All About Salads+My All Time Favorite Salad Dressing

Your Ultimate Salad Guide...

Lately I've been eating tons of salad, mostly for lunch because while being quick, easy, and healthy, they can be incredibly delicious. Salad is just like poultry or fish, it's a blank canvas. You can start off by choosing any greens or if you're one that doesn't like greens, you simply don't have to have it. Some of my favorite salads have no lettuce or spinach in it, this is coming from someone who used to never eat salad because of the lettuce. I love fresh cucumber and tomato salads or roasted zucchini and tomato salads (i think i have one on here somewhere), or basically any salad with tomatoes in it. That's a must have for me. I eat tomatoes all the time, whether it's fresh cherry tomatoes or biting into one just like an apple. I love tomatoes. Anyways back to salads... There are so many options you can have for greens, here are some of my favorites:

  • Iceberg lettuce 
  • Romaine 
  • Spinach
  • Mixed greens
  • Red/green cabbage
  • Shaved brussel sprouts
  • Kale
The list goes on and on but here are some other salad bases if you aren't a fan of greens:

  • Shaved carrots (i love a carrot, apple, jicama slaw)
  • Potatoes (who doesn't love a potato salad?)
  • Pasta or orzo (or a pasta salad?)
  • Barley/couscous (any grain)
And a few add-ins that I love:

  • All fruits
  • Carrots
  • Avocado
  • Tomato
  • Cucumber
  • Onions/Shallots
  • Bell pepper
  • Pepperoncini 
  • Chicken
  • Salmon
  • Pork
  • Steak
  • Olives
  • Water chestnuts
  • Artichoke
  • Hearts of Palm
  • Mushrooms
  • Squash/zucchini
And again... So many more. Keep in mind any of those could just be a salad on it's own with a few toppings and dressing.
How about some toppings:

  • Croutons 
  • Bacon/pancetta 
  • Cheese (blue, goat, feta, cheddar, parm, gorgonzola, etc.)
  • Dried fruit
  • Toasted Nuts
  • Seeds (I love flax seeds, pumpkin & sesame seeds- i put flax seeds on EVERYTHING)
  • Beans- garbanzo, edamame, etc.
  • Crispy noodles
Now let's talk about dressings... the main reason I hated salad as a little kid wasn't because of the veggies, it was because of how bland it was. Any salad I ate had no dressing (yes, I'm an over-dresser)
I love salad dressing. No matter how much dressing is on my salad it will never be over dressed.
Here are some ideas for dressings:

  • Teriyaki vinaigrette 
  • Pomegranate/Raspberry
  • Oil & vinegar (coconut oil, canola, evoo, balsamic, red wine vinegar, champagne vinegar, rice wine, etc.)
  • Orange citrus
  • Grapefruit
  • Caesar/ranch/italian (some originals)
  • Greek vinaigrette
Those are just a few off the top of my head. The salad I had today was pretty basic- I was going to have an asian chicken salad but we had no crunchy noodles and what's an asian salad without crunchy noodles? So instead I just made a quick salad with iceberg, avocado, tomatoes, chopped roasted chicken, and flax seeds (and half a baked sweet potato on the side).
But the thing that brought it to the next level was the dressing... My favorite dressing is so good but made of ingredients everyone should have in their kitchen. I'm a fan of tangy dressing so it has a little bit of a bite. Here's my recipe:

All Time Favorite Salad Dressing (measure to the amount of dressing you want)

canola oil
red wine vinegar
balsamic (more than the red wine)
dijon mustard
crushed garlic clove- the fresh not jarred
dried mint
cavenders- i don't care what kind of salad i'm making... cavenders will be in my dressing.
and my secret ingredient that goes in almost any dressing I make... HONEY! It just brings out the natural sweetness and flavors and I just love it. Plus it balances out the vinegar's tang.

I just shake it in a mason jar, use what I want and keep the rest in the fridge. 

Also my favorite salad of all time? Chinese Chicken Salad. But not just any chinese chicken salad, my mom's chinese chicken salad. I won't eat anyone elses. I could eat chinese chicken salad every meal of every day. My all time favorite salad & possibly my favorite dish next to Pad Thai and Lettuce Wraps. Well that's it for today's blog. 

Tip of the post: go check out the app "Harvest" it costs 1.99 but is worth every penny. So helpful when it comes to produce... it's one of my favorite cooking apps!
                                                                                                  XOXO- Cecilia A.


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