I eat a salad on the side of just about every meal. Here are some of my easiest, tastiest variations that you can tailor for your available ingredients and preference. We only use 3-4 ingredients for side salads to keep them quick and so as not to detract from the main meal.

Here’s a sort of choose your own salad adventure!

side salads are a great way to get in extra veg

Preparation time: Around 5-8 minutes, more if you are including any cooked ingredients

Serves: 2 -4 (quantities aren’t specified in this post so you will need to judge for yourself)


Start here!


Leaves: we can’t have a salad without this critical ingredient!

Use baby spinach leaves as your base

Option: add some rocket or watercress at a ratio of 3 parts spinach to 1 part rocket/cress

Nuts (optional): If you tolerate nuts then add a small amount to create interest in your salad.

Walnuts, pecans, pine nuts or slivered almonds baked in the oven at 180°C for five minutes to brown lightly

Choose one: fresh cherry tomatoes halved OR sundried tomatoes

Cheese (optional): If you tolerate dairy then adding a sharp cheese to your salad will give it flavour and fat to make it a more filling side.

Use a vegetable peeler to slice some parmesan, vintage Gouda or Machego cheese. Arrange over the salad.

Oils: We are not heating these oils so we can get away with fats that are slightly polyunsaturated. For more information about fats see my guide.
Use a good quality nut oil like walnut, almond or macadamia oil. These have their own unique flavor and have a fatty acid profile far preferable to vegetable and seed oils. Alternatively extra virgin olive oil or avocado oils are delicious and great sources of monounsaturated fats.

Acidity: Something slightly tart can enhance the flavour of your salad dressing.

Balsamic vinegar OR a squeeze of lemon juice drizzled over your salad.

Arrange your selected ingredients in a bowl. Drizzle with your chosen oil acid if you’re using some. Serve alongside any meal.
Left over side salads can also make a great breakfast accompaniment.

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