Eat your greens.
All salads are not created equal.
I love meat and I’m not afraid to admit it. In my spare time I track down burger joints and barbeque pits all over the country. I’ve eaten raw minced lamb meat and every part of a cow you can imagine. There is little I love more than liver pate, a perfectly cooked steak and a whole roasted chicken. I even have a shirt that reads I HEART meat. I’m not kidding.
But, if there is one thing I’m known for in my kitchen it is salads. I’m not talking your everyday side salad with iceberg lettuce, sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, croutons and a bottled dressing. No ma’am. My salads are meals. And the best part about a salad meal is that it has the potential to be super healthy. I say potential because you can take a salad and turn it into a calorie fest that rivals a Big Mac.
The key to a really good salad is a surprise ingredient – something unexpected. This may be a real shocker, but salads aren’t just for vegetables anymore. Try some fresh or dried fruit, toasted nuts, a bit of cheese or sliced chicken sausage and viola! A meal. A salad. A malad.
Aside from the special guest, the most important part of a salad is the dressing. A homemade dressing is so easy to make and so free from all the unwelcome additives in most store bought varieties that you’ll wonder why you ever put a bottle in your shopping basket in the first place.
To turn you into a believer, here’s one to try tonight.
Sesame Dijon Vinaigrette
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp sesame seeds
2 scallions chopped finely
pinch of sea salt
pinch of fresh ground pepper
Combine all the ingredients with a fork in a small bowl and that’s your dressing. Mix it with some baby spinach leaves, a handful of fresh chopped basil and sliced white mushrooms and you’ve got yourself a salad. Throw slices of Trader Joe’s Chicken Mango sausage into a hot pan until brown and crispy and then add them to the whole mix and you’ve got yourself a healthy, tasty, filling meal.