflower as your salad base to give your meal a Wintery feel.”
8. Cook with cajun
“A delicious spice with a kick of chilli that’s perfect for dressings, meat marinades or rubs. Add for a sure-fire hit that’ll rev up metabolism and add a punch to any Winter dish.”
9. Garnish with garlic
“Using yoghurt as the base dressing, add garlic parsley and dill for a delicious light addition to add to roast veggies and enhance those delicious essential winter flavours.”
10. Toss turmeric in
“An extremely functional spice, it has a rich earthy flavour and beautiful colour and is also great in Indian curries.” For some additional inspiration, check out the youfoodz Meal Kitz range for easy to make salads. Our Winter picks are the ‘Sweet paprika chicken salad,’ the ‘Greek lamb salad’ and char grilled vegetable salad with haloumi.