In keeping with the theme of yesterday's post ( well kinda…) thought I would share this article re: the don'ts of salad making. I must admit I have been guilty of #5 on occasion, especially when there was an especially good homemade dressing available.
These are really just common sense tips, but with salad season once again upon us and fresh garden greens starting to be available, it's good to keep these suggestions in mind. It's all about keeping it healthy AND delicious too. After all, isn't that what a salad is suppose to be all about? Read the entire article at: Salad Dont's
On a more positive note…..some of my favorite Salad Do's
- Incorporate at least one new ingredient, that you haven't tried in salads before, every time you make a salad. Some of my favs….. sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, leftover cold chili, a sprinkle of poppy seeds, rye bread croutons…..whatever's available and seems to be a good 'fit' for the particular salad you are making.
- Try to add a protein source to make the salad more of a meal and not just 'rabbit food'. One of the complaints people often make about a salad main course is that they are starving a couple of hours later. Not the case if you add a bit of protein to the mix. Some of my choices…crumbled feta cheese (go easy on this, very salty and rich, a little goes a long way). strips of veggie ham or smoked turkey (great way to make a chef's salad), nuts, seeds, cold cooked lentils, beans, marinated, baked tofu chunks….
- Take the time to make homemade dressings. So much better and if made in smaller quantities not a problem to use up before it's past prime (another common complaint and excuse for buying store -bought). Yes, there are some good commercial dressings available but these are often very expensive and still don't compare with fresh and homemade. Needless to say, the cheaper, regular brands can be chemical nightmares, more label reading! If you've got a blender or food processor the whole process takes only minutes.
- Even though you should be buying (or picking) fresh salad greens just before use, there's no reason why you can't have many of the add-ons on hand. Dressing ingredients, beans, grains, pasta, dried fruits, nuts etc…can be ready and waiting to add to the mix.
- Try new salad recipes….I always hated spinach as a child, my mom would boil it up and serve it with a dollop of margerine, yuch!!! She loved it though. Another childhood food turn-off, canned button mushrooms (remember those!!!) But I'll take fresh baby spinach and creamy white mushrooms, topped with poppy seed dressing ( recipe for Spinach and Mushroom Salad with Creamy Poppyseed-Mustard Dressing, to follow ) any day. Does it get any better than that! Last night's main course for us, btw….Happy Summer and Happy Salad Adventures
SPINACH AND MUSHROOM SALAD WITH CREAMY POPPYSEED-MUSTARD DRESSING
This is an elegant and colorful addition to any meal or serve as a main course for a delicious light supper. Serves 4 as a main course and 6 as side salad.
4-5 C. fresh spinach torn in bite-sized pieces, washed and thoroughly dried
1 medium sweet red pepper, cut in thin strips
8 jumbo white mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced
Prepare vegetables and layer in order given, on individual serving plates or bowls. Just before serving, drizzle each serving with Creamy Poppyseed- Mustard Dressing (see below).
CREAMY POPPYSEED-MUSTARD DRESSING
½ C. light mayonnaise (regular or vegan)
¼ C. light olive oil
2 T. fresh lemon juice
1 T. Dijon mustard
1-2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1-2 teas. poppyseeds
¼-1/2 teas. freshly-ground pepper
½ teas. sea salt
Whisk together all ingredients. Allow to chill to blend flavors. Drizzle over salad, just before serving.
PS Also shown in photo: Pasta Primavera with Fresh Pesto Sauce (I will share that recipe another day). Reprinted from: Not Just for Vegetarians, Delicious Homestyle Cooking, the Meatless Way by Geraldine Hartman. Photo: Patricia Holdsworth Photography. All rights reserved.