Pleasing the palate: 4 zesty salads you’ll be tempted to try

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Have you ever been to a workshop related to cooking/gardening? Even I hadn’t and didn’t know what to expect. But, that changed this year. Not some kind of resolution; just, getting out of my comfort zone to unlearn and learn again the traditional way. After the square foot gardening one in Feb, this was my second one.

Seth in one of his recent posts wrote:

You can listen to what people say, sure.

But you will be far more effective if you listen to what people do.

I can vouch for that, first hand. Nothing like listening to what people do in person. To see the energy flow, to see the product take shape, to experience the thought behind it, and it gets better in the company of other people. I attended Nandita’s (of Saffron Trail fame) Zesty Salads class the day before. It was a refreshing break of two hours from writing about hedge funds and asset backed securities non-stop for two weeks, and a great experience. One I would recommend if you are struggling to take that baby step towards healthy eating.

Salads are not new in the household. I’ve tried many from the Food Network. But, to hear it from someone how to consciously include carbs/protein/fat, balance the salt/sweet/sour components, why color and crunch are important, and how to toss anything from the fridge was an eye opener. She showed us how to make four salads:

Foxtail millet; chickpeas, feta and lettuce; Mexican style and corn salad, and Asian rice noodle salad.


The good thing about the class is it lets your imagination run wild, and encourages you to step out of your boundary to mix and match ingredients.

mexican salad

This one is closer home in taste, color, and texture.

bean salad

feta salad

The four plates were wiped clean to the last peanut and green. ¬†Yummilicious! If you’ve been trying to make at least one meal healthy in a day, then you should try these.

If I ask my son if he liked what was on the plate after he has finished it, I’m unlikely to get an overwhelming response unless it was mashed potato, pancakes, or pasta. So, how do I know when it involves greens and vegetables? Well, the plate got cleaned today in under 10 minutes while I stayed mum (no requests of focusing on the food). And, that’s testimony enough. Today’s dinner was one giant leap in that direction.

Some big takeways:

  • Chopping techniques
  • How to prepare different dressings
  • How to make a salad pleasing to the eyes and the palate
  • Look at every food from a nutrition angle
  • You don’t always need fancy stuf like couscous or quinoa produced half way across the world on your plate. You can make it just as tasty with grains like foxtail millet grown outside your city.

She has at least one class per month. Check her FB page for details of upcoming events.

Images: taken by me at the workshop


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