Tonight was salad night. I'm trying to continue my healthy eating because it makes me feel great and it really satisfies me to eat balanced meals. Don't get me wrong, I will be posting sweets here and there, but tonight is all about healthy eating.
My first salad was really just a leftover salad. I had some homemade pesto, boiled some whole wheat pasta, and added diced cucumbers, red peppers, and seeded tomatoes. After I mixed that all up I added some salt and pepper, white wine vinegar (to taste), and olive oil (to taste). Some additional parmesean shavings would have been a nice addition too. If you just want to make this for your meal I would recommend adding more cheese or some sliced/diced chicken for more protein. This would make a great lunch because it has your complex carbs, protein, and veggies.
My next salad I always like to make when I have leftover strawberries and roasted chicken in the fridge. I prefer to use a mixture of lettuces and baby spinach but tonight I only had romaine lettuce for the base of my salad. Next I add sliced roasted chicken, toasted almonds, sliced avocado, green beans that have been steamed 1 minute (or less), sliced strawberries, and sliced cucumbers. Then I dress it with a balsamic or champagne vinaigrette. I love this salad for summers. It's simple yet impressive so it works great for any summer get togethers you might have with friends.
This last salad came from my Food and Wine 2003 Annual Recipes cookbook. This asparagus salad with roasted peppers and goat cheese is so quick to make yet the flavors are intense and complex. A perfect salad for company.
To make my slightly adapted version:
Boil pot of salted water. Add 1 lb. trimmed asparagus and cook for 3 minutes (or less, you want them to be crispy and bright green). Drain and rinse with cold water.
Mix dressing: 1 T. white wine vinegar; 1/2 T. Dijon mustard; 1 T. drained capers (I omitted this); 1/2 t. dried dill; 1 small garlic clove, diced; and I used a teaspoon of diced shallots. Whisk in olive oil (about 3 T.).
To plate: Lay asaparagus side by side on platter and drape with slices of roasted red pepper. Crumble goat cheese on top and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Dress right before serving with 1/2 of the dressing and serve the remaining dressing in a bowl for guests to use as they desire.
I almost always have roasted peppers in a jar (usually from Trader Joe's) and this time I also happened to have a container of crumbled goat cheese from Trader Joe's (much more affordable than buying it in a log and is great for pizzas and salads).
The recipe added some pitted Kalamata olives and parmesean shavings on top of the salad.
This was the first recipe I've tried from this cookbook but I'm looking forward to trying more. I got this book (along with 4 other cookbooks) for around $4 at Ross. Good deal since it was originally $30!