Dressing Up – 5 ways to add oomph to veg

A good dressing can transform a plate of salad or vegetables in to something quite spectacular. We all know that we should eat more veg as they have been shown beyond doubt that they are very, very good for us. Why vegetables are fab:

  1. Add amazing colours and textures to your plate
  2. Prevention of chronic health conditions  (heart, diabetes, strokes, obesity, cancer)
  3. Low in calories, you can eat LOADS
  4. Fibre prevents constipation
  5. Encourage the good bacteria in your gut
  6. Vitamins & minerals are needed by your body’s millions of metabolic processes
  7. There is a huge variety so you never need to get bored
  8. Vegetables can taste really good…………….

If you feel that veg can get a little dull, or need some extra oomph, here are 5 very simple dressings to turn a plate of the good stuff in to something pleasurable and delicious.

A big benefit of adding a dressing is that the oil helps with the absorption of vitamins. Vitamins A, D, E and K are fat soluble, therefore need fat for our bodies to absorb them. As for most things in life, don’t over do it with the dressing, use it to complement the salad or veg rather than drowning your plate in it. Unknown-1  

You don’t need any special equipment. Inspired by Jamie Oliver, I use an old jam jar……just put all the ingredients in the jar and shake well.

Extra virgin olive oils are a bit like wine as they can vary dramatically in taste, depending upon the type and quality of the fruit that is pressed, the time of harvest, the weather during the growing season, and the region from which the olives were produced. If you are feeling adventurous and budget allows, experiment! If you find the taste of extra virgin oil too strong, you can use olive oil instead. I prefer a ‘tangy’ dressing, so usually add more vinegar/lemon juice.  

Classic 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard 2 tablespoons of white or red wine vinegarimages-4 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil pinch of salt, pepper  

Lemon 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil juice of 1 lemontumblr_nb0yhi3gkn1tpkb57o1_500 pinch of salt, pepper  

Balsamic 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar Pinch of salt, pepper  

Creamy 6 tablespoons natural yogurtimages 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil pinch of salt, pepper  

Thai 4 tablespoons lime juice 3 tablespoons olive oil 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil 1 tablespoon soy sauceimages-1 1 teaspoon sugar 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely grated/finely chopped 1/2 clove garlic, crushed/finely chopped

Super Boost Salad

I love this recipe because it is a simple list of ingredients that you can get in your local supermarket. It is ready in minutes………. just chop everything up and toss in to a bowl. I tend to roast the pumpkin and sunflower seeds as I much prefer the flavour and texture to raw (just grill for a few minutes until they start to turn brown). The zingy ginger dressing is delicious. I cheat make a sensible short cut by using ginger in a tube.

The intense colour of the red cabbage gives away it’s superb antioxidants, the humble carrot contains a fascinating combination of phytonutrients, carotenoids, anthocyanins and are a very good source of biotin, vitamin K, potassium, vitamin B6, and vitamin C. Apples are full of polyphenols, fibre and vitamin C. Seeds, a fabulous combo of healthy fats, fibre and protein. Ginger has anti inflammatory properties. The amazing medley of nutrients in this recipe truly make it a super food.

If you feel sleepy and lethargic after your usual lunch of a bagel, sandwich or jacket potato, try a big bowl of this instead! Add some protein from fish or chicken, and this can help you to feel full up, bright and alert for the rest of the afternoon. If you are very active or are an athlete in training, add some wholegrain rice or quinoa to boost the healthy carbs.

Make a big batch, and you’ll have enough for the next day too!

  • 350g red cabbage grated/shredded
  • 3 carrots grated
  • 20g pack parsley, roughly chopped
  • 2 Cox’s apples (or any red apple), quartered, cored and sliced
  • handful of radishes or 2 celery sticks, sliced
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tbsp each sunflower seeds

For the dressing

  • 2 tsp grated root ginger
  • 1 tsp clear honey
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 tbsp light olive oil