A lot of people think of salads as health food that doesn’t fill you up. Salads can be whatever you want them to be! They could be an appetizer or a small side accompaniment to your meal, or…they can be the entree. You can take just about anything and put it into a salad. We always start with a leafy green of choice (e.g. romaine lettuce, spinach, spring mix, etc.). Then you add in some vegetables. You can do them raw, roasted, blanched, …shredded, noodled, ribboned, chopped, minced, or julienned. Personally, I like to do half raw and half cooked for my salads because it makes it feel more like a meal to me. I also do this because sometimes it is hard for me to digest large amounts of raw vegetables and cooking them seems to help. Then you can add in a protein such as chicken, turkey, beef, pork (even bacon), tofu, nuts, or seeds.
The combinations and creations are endless, so get creative, have fun, and enjoy some salad! They are not only good for you, but they are usually quick and easy to make. A major bonus is that if you prep your vegetables early in the week, you will have most of your salad components ready to go. People ask me about salad dressings a lot. I do like the Daiya company’s Ranch dressing which is free of gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, and nuts. They also make a few other flavors, but I have not had them. If you don’t want to buy a dressing, you can make your own. Oil and vinegar, honey mustard, or even homemade ranch. I will do some posts about salad dressings in the next few weeks.
I included 3 pictures of different salads for you to see here. They all have leftover roasted chicken, but they are different in other ways; one had all raw components such as scallions, cucumbers, spring mix, radishes, carrots, and golden beets. One of the other salads had roasted artichokes, roasted cauliflower, roasted broccoli, sauteed spinach, roasted radishes, sauteed golden beets and spring mix. The third salad is fresh arugula, raw carrots, roasted cauliflower, Belgian endive, and roasted broccoli. I topped them all with kale microgreens for a little extra nutrient punch! A little drizzle of dressing and these babies were ready to eat (I did honey mustard on one, olive and vinegar on the other, and my husband enjoyed his with no dressing at all).[yumprint-recipe id=’62’]