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The Salad…A Lesson in Dinner Fashion

Some fun recipes and tips to improve upon the boring old salad.

Salads can be great for dinner. They are quick, easy, and so flexible in their make up that you can virtually never eat the same salad twice! But many people fall into a salad rut…lettuce and a couple of tomatoes and a bit of dressing. It is easy to see how this boring salad is looked at as a bit of greenery to pretty a plate than anything actually meant to be satisfying.

But to all of you stuck in the salad rut, have no fear; your days of boring side salads have come to an end! But can a salad really be all that a full dinner can? Yes, yes a thousand times yes. The trick? Layering! Yep, like good fashion, a good salad is defined by its layers. Here are a few tips to help you master the art of dinner salad layering:

The Basics – You have to start with the greens. We are lucky enough to live in a day and age where the produce section of the local supermarket is literally a cornucopia of salad choices. Classics like iceberg lettuce and romaine are a good starting place. But don’t be afraid to venture out to things like cabbage, bok choy, endive, radicchio, or baby spinach.

A Bit of Color – Dinner salads are a great way to try something new or clean out your fruit and vegetable bin. There are tons of salad veggie staples – tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, sweet peppers, green onions, zucchini, cucumber, and many, many more. Be adventurous…and don’t forget to eat your fruit. Many fruits make excellent additions to a hearty salad, try – strawberries, raspberries, apples, oranges, bananas, grapes, raisins, grapefruit.

The Accessories - A dinner salad like a great outfit needs the perfect accessories. Beef up your salad (no pun intended) by adding a bit of protein! Beef, chicken, pork, seafood, eggs, and tofu – cooked however you like – are the perfect and necessary accessory to complete the dinner salad. Use a salad as an excuse to eat up that last bit of fajita meat or spicy tofu from last night’s dinner!

The Bling – We would not of course be complete in our salad (or fashion) endeavor with out a little bling. Now is the time to really add some pizzazz. Try adding sunflower seeds, peanuts, candied walnuts, pretzels, shredded cheese, or dried fruit. And of course you need the salad dressing. Whether you believe less is more – with a little oil and vinegar – or you are out for the 5 karat show stopping gourmet blue cheese and hot bacon dressing – the topping of a dinner salad allow you to become an individual and show off your true taste and style.

So, now you are armed with the knowledge to go out and start putting together the perfect layers for your own spectacular dinner salad. Be bold, be daring, and enjoy!