Good Food Salad

Tomato and Basil

Isn't all salad good for you? or is there such a thing as a good food salad and a bad food salad?

But first of all............

...........What exactly is a salad?

As a youngster, in the 1960's and into the 70's, salad in our house, was always raw, always cold, served without any dressing, with a bottle of salad cream on the table to help yourself to.  Occasionally there was also coleslaw or potato salad.

As I got older I learned there was something called mayonnaise too.

Into my twenties during the early 1980's I discovered, what we all take for granted now, that you can have more than lettuce, tomato, cucumber and spring onions in salads.  I discovered that you could mix a wide variety of stuff into one big bowl for people to help themselves to  such as peas and pulses, rice, onion, peppers and sweetcorn, seeds and nuts, and that you can toss the lot in oil, vinegar, lemon, herbs and spices.

Then things got confusing as I came across recipes for warm salads and hot salads which totally baffles me.  If anyone can enlighten me here, please do.

The Oxford English definition of a salad, by the way, is that it is a cold dish.

Nowadays the salad world is your oyster with all manner of wonderful fruits, vegetables, green leaves and fresh herbs with which you can mix, match and clash the flavours.  Things that we never had before, or never considered using in a salad such as quinoa, buckwheat and couscous, rocket, raw spinach, and oranges.

even fruit such as oranges can be used in salads
Washing Spinach

And really quite recently (it is 2015 at the moment - just in case you're reading this far into the future) I made an amazing discovery that lettuce and cucumber need not be regarded only as salad foods, but can be cooked.  But that's another story.

Good food salad - is it always good?

Every one of us regards salad as a healthy option for eating, but is it always healthy?

Cooking destroys many of the vitamins in food and therefore you would think it better to eat raw food than cooked.  However, I have also heard the theory that cooked is often better (but not always) because cooking breaks down cellulose making more of the vitamins actually available for us to digest. 

Some foods, such as beans or potatoes really have to be cooked first anyway.

This article looks into it in more detail:  Raw food versus cooked food 

The good thing about eating a salad containing mostly raw food is that you have to work at eating it which helps prevent overeating.  For this reason it makes a good starter to a meal if you need to lose a bit of fat.  You are satisfying some of the need to eat, but eating less, eating slower and eating food which is generally low in calories anyway.  Or are  you?  Because......

Then there are the sauces which almost always accompany a salad.  You could have a massive bowl of good food for your salad and immediately  destroy all those good intentions by slathering it in a delicious high sugar, high fat, high calorie dressing. 

Even worse, a large dollop of cooled peeled cooked potatoes, diced and mixed with generous quantities of mayo is not going to do your health a wonderful lot of good no matter how much green stuff you add to the mix.  I think you would be better eating a baked potato in its jacket with a wee knob of butter.

The thing is, we are far too used to the flavours of sauces and not used to the flavours of the actual food itself.

blueberries in a salad

Just once, give a dressing free salad a chance.  Savour the flavours without hiding them with salt sugar vinegar and oil.  You might be pleasantly surprised

April 2015


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Please remember that the author of this website is not a professional.  All statements are opinions and not to be taken as advice.


Good food salad

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It's all about food and food for thought, so trust your gut instinct and get some professional advice on diet if you think you need it

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