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Wednesday, 10 September 2014

7 Days, 7 Ingredient Salad Challenge.

With Summer fully upon us, it's time to get into shape and get creative with everyone's favourite summer food - salad! Ok, so it's not everyone's favourite but it should be! Salad is so healthy and versatile, gone are the days when ordering a salad as a main meal was referred to as 'Rabbit Food'. These days a {good} salad is a substabtial meal and can be absolutely divine!
When most of us think of a salad we automatically think of the common ingredients - lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, carrots etc. I decided to challenge myself to making a salad every day for a week using 7 different ingredients. I had fun and it challenged me to pair foods I normally wouldn't use together. Sometimes this pairing was successful and other times it wasn't as great, but that's how you learn!

Here are the results of my challenge: 

Beetroot, Baby spinach, Feta, Carrots, Capers, Sesame seeds, Chia seeds.

- I cheated a bit by using 2 types of seeds! 
- Capers and feta weren't the best combo idea. 

Cherry tomatoes, Garlic, Onions, Baby spinach, Strawberries, Bean sprouts, Spring onions.

- I roasted the cherry tomatoes, garlic and onions and let them cool before adding them to the salad. 
- The roasted and fresh elements combined were great.

Chicken, Onions, Brown lentils, Wild rocket, Sweet Potato, Cherry tomatoes, Spring onions.

- I first cut the chicken breasts into strips and marinated them, then fried them with the onions.
- I cut the sweet potato into thin slices and then grilled them until they were crispy.
- The salad was great and I loved the chips on the side which made the dish a bit different. 

Biltong, Pears, Crunchy fried onion, Tomatoes, Bean sprouts, Butter lettuce, Spring onions

- Not much I would change here, the sweetnes of the pears complimented the salty biltong rather nicely.  
- I got the crispy fried onions from Spar, they added a yummy crunchy texture to the salad! 

Fried Halloumi, Macadamia nuts, Iceberg lettuce, Onions, Cucumbers, Olives, Chia seeds

- I love fried halloumi and it's absolutely delicios in a salad.
- The halloumi is already salty so the salad didn't really need the olives as well. 
- The Chia seeds add no taste so they were just my way of cheating to get that 7th ingredient. 

Beetroot, Chicken, Onions, Wild rocket, Mixed Seeds, Pumpkin seeds, Cherry Tomatoes, 

- The presentation of this looks is more a 'deconstructed salad' as opposed to a traditional mixed salad
- I cut the chicken breasts into strips and marinated them, then fried them with the onions.
- The Cherry tomatoes were grilled. 
- The pumpkin seeds were very yummy! 

Bacon, Tomatoes, Cucumber, Wild rocket, Spring onions, Brown Lentils, Bean sprouts

- Everyone loves bacon in their salad and I am no different! 
- Bean sprouts are also always a great addition to most salads.

As you can see I have used a few ingredients a couple of times - realistically you can't go buy 49 different ingredients. If you decide to try this challenge for yourself (please let me know) then I would advise selecting 2 or 3 of each types of food. For example you will need a protein or fat as one of your 'main ingredients' e,g cheese, chicken or nuts. Then you will need a base type vegetable which would be your lettuce or spinach. Ingredients with very mild tastes e.g spring onions, seeds, cucumber etc are also an important part of the salad - you can't have 7 distinctive tasting ingredients. 

Lastly, get creative, play with sweet e.g fruits, and sour, e.g beetroot, as well as different textures. Once you've bought a variety of different ingredients then you can always top up during the week as you run out of food.

This challenge is a great way to kick start your healthy eating lifestyle. It's easy, time-saving, affordable and it will encourage you to get creative in the kitchen. I hope you give it a go and if you do I'd love to hear how you get on! 

Happy Eating Everyone!


  1. This is such a great idea! Love the feedback on the combos

    1. Thank-you. I really did enjoy experimenting :)


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