You’ve done the hard graft, put in the work, and maintained your sanity – during a pandemic, no less – and the finish line is in sight: the holidays are here and with them, comes the promise of relaxation – and more time to enjoy delicious salads on hot summer days!
If you’ve planned a self-catering holiday, you may be a bit worried about how to prepare or what to pack when it comes to food. And while the idea of cooking in an unfamiliar kitchen may be a bit daunting, it’s also a fun opportunity to try the local produce and use the destination as inspiration.
Being on holiday can also mean changes to your normal way of eating. You might find that you snack more throughout the day, and end up having breakfast and lunch a little later than usual. This means that big meals aren’t really necessary, which is where the holiday salad comes in!
Salad Queen, Chantal Lascaris’ range of recipe books have been born out of a passion for food, a love of creativity, and many holidays in the bush where electricity was limited (often, non-existent) with cooking facilities that left a lot to be desired. Never one to be deterred, she took on the challenge and experimented with innovative – and delicious – dishes, which contributed to the creation of her latest release, The Ultimate Salad Book, offering up more than 100 scrumptious salad recipes.
Made using fresh and nutrient-rich ingredients, salads ensure that you can eat well and still feel good, while on holiday. No matter where you’re headed this December, Chantal has ample salad recipes and a few helpful tips that will ensure you make the most of your upcoming self-catering holiday with just a little bit of planning – and a LOT of excitement!
1 Write a list. Before you’ve even hit the shops, make a list of what you’ve already got and what you will need to pack when the time comes. This will ensure that you don’t end up buying doubles of the things you have already and that your everyday essentials like tea, coffee, milk, bread and spices, aren’t overlooked and left behind. It also helps to know how long certain fruits and vegetables can be stored, so that you can plan your salads according to what needs to be used more quickly.
2 Add a little lining. Moisture in the fridge is what causes most fruit and vegetables to lose their crisp texture, causing them to soften and go bad. Lining the vegetable drawer in the fridge at home and on holiday with a paper towel can help to absorb excess moisture so the fruit and vegetables keep crunchy for longer. And remember to swap the paper towel each week to avoid the risk of mould when left for too long!
3 Get the family involved. A holiday means everyone should get the chance to kick back, relax – and escape the kitchen! Asking every member of the family to take a turn preparing a meal shares the responsibility while providing the opportunity for an array of different dishes to be enjoyed. If the younger kids want in on the action as well, they can help to prepare the ingredients for a “build your own salad” night. It’s also a great way to teach them about nutrition.
4 Hearty and healthy. Butter lettuce is one of the first to wilt, while other more hearty greens, such as spinach, kale and rocket tend to stay fresher for longer. The plus side of this is that they’re super versatile and bring a whole lot of flavour to the salad in which they’re used. If you do somehow let them go a little past their best, they can easily be thrown into a soup or frittata so that you also lessen the chance of waste!
5 Shop local. If you’re lucky enough, your self-catering holiday may put you in the vicinity of some wonderful farm stalls, butcheries, and seafood markets. Put in the time to research what’s near to your destination. Not only will you be able to add some local flavours to your holiday salads, but you’ll also be able to upgrade your trip to the shops from routine to exploring!