If the idea of a salad for lunch or dinner fills you with a sense of dread….or worse, hunger, then you need to read on! Imagine it’s heading towards midday and you feel those familiar hunger pangs; you’re waiting in the deli cue, you can smell the fresh bread, your lunch partner orders a baguette and it’s your turn to order. What do you order when you feel like only the stodge of a sandwich or a pie will do, but you know you ‘should’ have a salad? Arm yourself with the knowledge that salads do not have to be boring!

There are hundreds of different recipes you can try and knowing that a salad is full of fibre, flavour and filling ingredients, try remembering the following:

- Eating a salad means you can actually eat more food per caloric intake – you can fit about twice the amount of ingredients in a salad than in a sandwich. Yay! More food equals feeling more satisfied.

- You will always get more quality ingredients and protein in a salad than in a bread-based meal. Don’t forget that healthy fats such as avocado and olive oil are important for weight loss!

- You will feel more full, more satisfied and most importantly you will be less likely to reach for a high sugar snack in the afternoon. All great things for weight loss!

Now for 5 healthy, lose weight salad dressings

that will dress your salads up better than Lupita Nyong’o at the BAFTAS!

1. Healthy mayonnaise – 1 tbsp tahini, 2 tbsp lemon juice, ¼ tsp mustard powder, 200ml olive oil, 1 egg – combine in a blender for 5 seconds and use in place of mayonnaise. Great for coleslaw or grated veg salads.

healhty Mayonnaise - one of 5 healthy salad dressings for weight loss

2. Spicy salsa dressing – 2 cloves garlic, 1 onion, 1 green pepper, 2 jalapeno peppers, 1 yellow pepper, 6 tomatoes, 50gm coriander leaves, black pepper. Pulse in a blender or finely chop. Use on a chicken, spinach and cabbage salad for a spicy, tasty kick.

3. Billy Basic – never underestimate the power of the basic salad dressing to liven up a green salad. 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar or lemon juice. Add anything you like such as a dash of mixed herbs, seeded mustard, salt & pepper.

4. Cumin & Garlic – 1/2 Red onion, 3-4 tbsp lime juice, 2 tbsp olive oil, black pepper, 1/2tsp cumin, 2 fresh minced garlic, 2 tbsp red wine vinegar. Stir into mixed beans eg chick peas, red kidney beans, lentils, butter beans.

5. Chilli & Lime dressing – this has to be one of my all time favourite salad dressings that will transform the salad world for you! 15ml Kikkoman soy sauce, 1 Red Chilli Peppers, Juice of 2 limes, 10ml Fish Sauce, ½ tsp Natural Brown Sugar. Combine with the right mix of sweet and crunchy ingredients.

Experiment with these healthy salad dressings, chopping your ingredients differently, eating your salads at room temperature in cooler weather and using nuts and seed to add texture and flavour. No more wilted salads here!