I never used to like salad. But that was before I figured out that great salads all pull from a few basic categories. You can make an infinite number of salad variations if you keep this simple formula in mind. (And make your own dressing.)
Perfect Salad Formula
Start with a bed of mixed organic baby greens.
Add one or more items from each of the following categories:
- Fresh Fruit (apples, strawberries, pears, pineapple, oranges)
- Dried Fruit (raisins, cranberries)
- Nuts & Seeds (Pine nuts, crumbled pecans, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds)
- Cheese (Cheddar, Parmesan, Feta)
- Vegetables (julienned carrots, chopped green onion, chopped celery, chopped cucumber)
- Chopped meat or boiled eggs is also a nice additive on certain salads.
Toss with fresh homemade salad dressing of choice. Mmmm, heaven!
A few salad dressing recipes:
Sweet Cider Vinegar
1-2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar (red wine vinegar may also be used)
3 cloves garlic, pressed
Snipped herbs, such as basil or parsley (opt.)
1-2 tbsp. raw honey
Mix together, then drizzle in 1/2-3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil while whipping with a whisk to emulsify it. Add 1-3 tbsp. flax oil, then add to salad and serve immediately.
Squeeze one orange. Whisk in 1-3 tbsp. homemade mayo. Drizzle in 1/2 to 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil while emulsifying with a whisk. Add 1-3 tbsp. flax oil and serve immediately.
1-3 tbsp. apple cider or red wine vinegar
3 tbsp. garlic
1/2 tsp. dijon-style mustard
1-3 tbsp. snipped herbs, such as basil or parsley
1/4 tsp. celtic sea salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
Whisk in 1/2 to 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil to emulsify. Add 1-3 tbsp. flax oil and serve immediately.
Tip #1: Any dressing can be made creamy by adding mayo.
Tip #2: Always start with an acid (e.g. citrus juice or vinegar), and whisk your oil into it. Everything else is just for flavour. (Except the flax oil, which is for omega-3s.)
Fast Food Fact: Extra virgin olive oil is a rich source of anti-oxidants. Look for olive oil that is labelled "first cold pressed," and which comes in a dark green or brown opaque bottle. Nutrients are lost when exposed to light and heat. Do not refrigerate, as the oil will go solid. Just keep in a cool, dark place.