I love a good fresh salad. I am not talking about the lettuce in the bag here. I want a fresh head of romaine, red leaf, or green leaf lettuce. With fall now here, lettuce is now in season. We have great farmers markets here in Atlanta to scope out the new seasonal vegetables. I think it is always worth the trouble and time to find one you like in your area. The flavors are worth it.
There are so many different flavors that you can add to your salad. You could make it with an Asian flare with a ginger soy chicken and a ginger dressing. You could make it with an Indian flare by adding curry shrimp and chic peas. And don’t forget the Taco Salad. Omit that nasty taco shell but pile the lettuce high and add ground beef with cumin, salsa, fresh lime and cilantro and a dollop plain yogurt.
I could eat a salad for every meal. My favorite all time salad is a Garden Salad with Shrimp. I would preface this salad as American.
I first get the best looking heads of lettuce as I described above. I then add what ever ingredients I may have in the refrigerator or pantry. Sometimes I add artichoke hearts or hearts of palm, tomatoes or dried cranberries, cucumbers or bell peppers, and finally a cheese, which is usually Maytag Blue Cheese or Feta.
I pile all this in a large bowl and then I top it with my sautéed shrimp. Another great protein is grilled chicken breasts. I like to season it with soy or sometimes a jerk seasoning if I am filling frisky. There are some great wet jerk marinades in jars. I prefer the jar instead of making it myself. If you have ever made a jerk rub, you know that it takes every spice in the market.
For the dressing I mix a half cup virgin olive oil, 4-5 teaspoons balsamic vinegar (I like extra), a little dab of dijon mustard, minced garlic and a squeeze of half a lime. This is fresh and it has no MSG. Have you ever looked at what is on the labels of salad dressings? No good!
To me, salads are so refreshing and can be just as filling as a hamburger. It can take a little extra work but I believe it is well worth it. Try saving a little left over salad in a zip lock bag for the following day with your protein in a separate bag. It is the perfect simple lunch to take to work with you.
Just wait- your body with thank you because you feel so good!