Today we present to you the secret star of our diet: the mixed salad! We mentioned him a few times here in the blog. So it’s time to finally introduce this varied dish.
Mixed salad is a wonderful meal: it is easy to prepare, tastes delicious and is extremely rich in vital substances. So far, the salad has never been boring to us, because the possible variations are almost endless. After all, not only green lettuce leaves, tomatoes and cucumbers fit into a mixed salad. Rather, almost all seasonal vegetables are excellent ingredients and a little fruit such as apples, pears or grapes provides a sweet and sour change. Even our basic salad dressing can be mixed together in a variety of ways.
We use all salad ingredients as fresh and raw as possible so that the many healthy ingredients are preserved. We do not follow an exact recipe when preparing it but select the ingredients according to a scheme that we have developed over the years: basic ingredients from three groups, delicacies, mostly something crispy and a dressing. In detail, our guide to a tasty mixed salad looks like this:
As a basis for our mixed salad we take:
approx. 2 handfuls of leaf and picking salads of one variety or a colorful mix of different salads such as Asian salad, baby spinach, chicory, endive salad, oak leaf salad, lamb’s lettuce, frisée salad, lettuce, lollo rosso, postelection, radicchio, arugula, romaine lettuce and stemmed butter.
We tear or cut the leaves into bite-size pieces.
1-2 different root – or tuber crops such as fennel, kohlrabi, celery, turnip, carrot, parsnip, parsley root, radish, radish, beetroot or turnip.
We take about 1 to 2 cups of the amount.
Celeriac, carrot, parsnip, parsley root, beetroot, and beets can be grated nicely. Grated fennel and kohlrabi are not quite our cup of tea. We prefer to roll them.
1 – 2 different “normal vegetables” or fruit vegetables such as freshly harvested peas, cucumber, peppers, leeks, celery, tomatoes, zucchini, sweet corn or sweet peas.
We also take about 1 to 2 cups of the amount.
Depending on the vegetables and size, we cut them into cubes or whole, half or quarter slices. We only take the corn from the corn, the rest would be too hard ;-).
In winter, the ingredients from this category are unfortunately not regional or seasonal. Therefore, the fruit vegetable category is often completely eliminated from us.
In addition, we usually add 1 – 2 delicacies to intensify the taste of the salad:
For example, we take half an avocado, mushrooms (raw or fried), some chili, garlic, fresh herbs, spring onions, home-grown sprouts, wild herbs or raw onions. A few home-made false olives also provide a nice taste kick.
Alternatively (or in addition) we like to add some fresh seasonal fruit to the salad such as apple, pear, blueberries, strawberries, currants, raspberries, kiwi, mango, orange or grapes.
We often add a bit of crunchiness to the whole thing :
The salad is nicely pithy through seeds or chopped raw nuts such as buckwheat, hemp seeds, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds, sesame, sunflower seeds, and walnuts. We give the seeds and nuts individually or as a mixture over the salad.
Sometimes we roast the seeds and nuts briefly in a dry pan. Although this is very tasty, it is no longer raw.
If you want the salad to be super healthy, you can try raw cabbage and add a few leaves or florets of cauliflower, broccoli, Chinese cabbage, kale, Romanesco, red cabbage, pointed cabbage, white cabbage or savoy cabbage. We can only recommend this to advanced salad eaters. Because cabbage tastes quick and is not everyone’s taste! Sönke likes raw broccoli in a salad, for example, which Melanie can’t stand at all. If you use cabbage, it is important to finely chop or grate it.
For the eye, we like to decorate the salad in spring and summer with edible flowers of daisies, Gundermann, nasturtiums, dandelions, marigolds or violets from our garden or from the balcony.
Of course, a self-made dressing should not be missing. Our basic dressing consists of
2 to 3 tablespoons of high-quality cold-pressed oil such as hemp oil, linseed oil, almond oil, olive oil, sunflower oil, walnut oil, individually or as a mixture *
1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice or vinegar such as apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar (without coloring, sugar color or caramel), fruit vinegar
a pinch of (herbal) salt and some pepper
The dressing becomes nice and creamy if you add 1 teaspoon of mustard (without added sugar) or 1 teaspoon of nutmeg (such as almond butter or sesame sauce). If you like the dressing a little sweeter, you can add ¼ to ½ teaspoon of honey.
You can stir the ingredients in a small bowl or you can put everything in a glass jar with a screw cap and shake vigorously. Then you can also prepare the dressing for several meals and save some time later. We pour the well-mixed dressing over the sliced salad ingredients, stir and our delicious colorful salad is ready.
Notes on the ingredients
For the vegetables, we have not made an exact botanical grouping, but rather a taste. It’s about the delicious combination of ingredients. 🙂 Of course, you can also take more ingredients than one or two different ingredients from the ingredient groups. This ensures even more variety. Melanie prefers puristic salads with not too many different ingredients, while Sönke prefers to always use everything mixed up. The best thing to do is to try out what you prefer. You should only avoid taking a disproportionate amount from a group of ingredients. Such a salad is often not so tasty.
Almost every vegetable is edible raw – except green beans. They are toxic when raw! For reasons of taste, we do not eat raw potatoes or raw eggplants in the salad. Apart from these three no-gos, the whole vegetable world is available for the salad. But feel better slowly approach the various ingredients that you do not yet know raw and start with smaller amounts. For example, parsnip, celeriac, and parsley root can make the salad a little dry. We, therefore, do not save on dressing with these ingredients. Chilli, garlic, leek, celery sticks or fresh onions are also not suitable for every taste or occasion. 😉
Spice up the taste
If you take vegetables that don’t have a great taste of their own, such as zucchini, the other salad ingredients should be more aromatic, otherwise, the salad will taste too bland. With zucchini z. B. is proven great swing herbs. We also like the combination of cabbage and sour fruit.
Colorful variety in appearance and taste
As the eye is known to eat, we make sure that the lettuce is nice and colorful. When we take red tomatoes, we prefer yellow pepper over a red one. Just as with the colors, we pay attention to diversity in taste. If we were to use celeriac as a root vegetable, we would not add extra celery. For the same reason, we wouldn’t necessarily combine leek, spring onions, onions, and chives. That could get a bit monotonous and spicy. 😉
We generally do not peel fruit and vegetables unless the skin is too hard or prickly since most of the vital substances are located directly in and under the skin. In addition, non-peeling means less effort. We cut away at most strange places. Of course, we use untreated (organic) vegetables if possible.
Depending on how the ingredients are crushed, they taste different. It is really exciting how different carrot looks, for example, depending on whether it is eaten in slices, in pens, grated or in thin peeler strips. Zucchini spaghetti also tastes very different from zucchini cut into cubes. Simply by the type of shredding, you can vary the mixed salad wonderfully.
After vegetable sticks, a mixed salad is probably the quickest and easiest way to prepare large amounts of vegetables. With a bit of routine and the right tools, our salad is quickly prepared in the morning for lunch in the office. In the meantime, there is a lot of bells and whistles such as salad spinners and a wide variety of shredding aids to help prepare salads. We have no experience with that. We traditionally prefer to stick to a large cutting board, tidy knives (a large + a small) and a simple vegetable grater. This takes up little space and is quickly cleaned.