This may surprise you, but salads are not just for summer. Now is the time to take advantage of fresh fall harvests by adding your favourite fall foods to a salad. Not to mention, it’s a tasty way to add more fruits and veggies to your day.
My weekend meal prep sessions always include a salad or two. They’re a great solution for light lunches, as a side for soup or a sandwich, or as part of your dinner menu. They’re also a fabulous way to work additional fruits and vegetables into your routine. You might be surprised to find that what your kids won’t eat as a side dish, they will eat when it’s mixed with a few other favourite foods. Maybe they won’t eat butternut squash on it’s own, but add apples, nuts, and cranberries and they just might ask for seconds.
- There are so many options for the base of your fall salad. Think beyond your typical lettuce salad and switch it up. You can start with spinach, kale, quinoa, Brussel sprouts, and wild rice just off the top of my head. Mix it up if you like!
- Think fruits and vegetables. Roasted sweet potato, butternut squash, and beets are some of my personal fall vegetable favourites for salads (they go beautifully in a quinoa or rice salad). And don’t forget the onions…red or green onions not only add flavour, but colour too. Toss in some fruit for a bit of added sweetness . Try adding apples, pears, pomegranate, or dried fruits like raisins and cranberries.
- Add texture with nuts and/or seeds. Walnuts, pecans, chopped almonds, sunflower and pumpkin seeds are all great options.
- Like cheese? Feta, Goat, Parmigiano-Reggiano…Whatever you prefer – toss it in, or try it grated over top before serving.
- Choose your dressing and stay away from the bottled ones in the grocery store. Make your own! It’s fresher and better for you. Toss everything with an apple cider vinaigrette, or a simple lime dressing. Beets pair beautifully with a maple and balsamic dressing. A basic vinaigrette recipe is just a simple 3 to 1 ratio: three parts oil to one part acid. Once you’ve got that, you can season it (salt, pepper, or even mustard), add fresh herbs, minced garlic or shallots, or sweeten it with maple syrup (my personal favourite) or honey. Play with it, experiment, and have fun with it!
However you bring it all together, enjoy your fall harvest.