Transform your Salads


Salads are often misunderstood. The humble salad is often perceived as diet food or rabbit food. Years ago when I first met my now husband, he too had a pretty limited ‘mans’ view on what a salad should be.

Your typical salad does not contain a lot of nutrition and won’t satisfy the cravings or hunger pangs to keep you on track long enough to get the body you want.

When your plant food is not appetizing, this quickly leads to boredom and derailing of your healthy plan.

With a few simple tips a basic salad can become an amazing taste sensation and a satisfying meal. Here are my steps to turning your salads into satisfying meals that transform your body.

Step 1. Forget what you think a salad should be.

Open your mind to the fact any nutritious food can be in a salad. Aside from using all kinds of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and onions, my salads will often contain everything from chopped seasonal fruits, roasted root vegetables such as beets, pumpkin or sweet potato, protein sources such as eggs, feta cheese, tofu and all kinds of legumes.

Step 2. Make it look appealing.

We eat with our eyes so how a food presents is often the first obstacle to giving it a go. Colour is your friend here, the more colourful the dish the more appealing it will be. Follow my stop light principle. Add deep reds such a capsicums, kidney beans, beets and strawberries. Bright orange and yellows – try different squash, grated carrot, roasted pumpkin and sweet potato and chickpeas. Deep greens - replace the less nutritious, pale boring Iceburg lettuce with darker leaf choices such as butter, cos, kale and spinach.

Step 3. Add Mouth feel.

Food companies spend billions of dollars on designing a food’s mouth-feel. How the food feels in your mouth when you eat. For example, it’s no accident the old protein shakes that tasted thick and chalky quickly gave way to the cool, creamy, fresh tasting flavours we have today. Food technologists know how a food feels in your month determines enjoyment from eating. So when it comes to salads, this is where I add my secret weapons.

The addition of specific legumes such as Cannellini, Butter, Kidney and Mung beans provide a deliciously smooth creamy, buttery texture. Roasting and adding Gabanzo beans (chick peas) add another dimension with their smooth buttery but crunchy texture. Not to mention their satisfying protein and fiber content.

Just a sprinkling of different nuts and seeds. A cup or two of chopped celery or crisp broccoli. These provide the all important fresh tasting munch and crunch mouth feel which triggers the psychology of enjoyment.

Chopped crystalized ginger, moist coconut, blueberries, pomegranate seeds add small but intense explosions of flavour that make you enjoy what you are eating.

I’ve taken the guesswork out of knowing what combinations work best for enjoyment and satisfaction in the New Transformation Cookbook.

Bon Appétit

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