BUILD THE PERFECT SALAD
Salads get a bad rap. They are historically associated with restrictive diets that limit fat, carbohydrates and calorie intake. When many people think of salads they imagine wilted iceberg lettuce, cold vegetables, and bland salad dressing. If you step back from what diet culture has made us think of salads, you will discover a wonderful meal option that can incorporate multiple food groups in one.
Webster's dictionary has three definitions for the word "salad". The third is : a usually incongruous mixture : HODGEPODGE. So let's talk about how we can build a delicious hodgepodge of ingredients that are not only nutritious, but also appetizing and tasty. Use the below guide to create salad combinations you will actually look forward to eating!
STEP 1: choose your non-starchy vegetables (these can be hot, cold or a mix!) --> spinach, kale, mixed greens, arugula, romaine, cucumber, cabbage, tomatoes, roasted broccoli, cauliflower, or Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, caramelized onions, green beans, eggplant, carrots, bell peppers, green onion, chives, fresh herbs, beets, radishes
STEP 2: choose your carbohydrates --> quinoa, couscous, barley, rice, cold pasta, croutons, pita chips, peas, roasted sweet potatoes or pumpkin, roasted corn, plantain chips, tortilla strips
STEP 3: choose your protein --> black beans, chickpeas, pinto beans, lentils, tuna, chicken, shrimp, scallops, grilled flank steak, salmon, pulled pork, hard boiled egg, sautéed tofu or tempeh
STEP 4: choose your healthy fats and fun toppings --> sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, pine nuts, sliced almonds, hemp or chia seeds, olives, candied pecans or walnuts, goat cheese, blue cheese, parmesan cheese, shredded mozzarella cheese, mandarin oranges, dried cranberries, raisins, or blueberries, figs, Granny smith apple or strawberry slices, avocado
STEP 5: choose your sauce or dressing --> hummus, tzakziki, pesto, roasted red pepper romesco or one of the homemade salad dressings below! Your choice in dressing or sauce should bring the salad together, combining whatever flavor elements you have chosen for your salad combination.
Homemade Honey Mustard Dressing
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp honey
1/8 tsp salt
1 clove garlic, minced
1/8 tsp black pepper
Homemade Red Wine Vinaigrette
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tbsp dijon mustard
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp dried oregano
For all dressings - combine all ingredients with a whisk or fork. Store in glass salad dressing container or mason jar. Use throughout the week (will make at least 3 servings depending on the size of the salad).