We’re seeing lots of creative salads on spring/summer menus and freshly made salad is the main concept for many of the newer ‘fresh’ casual eateries. I like to make a batch of salad no matter what season it is that I can use throughout the week. In order for the salad to stay fresh all week you have to keep some ingredients separated from others to prevent the salad from becoming soggy. It’s easy to toss in the remaining ingredients when you’re ready to sit down for your meal. Let’s face it, despite salad being a healthy option if we add creamy, sugar laden dressing on top you might as well be eating dessert. Most of the time when I make a salad, the ingredients I use nullify the need for a dressing. If I want dressing, I use balsamic vinegar alone hence the reason why I’ve added a little to this recipe. I thought it would be helpful to share the way I create a salad with a variety of ingredients to minimize the need for heavy salad dressing.
I like a lot of crunch so instead of lettuces I use a coleslaw mix of cabbages and carrots along with chopped spinach. When I thought about the salad I would make for the week, along with my ‘go to’ leafy greens as the base, these are some of the items I decided on while in Whole Foods and a few from my own pantry.
I added a few more items after taking the picture but you get the gist. A salad is free reign to be as creative as you want and the flavors are endless WITHOUT the dressing. The main items that give this salad flavor is a little bit of balsamic vinegar, hearts of palm, a little parmesan cheese, your favorite items from an olive antipasti bar, and blueberries. The items I included from the olive bar are minimal as you can see in this picture, but will add lots of flavor.
Add a grilled protein of your choice, chop and mix well, and you will have a delicious, low fat salad complete with great protein, iron and fiber.
Feed the wellness in you!
The first nine ingredients serve as the base of the salad and will yield 4-6 servings depending on the size of your servings. The remaining ingredients are added when you are ready to serve the salad. The prep time does not include the recommended 20-30 minutes for allowing the base salad to rest in its ingredients.
- Whole Foods Organic Cole Slaw Mix
- 1 pkg of Whole Foods Organic Baby Spinach
- 1 cup sugar snap peas, chopped
- 7.5 oz (1/2 can) of garbanzo beans
- 7.5 oz (1/2 can) black eye peas
- 1 can hearts of palm, chopped
- Antipasti (items of your choice from olive bar of your choice) chopped - in this salad are 6 pitted olives, two tablespoons of sundried tomatoes, and about 6 gigantes (white beans)
- 1/4 c blueberries
- 1/2 c balsamic vinegar
- 1 Mini seedless cucumber, chopped
- 5-6 Grape tomatoes
- 1 tbl Shredded parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp Crispy onions
- Avocado (I use at least half but it is optional)
- 1 tbl pumpkin seeds
- Wash and dry your baby spinach, coleslaw mix and sugar snap peas. Make sure all vegetables are dry before proceeding as you don't want excess water. Water will make the salad soggy quicker after storing.
- Chop your baby spinach, coleslaw mix, sugar snap peas (remove ends) and put in a large bowl
- Add your garbanzo beans, black eye peas, hearts of palm, blueberries and antipasti; mix well with balsamic vinegar. Move to a tight lid container for storage. I like to let the salad sit for about 20-30 minutes before serving but it is not a prerequisite.
- To serve, place a serving of salad mixture on plate or bowl.
- Add the cucumber, tomatoes, parmesan cheese, crispy onions, avocado, pumpkin seeds and protein of your choice. Mix well and enjoy!