I pretty much eat a salad every day for lunch. What follows are some general guidelines for making a salad as well as what I do for a simple, homemade salad dressing. Ditch the jarred stuff and make your own. It’s really easy, and so much better for you.
First, pick some kind of lettuce. My favorite is butter lettuce, but I’m also a fan of Romaine, spring mix, and spring mix/spinach combination. I’m a huge fan of Trader Joe’s Butter Lettuce with Raddicchio blend. As an aside, if I’m using something more bitter like arugula, I tend to follow a more specific recipe because of the need to balance the bitterness. I do the same thing when I’m using endive.
Next, add some vegetables for color and flavor. My favorites are jicama, English cucumber, and red bell pepper. I stopped eating celery after my naturopath suggested that it might be causing some digestive woes. I have to say, the day after I gave it up, I felt like a new woman. Other potential things to add include tomatoes, carrots, radishes. The list goes on.
Then, think about what you’re going to add for texture and crunch. My new favorite salad addition is crushed up Parmesan crisps. Since I gave up wheat, I no longer eat croutons :-(. However, Parmesan crisps are actually more delicious than any crouton I’ve come across. Other potential things include tortillas, jicama (as I mention above), potato sticks (don’t knock this until you try it, especially on a cobb salad). Also think about chick peas, beans, and whatever else you like.
Next up is protein and good fats. This is, of course, completely optional. Sometimes I add leftover roasted chicken breast. If you can eat eggs, those are great on salads too. And, of course, a little bacon never hurt anyone :-). Avocado is one of my favorite go-to ingredients. Sometimes, I’m so pressed for time that lunch is simply an avocado with homemade salad dressing poured into the hole and scooped up with a spoon. (Normally this happens while I’m on mute on a conference call.)
For my daily salad dressing, I tend to pick a spice mix, which I mix with 2 tablespoons of Wildtree Basil Pesto Grapeseed Oil, and 1 to 2 teaspoons of vinegar. I find that this gives me the right ratio between oil and vinegar, and I tend to mix things up a little in terms of the spices. In face, my daily salad is the reason that the Basil Pesto Grapeseed Oil made my Wildtree Top-Ten List yesterday. My favorite spice mixes are: Penzey’s Creamy Peppercorn Dressing, Wildtree Fiesta Salsa Mix, and Wildtree California Style Garlic Pepper.
My favorite vinegars are: Apple cider vinegar, red wine vinegar, rice wine vinegar, and champagne vinegar.
If you play around with these proportions in mind, there are many combinations of delicious salad that you can create, minimizing the potential for boredom.