Friday Favorites: Big Ol’ Salads
I have had this picture of one of my favorite big salads on my memory stick for a while now. I took it a while back when we had snow in Seattle, which is kind of a rare occurrence, though lately it seems to happen at least once a year. Today, we are just about drowning in rain, which is far more par for the course..
I have been saving it up for the right time to write about it, (you may have discovered I have too much to say) and I keep delegating it to the bottom of the “to blog” pile. No more! Today is the day.
2Chili calls me the “mixer” (that’d be in addition to “vaccuum queen,” in case you’re wondering) because I am notorious for just mixing up a random assortment of things on a plate. And, that is, for the most part, true. I’m a mixer. He’s a segregator (don’t let anything touch anything else – or we’ll have trouble!). Amazingly, we live in mostly harmonious accord.
This salad is awesome for a lot of reasons. It’s nutritious, it’s big enough to be filling, and it is flexible – put in what you have. Here is my general framework:
- 2-3 cups of of something green for vitamins. In this case, I had chopped brussels sprouts, purple kale, and some arugula. Trust me. It works. You could choose from a rainbow of greens – chard, green kale, mesculin, or even simple romaine.
- Whole fruit for fiber. Here, I have a chopped apple, with skins. Also good: pears, mandarin oranges (not from a can, please), kiwi fruit, grapefruit (but only if you know it is sweet, not bitter)
- 1 ounce of cheese for protein. My go-to is goat cheese, but feta crumbles, part skim mozzarella, chunked 2% cheddar would all be good choices.
- 1/2 cup legumes for protein and fiber. In this case, I used chickpeas, but lentils, white, or black beans are also good. I usually make up a fresh batch of a different kind of dried bean every weekend, save out some, and freeze the rest in small containers, that way I always have some at the ready, and there’s always variety.
- 1/8 cup nuts for healthy fat. I used chopped pecans in this salad, but any nut is good – just not too too many – the fat and calories add up fast. Walnuts and cashews are good options, as are roasted pumpkin seeds (petipas) or sunflower seeds.
- 2 tablespoons homemade dressing. I used this dressing – it is simply awesome and comes together in a jiffy.
If I have some cooked and ready, I have been known to toss on 1/2 cup of roasted cubed winter squash like butternut, acorn, kabocha, or, my favorite, delicata for some beta carotene.
And there you have it – a big salad with big taste and big nutrition!
Thanks for stopping by, and Happy Friday!