Turn excess stuff into cash
tony zimmerman/torstar news service
What used to be a traditional side dish has been dressed up to become a heartier salad or main dish.
Whether it’s a leafy lettuce, such as romaine, mixed with grilled chicken slices and a creamy Caesar dressing, or a mesclun mixture topped with fresh berries and pine nuts with a raspberry vinaigrette, the trends are endless.
Judy Scott Welden, home economist, nutritionist and Kraft salad dresser, says people are tired of the traditional salad, especially with the assortment of produce available all year round.
“People want variety ... they want to try different things,” she says. “And with the variety of produce we have available to us, especially at this time of year ... I think that’s what’s really driven the trend interests in salads.”
From fresh raspberries toblueberries, strawberries to mangoes, there’s muchto choose from when adding to your salad.
Expanding the salad from an appetizer to a main course is something Matthew Corrin, owner and creator of Toronto’s Lettuce Eatery, has been seeing a lot.
“People want to keep it exciting ... and get away from the traditional connotation of rabbit food,” says Corrin. “Beingcreative means choosing ingredients that give you the necessary proteins, thenecessarycarbs, thenecessary good fats, and the necessary nutrients.”
First, choose your lettuce, a nutritious green, such as romaine, or something light and crunchy such as iceberg. Then you can add a bit of olive oil, some walnuts or some avocado, and finish it off with proteins, such as tuna or chicken.
“For my dairy, I like to add some cheese, like feta ... and if I’m really feeling adventurous, I’ll wrap it up in a whole wheat flatbread and call it a salad wrap instead of a salad,” he says.
When it comes to dressings, Corrin says the trend seems to be going toward the fruit-flavoured dressings, though most people do tend to go with a simple balsamic dressing.
Welden says she’s also noticed a piqued interest in fruit dressings, but, with so many different flavour combinations, families like to keep four or five different flavours in their fridge door, such as the traditional ranch or thousand islands dressings.
“Then there are families who like to try the balsamic vinaigrettes, the raspberry vinaigrettes, the creamy poppy seed or one of our new ones, the mandarin orange with sesame,” she says. “Dressings (are) what really make a salad; they’re like the icing on a cake.”