Only a fortnight to go before Easter; just fourteen little days until we can permit ourselves that long-awaited gastronomic splurge post-Lent. Invariably, this means chocolate (and the supermarket shelves positively haunt us with their seasonal cocoa-bean fare).
Of course, that’s not forgetting Good Friday’s traditional hot cross bun indulgence, still warm from the bakery, or the myriad of other delicacies we gave up for 40 days. However, what this imminent end to our fasting does sadly mean is the necessity of a strict regimen beforehand – to off-set any waistband-increasing consumption to come.
To this effect, the suddenly warmer weather we’ve been having (Saharan dust pollution aside) suits well an appetite for salads this spring. Here are 5 of the best and yummiest to help us stay svelte in the interim and maybe even until summer – after the chocolate.
- Puy Lentil, Brown Rice and Sweet Potato Salad
Low-fat, gluten-free brown rice and healing lentils, tossed with superfood edamame beans and roasted, sunflower oil-drizzled sweet potato, topped with tamari-coated pumpkin seeds and cashew nuts, with an herbaceous dressing of sesame oil, Himalayan pink salt and a drizzle of lemon – this salad has it all. Loaded with protein and B vitamins, one for those days when you’re craving a little more than lonely lettuce leaves. (See http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/life/)
- Aussie Easter Salad
Blanched broccoli, sugar snaps and garden peas, mixed with crispy cucumber, mouth-watering avocado and sprouted pulses, topped with a refreshing combination of parsley and mint, dressed with a lemon olive oil splash, and finished with crumbled feta cheese and mixed seeds – this is a playful salad if ever there was one, satisfying even the most diverse of palettes. Again, protein aplenty and enjoying the anti-carcinogenic effect of broccoli and youth-preserving qualities of avocado. (See http://www.taste.com.au)
- Greek Salad
A fond staple that can be jazzed-up with a variety of grilled meats and accompanied with a chunk of bread (if, of course, that wasn’t one of the things you gave up for Lent), the Greek Salad’s simplicity of ingredients – vine tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, olives, oregano, feta cheese and olive oil – makes it a favourite of many and a healthy supper choice, too. (See http://www.bbcgoodfood.com)
- Lime Caesar Salad
Another classic. But this isn’t just any Caesar Salad – this is Caesar Salad channelling Mexico. Leaves of romaine lettuce pooled with splashes of creamy, pale green dressing from garlic, olive oil, fresh lime juice, Dijon mustard, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce and black pepper to taste, this exotic detour from the norm puts to shame the tasteless, stale crouton-topped rubbish churned out everywhere. Adorn with anchovy fillets and grated parmesan, and enjoy. (See http://www.coastalliving.com/food/)
- Walk-Around-The-Garden Salad
Just the name of this is appealing! Fresh tarragon, shallots, baby romaine lettuce, baby rocket, parsley, dill, and as much radish and cucumber as you want, made all the more tasty with a dressing of Champagne vinegar, wholegrain mustard, and olive oil – if you’re green-fingered enough to take this salad’s preparation literally, all the better. (See http://www.coastalliving.com/food/)