Food blogger Kathryn Bruton shares her secret for nutritious salads that don’t skimp on taste.

Roasted vegetables with giant couscous

London food stylist, recipe developer and blogger Kathryn Bruton has been busy working on Skinny Salads, her new book of nutritious, substantial, low calorie salads. From warm and comforting to refreshing and revitalising, these salads are all under 300 calories each, making them easy to fit into your healthy eating plan.

Why did you decide to create salads all under 300 calories?

Low calorie meals tend to have a reputation of leaving you hungry, so I wanted to explore the concept of creating low calorie salads without sacrificing nutrition, substance or taste. 300 calories (or less) means it’s a low calorie meal, but with the right ingredients it can still be highly nutritious and filling.

Did the 300 calorie limit influence your creativity?

I started thinking about flavours in new and exciting ways – take salad dressings for example. Beyond olive oil, I looked at ingredients such as roasted red pepper. They have loads of their own natural oil and are incredibly flavourful when blended into a dressing with basil and chilli.

"Using pickled veggies throughout a salad is a wonderful way to introduce flavour and texture. Other delicious additions are toasted nuts and creamy cheeses such as homemade ricotta."

How can using different leaves change your salad?

Softer leaves such as rocket and watercress have a very punchy, peppery flavour, whereas crunchier leaves like romaine or baby gem are deliciously sweet and juicy. Salads are infinitely more exciting with different lettuce leaves!

Dressings are one way to add flavour to salads – what are some other ways?

Using pickled veggies throughout a salad is a wonderful way to introduce flavour and texture. In Skinny Salads, we use three favourite pickles: sweet pickled red onions, pickled chargrilled cucumber and smoked pickled tomatoes. They create surprising bursts of flavour through almost any salad.

Other delicious additions are toasted nuts and creamy cheeses such as homemade ricotta.

What are your favourite spring salad ingredients?

Spring is a particularly exciting time because of the abundance of ingredients. Purple sprouting broccoli is one of my favourite spring time ingredients and chicory is a great one too.

Try some of Kathryn's nourishing and delicious salad recipes.

Skinny Salads by Kathryn Bruton is available now in stores or online.

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