Most people grew up with their only exposure to the concept of ‘salad’ being the mixture of lettuce and vegetables their family served with dinner. In the US, this is the typical side salad you’d see at any diner or mom-and-pop restaurant along any road in the country. Many of us didn’t know a salad could be a whole meal until we started looking for healthier alternatives to fried food and fatty entrees.
Today, salads have grown to contain an amazing array of ingredients that many would not have conceived of including even several years ago. If you have a taste for any specific spice or flavor combination, odds are you can find a salad to meet your needs. Since the advent of home refrigeration in 1913 and availability of ingredients no one had considered prior, people and restaurants have experimented with some truly creative salad recipes.
Dressings have become as important to the salad as the vegetables and meats used in the salad. We’re no longer limited to the same five dressings we had just thirty years ago. Now, dressings are as varied and plentiful as the people who buy them. Instead of plain old Italian dressing, you can use Caesar dressing on the same salad for a completely different experience. The great thing about salads is, there are no rules other than ‘eat what you like.’
The classic Caesar salad is among the more popular salads and is available nearly everywhere. It’s elegant in its simplicity, considering its short ingredients list. It has a bold and tangy flavor which comes primarily from the parmesan cheese. It’s a classic flavor combination that is enjoyed by millions on a daily basis.
Chicken is a major component of salads because it’s often associated with healthier lifestyles – that doesn’t mean it has to be boring, however. For people who like a spicier flavor profile, buffalo sauce is a popular addition to chicken. It can wake up a boring mixture of ingredients and add a little excitement to the palate.
If you like chicken and Indian or south Asian flavor, curry chicken salad may be your best option. Curry is arguably one of the healthier spice combinations and anything but boring. With its generous use of turmeric and coriander, it’s sure to kick up your lunchtime a notch.
We all tend to have our favorite salads, be it the tang of feta cheese in a greek salad or the familiar crunch of a typical house salad. Exploring unfamiliar flavors and combinations can introduce some new favorites into your healthy lifestyle and keep salads interesting for years to come.