Fresh For Spring Salad

Not so much a desire to look good in a bikini, as the body’s natural reaction to longer days and warmer weather, eating fresh and light for spring is just part of the cycle of life.

Healthy eating, and with it increased consumption of natural produce, has never been as prolific in the media as it is in 2016. Spiralised veg, smoothie bowls and avocado (yes, still) reign supreme on social media and print alike. The key is fresh and vibrantly tasty, as oppose to the cardboard health foods of days gone by. There are more dietary approaches than ever before but the message has become surprisingly unanimous; food must taste good and feel good. This is not penance, it is not even body as temple, it is everyday food with an eye to the benefits of nutrition.

Unless you dabble with excluding certain food groups and find that you feel better for it, there is no need to become free-from anything. By simply including more of the things that are brimming with natural health, you will reap the benefits. The food on your plate will be a fresher, vibrant, and more exciting.

So, how to embrace spring food?

Keep it seasonal

Seasonal eating is the first step towards a diet of fresh produce. Environmental concerns aside, if you throw every single vegetable in the supermarket at every meal then you are going to get bored pretty quickly. Instead, work with what is at its best. Spring food is all about the return of green. Look for young spinach and other fresh leaves, purple sprouting broccoli or wild garlic. Switch from the winter stalwarts of mash and jackets to tender new potatoes. Make a salad of rocket, shaved cucumber and crisp young radishes or add a handful of shredded wild garlic to buttery spaghetti.

Eat fish

Fish is also prey to the seasons, and of particular environmental concern, so keep an eye for what is on offer at the fishmonger at any given time. Sea trout are in season in spring, and are perfect for lighter eating. Any fish demands a lighter plate so increasing the amount of fish that you cook automatically guides you. Again, if you want a starchy side look for new potatoes and then just add salad, or a medley of light vegetables. Fish, cooked well, takes no time at all and needs little else than a slick of butter and a light touch with the seasoning.

Experiment with salad

Salads have really come into their own over recent years and no longer mean a plate of raw food. Think thick chunks of spicy chicken scattered over a bed of torn Romaine lettuce, grilled babycorn and avocado. Add a sour cream dressing and you have a family meal on the table. Switch it up with lamb chops, perhaps marinated in tikka paste and served with a yoghurt dressing. Choose rocket, red onion, cucumber and perhaps a few cherry tomatoes. Crumble a few poppadoms over the top and that looks pretty good. Still salad.

Grain bowls

Along the same lines as a mega-salad, a bowl of veggies with a little meat and a spoonful or two of grain such as buckwheat or barley, makes an excellent meal either in or out of the house. Take some leftover chicken, add some cooked bulghur wheat, throw on some roasted roots and stir in plenty of chopped green herbs. Don’t overlook parsley, but also make use of fresh mint, coriander or basil. Eat them by the fistful not the tablespoon.

We hope you get the general aim here and are inspired to experiment in your own kitchen with a range of natural ingredients. Tell us what you get up to in your kitchen. Do you grow your own or are you limited to a once a week supermarket shop?