Salads are a great way to get leafy-and not so leafy- vegetables into your diet. More times than not, they’re easy to put together, and they work well as an entrée, appetizer, or side. I love salad, I really do. If you would have told me last year that I would be eating salad almost every day and enjoying it, I would have called you crazy. I couldn’t stand salad. I hated the texture of lettuce, arugula, spinach…you get the picture. If it was used as a base for a salad, I didn’t like it. As I began to change the way I ate, I knew salad was something I should try to incorporate into my diet. It took some getting used to. My first few salads were eaten slowly and reluctantly. Eventually, though, I didn’t have to convince myself to eat salad, I actually wanted to do it. I was surprised at just how quickly my taste buds adjusted. Not Disney song montage quick, but quick, nonetheless.
Salad is great because it leaves so much room for creativity and personal preference. If you like carrots, throw in some carrots! If you like red onion, toss in some red onion! If you like walnuts, throw in some walnuts! If you like dried fruit, throw that in there, too! If you like rocks, throw some in. On second thought…maybe you should disregard that last one, especially if you’re cooking for others. You don’t want your guests having a Charlie Brown moment. You know….”I got a rock.” You get the point, though. Salads are wonderfully versatile.
I believe that dressing is the most vital part of a salad. Perhaps not from a nutritional standpoint, but most definitely from the standpoint of taste. Dressing dictates the overall flavor of a salad. Dressing is important, but most store bought ones are jam-packed with sugar, preservatives, chemicals, and artificial flavors. It is for this reason that I choose to make my own dressing. My personal favorite is my balsamic vinaigrette. The recipe is quick and delicious, and you probably have the all the items in your home already.
3/4 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon of stone ground mustard
2 teaspoons of raw honey
Option 1: Place ingredients in a sealable container and whisk together until emulsified.
Option 2: Place ingredients in a blender and blend until well combined.
Store in refrigerator. This recipe makes three to four servings of dressing.