Super Saturday Salad

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This is definitely one of the better salads I’ve made in a while. Although pomegranate seeds are a bit of a splurge, they add bursts of flavor that are incredible on salads and I highly recommend them.

  • Spinach
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Avocado
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Pomegranate seeds
  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar

Cucumber Tomato Salad with Onions and Parsley Garlic Dressing Recipe

Ingredients: One cucumber, 1/4 cup onion, 1/2 a tomato, one cup parsley, two tablespoons minced garlic, five tablespoons olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.

Method: Peel the cucumber if you don’t like the skin or don’t if you do like the skin – either way is fine. Dice up the onion, tomato, and cucumber into equally sized small chunks, put them in a bowl, and set the bowl in the fridge for now. Rinse the parsley then put it in a blender with the garlic and olive oil. Taste once well blended, then add salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the cucumber, tomato, and onion salad then mix it all together and enjoy!

Salads are awesome.

I am loving salads lately, especially since I started experimenting with what is going into my salad. Some people are really big on matching their greens (in terms of texture, taste, color) to a few toppings and a dressing, but I am all about toppings. Also, on low spoon days, it’s really easy to just open up a bag of mixed greens and put some stuff on top.

I hope I can convince you all to join me in a salad revival with some ideas.

My basic equation for a great salad is mixed greens + bottled vinaigrette + goat cheese + a leftover + nuts + chopped dates.

What makes a salad really satisfying and can take it from being just a side dish into a healthy meal is having some variety in every bite. Crunchy, creamy, salty, savory, sweet, nutty, bitter, crisp, fresh, and herby can all play their part in a salad. I really recommend checking out websites like Pinterest for specific recipes but here is a little run-through.

Crunch

Croutons, nuts or seeds, oyster crackers, anything else crunchy you might have around. I really recommend almonds or cashews if you don’t have a nut allergy. Cubed bread (especially if it’s something like a baguette or other hard-loaf that has gone a little stale) is very nice in salad. Crumbled up crisps (chips) could be nice, too!

More veg

Broccoli, carrot, tomato, snap peas, and radish are all very easy to add to salad, but don’t forget the other guys! Avocado is excellent on salads. Tinned beans or frozen veggies like peas, corn, and soybeans can easily be microwaved and put on top of salad. 

Cheese

Some cheeses are finnicky and need a good balance of flavors to shine in a salad; this would be your blue cheese, gruyere, pretty much anything that is funky. But most salads can benefit from either a creamy or salty cheese! Try out chevre (creamy, crumbly goat’s cheese that comes in many flavors) and shaved parmesan (salty and sharp).

Sweet

It’s easy to overlook this component in salads, but I hope you will give it a try! Dates, raisins, craisins, apple, pomegranate seed, mango, strawberry, orange… Raisins and dates are a good place to start but as you get more acquainted with mixing and balancing flavors you’ll find what tastes good together. 

Leftovers

An easy way to make a salad into a really filling meal is to peek in your fridge and see if you have any leftovers. Grains like quinoa and rice are good in salads, especially because they soak up a ton of dressing. I like leftover roasted potatoes or beets in my salads. For my non-vegetarian friends, salads are the perfect place for leftover meats. Also, if you’re into hard boiled eggs, it’s really easy to boil up a bunch and then put one on top of a salad.

Watercress With Seared Prosciutto + Peaches

Watercress With Seared Prosciutto + Peaches by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Heads up: A ten-minute meal comin’ your way!

I’m not kidding—this dish takes NO. TIME. AT. ALL.

Prosciutto-wrapped peaches on a bed of bitter greens is a classic Italian starter that I used to order every time I spotted it on a summer menu…’til it finally dawned on me that this dead-simple recipe can be made at home for pennies on the dollar. Yeah, I can be dense sometimes. It took this old dog a decade to learn this peachy new trick, but hey: better late than never, right?

Once ripe peaches made their first appearance of the year at the local farmers’ market, I started making this savory, sweet, and assertive summer salad on a regular basis. Can you blame me?

Watercress With Seared Prosciutto + Peaches by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Most recipes call for grilling the porky peaches, but I’ve found that searing ’em in a skillet is a much easier and faster method. (In fact, it takes longer to fire up the barbecue than it does to prepare and eat this gorgeous hot-weather salad using a skillet.) 

Plus, I’ve replaced the usual bed of arugula with watercress. Why? ’Cause she’s the new Queen Bee of the vegetable aisle (that’s right: move over, kale), and I’ve been doing my darnedest to incorporate this nutrient-packed powerhouse into my diet. The warm peaches wilt the watercress slightly, making each mouthful  a kaleidoscope of flavors and textures.

What do you say? Ready to try your hand at my favorite summer salad?

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