I am a big fan of the "one bowl" meal and salad definitely falls into that category. I get most of my daily veggie intake this way. During the winter I take full advantage of the dark leafy greens, cabbage, carrots and any veggies that are well priced and in season. You have to think of "salad" as a blank canvas... you really can't go wrong with any combination you want to try. A few basics that will serve you well:
When you are making salads prepare extra chopped, sliced and diced salad components and keep UNDRESSED in the fridge for future meals. I use my food processor for slicing and grating making it a breeze... fast and easy has been the KEY to increasing my veggie intake.
Different textures and flavors are also important to a tasty and filling salad meal. (A recipe that exemplifies this below.)
Kale, cabbage and tougher greens and veggies are WAY better if they are sliced, diced and shredded smaller. Using your vegetable peeler to make "carrot curls" is another example of how you can vary the texture instead of the same ole carrot slices!
Dressing DOES NOT need to be any more complicated than a good olive oil, lemon juice and a sprinkle of salt. Your ingredients will do the talking here and the dressing is simply a compliment.
Here is a great recipe for my "Kale Winter Salad":
*Be sure to wash your produce first, I use a warm water and white vinegar mixture: 1 gallon warm water with 1/4 C vinegar.
Cut 1 bunch of kale from stems and into small "ribbons"... any kale will do
Chop 1/4 (small) head of red cabbage
Chop 1 bunch cilantro
Grate 4 carrots
Chop 4 green onions
Chop 1/4 C walnuts
Combine all above ingredients in a bowl and add 3-4 TBS olive oil and 4-5 TBS lemon juice and a sprinkle of salt to your liking. Mix well with clean hands, working the olive and lemon juice into the veggies. At the end I like to add some feta cheese... a little fat goes a long way!
Seriously though, treat this salad recipe as a canvas... the kale and cabbage is the base and you can go in just about any direction you want! I love to toast big slices of a whole wheat loaf until crusty and eat it like a "salad bruschetta."
Get into salads... they will change your life! What creations will you come up with?
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