Sometimes we get stuck- eating the same salads over and over, sticking to the familiar and never going beyond. But salads neither be plain dor dull, especially with these two luxurious alternatives made from budget-friendly and easily accessible ingredients. One of the best ways to add instant variety to your salad repertoire is to include seasonal fruit. Autumn and early winter give us ample supply of the seasons’ best apples and salads are a great way to diversify your apple-a-day intake. The recipes are low carb, diabetic-friendly, gluten-free and suitable for Paleo diets. The Apple Walnut Butterhead salad is also vegetarian and vegan and the Chicken Waldorf Salad may be adapted for a vegetarian option. These recipes are also totally kid-friendly and we are positive you will not have to urge kids who are afraid of the Salad Monster to eat their salad.
Apples are high in soluble fibre, which helps to modulate blood sugar and in turn keeps hunger at bay. How many times have you grabbed an apple when you are ravenous before meal time to stave off dreadful hunger pangs? Because of this, they are great for diabetic and those who are watching carb intake. They also have cardiovascular, immune-boosting and antioxdant benefits and are said to even help asthma and fight cancer.
Both salads also contain walnuts, which are one of the highest sources of Omega 3. Omega 3 has been proven to help fight mild-moderate depression so in a season during which many feel blue, these would be a great way to add the nutrient to your diet. Serve with a slice of salmon to boost Omega 3 volume even more.
Now that we’ve got the health bit out of the way, let’s get to tasty bit!
APPLE, WALNUT AND BUTTERHEAD SALAD
This is a simple but healthy and über delicious Apple, Walnut & Butterhead Lettuce Salad, which we created in our Chef and Steward Test Kitchen. It presents light, fresh notes on the palate and a hint of the holidays with the cider vinegar. You can vary your presentation with chopped or whole almonds, but for this one, we opted to shave the walnut over the salad with a Microplane Zester right before serving.
Ingredients & Method:
Wash and spin 3-5 leaves butterhead lettuce (Boston or Bibb), julienne half a Fuji Apple, leaving skin on, thinly slice 1 cucumber. Make vinaigrette with 2 parts apple cider vinegar and 1 part grapeseed oil with ½ teaspoon honey or sweetener. Add a pinch of salt and whisk together to emulsify. Grate 2-3 walnuts over salad with a Microplane Zester and drizzle vinaigrette right before serving. Serves one.
(CHICKEN) WALDORF SALAD
According to Wikipedia, the Wadorf Salad was created between 1893 and 1896 at the Waldorf Hotel in New York City, now the world famous top luxury hotel chain Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, which came into being with the merger of the Waldorf with the adjacent Astoria Hotel, opened in 1897). Oscar Tschirky -who was the Waldorf’s maître d’hôtel, developed or inspired many of its signature dishes- is widely credited with creating the recipe. In 1896, Waldorf Salad appeared in The Cook Book by ‘Oscar of the Waldorf’; the original recipe did not contain nuts, but they had been added by the time the recipe appeared in the Rector Cook Book in 1928. The salad became popular enough that Cole Porter featured it in his 1934 song “You’re the Top”.
Ingredients & Method:
1 pan seared chicken breast cut into strips(seasoned with salt and pepper)
1 granny smith apple cut into large cubes
juice of half a lemon
1 cup seeded grapes cut in half
1 tablespoon raisins
1/2 stalk celery, finely chopped
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/4 cup toasted almonds, chopped
6-12 young romaine lettuce leaves
salt and pepper to taste
Slice chicken breast in half (horizontally), season with salt and pepper. Sear on both sides in a hot pan lightly oiled until cooked. Remove from pan and allow to cool completely. Once cooled, slice into thin strips.
Chop apple into cubes and squeeze the juice of half a lemon over it so that it doesn’t turn brown.
If using apples with seeds, de-seed them by slicing lengthwise with a paring knife and use the tip of knife to extract seeds. This takes a little patience so you may opt for seedless apples and simply slice lengthwise. We prefer the taste and firm juicy texture of these large Royal grapes from Saudi Arabia.
In a large bowl, combine chicken, grapes, apples, raisins, celery, walnuts and mayonnaise and toss. Check for season and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve alongside lettuce. Serves 2 meal portions or 2 side portions
Lower carb option
Leave out raisins and cut grape portion
Leave out chicken