We’re officially done with the soups, stews and stodgy hot dinners of winter. Yes they kept us warm on cold winter nights but now it’s getting to salad weather and we couldn’t be happier about it! They’re quick and easy to prepare, use little cooking equipment and they’re healthy too. But salads don’t have to be boring, make yours exciting by adding unusual ingredients such as fruits and nuts and vary the dressings you use. Having different tastes and textures in a salad will also make it into a more satisfying meal and shouldn’t leave you feeling hungry afterwards. So as well as swapping your wardrobe for something lighter, you can swap your diet for something lighter too!

Try toasted walnuts, goat’s cheese and pear as a mouth watering combination to add to your salad vegetables. Add smoked chicken and balsamic vinegar for extra deliciousness. Why not try making your own dressings? For a simple and easy salad dressing that you can make as and when you need it mix balsamic vinegar with olive oil, ground black pepper, salt and lemon juice.

And if you’re feeling adventurous give some of these a go;

  • Cranberries, they give a tart flavour to a dish and work well with cheeses such as brie.
  • Avocado goes great with nuts; especially walnuts, cook them lightly in a frying pan first before tossing on top of your salad.
  • Apple, fruit is under rated in salads but can often compliment savoury flavours such as pork, turkey and cheeses. Also try grapes (great with goats’ cheese), pineapple or pear.
  • Hot strips of meat (such as bacon, chicken or beef) or hot vegetables make a salad more interesting.
  • Cold meats, roast salmon fillet is just as delicious cold and flaked over a salad as it is hot. Add some peri-peri sauce before baking for a spicy kick to your salad.