I hear it all the time (including from my own belly), “I am NOT in the mood for salads when the weather is cold! What can I do?”
Anyway, salads. How to eat them when it’s cold, whatever “cold” may be for you. Well, the first thing you can do is just not eat them! Yes, yes, raw veggies are super important for your health. But a couple of months of cooked veggies instead is going to be just fine. So go ahead and load up on vegetable-rich soups, and heartier cooked vegetable dishes during the colder months.
But for those of us who really feel our best when some raw veg makes it’s way down our gullet, I offer the following suggestions:
Add a warm, cooked vegetable to your raw veg salad.
- One of my all-time favorite salads is augula (rocket) topped with warm carmelized onions and mushrooms and a splash of balsamic vinegar. It is DIVINE!
- Often I have leftover roasted veggies that I re-warm and top my lunch salad with: beets and carrots, roasted chickpeas, roasted zucchini and yellow squash, cauliflower, eggplant or red pepper…
Put hot cooked food on top of your cold salad.
- Top your salad with hot toasted nuts, leftover re-warmed grains or corn, or even homemade garlicky croutons.
- Toss in a hot, chopped up veggie burger. Heck, I even do that during the summer.
- Cooked and warm beans, are always a great salad addition.
Try fermented or marinated veggies
- Instead of a green salad, eat some sauerkraut or kimchi or other raw, pickled veg.
- If you take raw kale and massage whatever dressing you like into it with your hands, really, really well for a few minutes, the leaves will soften as though cooked. There is a famous avocado kale salad that uses this technique, that I used to make a lot back in the day. You can google it, it’s easy to find. Or try my cheezy vegan kale.
- Marinate raw vegetables like broccoli florets, carrot slices, quartered mushrooms and sliced onion in a mixture of olive oil, soy sauce and vinegar and leave to marinate for a few hours. The result will be a softened, “warmed” vegetable platter that seems cooked even though it is raw.
- Grated vegetables marinated in lemon juice and salt, also become gentler and sort of “cooked” . Try my Moroccan Carrot Salad or Lemony Cabbage Salad and allow them to come to room temp before serving.
Do you have any ideas I didn’t think of? If yes, list them in the comments below.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll go outside to warm up.
And thank you to reader, Lisa, for the post idea! Keep the questions and ideas coming!