Ah, the perfect salad is an elusive concept. At first glance salads feel like the simplest meal to tackle– the only requirement of a salad is lettuce and dressing after all, right? While this is technically true, it is the direct fault of these boring bowls that have given salads a bad name. If you ask most people on the street they might even tell you that salads are a mere side-dish, a runner-up to the main attraction. When did the humble salad fall so low?!
We at GoGo Quinoa are on a mission to save the salad from itself. This how-to guide will walk you through the 5 crucial elements to build your best salad. The kind of salad that turns heads on the street, that has coworkers asking if they can have a taste, and that (most importantly) leaves you feeling full until your next meal.
- The Best Base
- Even the best salads have humble beginnings. We take our leafy bases very seriously here at GoGo– to such an extent that we’ve even started growing our own greens! As part of our commitment to a better, more sustainable world, we’ve been growing a number of delicious veggies right here at the office to help take our salads to even higher heights (hello, fresh cherry tomatoes during our coffee breaks!). While romaine lettuce is an ever-recurring favourite, using a little arugula in your salad’s base adds a spicy bite to any meal. Whatever green to choose, we recommend avoiding iceberg lettuce– it contains almost no vitamins, fiber, or minerals!
- Grains Galore
- We don’t mean to brag, but we are kind of grain experts here at GoGo. Grain God’s and Goddesses, if you will. This portion of your salad-to-be is our time to shine! There is an abundance of grains to choose from when creating the salad of your dreams. For example, one serving of quinoa provides 58% of your daily manganese requirements and 5 grams of fibre. You can think of quinoa like your daily vitamin supplement– but more fun to eat!
- Plenty of Protein
- Just 100 grams of quinoa provides over 14 grams of protein, which is much more than white or brown rice. Protein is an important part of any meal and will keep you feeling full for longer. Although quinoa is not technically a grain (it’s actually known as a ‘pseudo-grain’), it is significantly higher in protein, B vitamins, and fibre than most of its counterparts. This fact makes quinoa an ideal pairing for your meals.
- Toppings for Texture
- What jewelry is to you, toppings are to your salad– colourful, fun to choose, and abundant! We like mixing up the textures and flavour profiles of our toppings to create a fun, new experience each time we go to eat. For example, our fattoush salad with za’atar crackers gives your salad texture and variance. While flavour is king, the experience of eating should never be ignored. Different toppings also provide important nutrients for your body like healthy fats and vitamins. Whether you choose a dried fruit like cranberry or raison, a nut/seed like pumpkin or cashew, or a blend of your favourite spices (hello Italian seasoning!), the possibilities are endless.
- Dressing for Success
- La piece de resistance! It doesn’t matter how carefully you construct your salad du jour, if you don’t add the right dressing then what’s the point? If you don’t know what to put then you can never go wrong with extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar, but getting creative with your dressing is where the party comes to life! Our roasted cauliflower salad has a deceptively simple dressing that highlights the quality of your produce. Or try our asian cashew quinoa salad for a unique twist on an oriental favourite. The possibilities are endless. Most importantly, the magic ingredient to any salad is your own creativity. Happy cooking!