I had a wonderful salad, as did my sister and my son. This led to a discussion about creating salads that are varied, creative and limited to 4-5 toppings or ingredients. I find that I often make a salad for dinner and will put every vegetable in the refrigerator on it. Instead of having a unique flavor, each of my salads end up tasting about the same.
My plan for the next month is to try to create a host of salad options that are fun, tasty and inspiring. I would love to have your recipes too. Why not leave a couple in the comments below?
Here are a few ideas I have tried recently or am planning to try soon:
Spinach, pear, cashews or walnuts, and feta or gorgonzola cheese with balsamic vinaigrette. Simple, yet elegant.
Arugula, fennel bulb sliced, pomegranate seeds, walnuts. Unusual but delicious.
Mixed greens, scallions, mandarin oranges, avocado slices, sprouts, sliced almonds. Great with ginger dressing.
Mixed salad leaves, fresh pineapple chunks, mixed sprouts, cherry tomato halves, chopped mint leaves, red onion, cucumber sliced. Serve with pineapple dressing (see below)
The dressing can truly make the salad. Keeping unhealthy fats and sugars to a minimum means that the nutritional benefits of the salad will be maximized. There are so many fabulous dressings that really only take a few minutes to prepare. Here are a few great ones:
Cranberry Vinaigrette (from sweetgreen.tumblr.com)
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar, 12 oz cranberries, 2 cups blended oil, 1 cup water, 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard, 6 oz agave nectar, 1/2 Tbsp sea salt. Blend all except oil and water in blender until smooth. With blender on, slowly add oil in steady stream, then water until mixed.
Pineapple dressing (from Raw Food Diet)
1/2 cup dried pineapple, soaked 15 minutes and drained, 2 Tbsp pine nuts, 2 Tbsp lemon juice, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, 1 clove garlic, minced, 3/4 cup coconut water or water, 1/2 tsp sea salt, freshly ground black pepper. Blend until smooth. Will keep refrigerated for 2-3 days.
Ginger Shallot Dressing (from Raw Awakening)
5 Tbsp raw olive oil, 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar, 2 Tbsp water, 2 Tbsp raw agave nectar, 1 Tbsp plus 1/2 tsp tamari, 1 Tbsp minced shallot (or 1 tsp onion powder), 1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger (or 1 tsp ground ginger), 1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper. Blend until creamy. Serve over Romaine lettuce with banana slices. Interesting, huh?
Mango Ginger Vinaigrette (from The Raw Truth)
1 ripe mango, peeled and seeded, 3 inches fresh ginger, peeled and chopped, 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1 cup water, juice of 1 lemon. Blend all in blender until smooth. Store in refrigerator covered for up to 4 days.
The combinations of salads and dressings is limited only by your imagination. Try a new combination of greens, toppings and dressing and let us know what your favorite creation is. I can't wait to try it!