I keep making these salads and eating them before I remember to take a picture. OOPS. 🙂
My family has always eaten salads. When I was a kid, my salad consisted of cucumbers, with Creamy Cucumber dressing (which, of course, Kraft doesn’t make in the US anymore…but apparently you can still get it in Canada). I hated the lettuce–I just thought it tasted like nothing. Little did I know, Greek folks had been eating salads without lettuce long before I came along…I just didn’t realize that until I actually WENT to Greece.
See, I like my salads with STUFF in them. Taco Salads, Black Bean Salads…drag it through the garden. The more junk the better. The greens in my salad are almost garnishes. My salads are dense, HEAVY things.
I came up with the idea for the power salad when I was visiting Mom & Dad earlier this year. We all chip in to cook (this time even moreso since Mom had just had shoulder surgery), and it happened to be my job that particular night to make the side salads. I informed my parents that I would be making MY salad, and hoped they’d be okay with it.
Then I rummaged through the refrigerator. See, my parents are fabulous home cooks, which means they have fabulous leftovers. (In our house we often had “pikilia” [pronounced “picky Lia”] for dinner, Dad’s fancy Greek way of saying “leftovers.”) When I delivered the salad, it was devoured with multitudes of praise…also common in Greek households. And enough to make me go “hmmm…”
So, without further ado: This is MY power salad. YOUR power salad may differ. Heck, even my own differs depending on what I’ve got in the fridge. But I’ve bolded the “usual” ingredients. I urge you to try your own!
*Spinach. My favorite.
*Second choices: Mixed Greens, Romaine, Other Fun Stuff. As mentioned before, Amanda Havard prefers Kale on hers, but to be honest I haven’t tried that yet. Would like to try both Kale and Swiss Chard.
* Goat Cheese (Also love BellaVitano Balsamic, when I can afford it.)
* Baked, Grilled, or Pan Fried Chicken (aka “leftover”)
* Morning Star Farms Chik Patties (on the days I feel like being vegetarian–must be crispy oven-baked, not microwaved)
* Beets! Possibly the most important part of my salad. I take a can of sliced beets and put it in a Tupperware container along with the juice. Then I throw in some garlic cloves, olive oil, and rice vinegar. Mom taught me this (Thanks, Mom!). This concoction lasts FOREVER in your fridge. When you use it, drizzle the beet juice vinaigrette over your salad for an instant dressing. VOILA. (Also, it turns your salad pink. AND WHO DOESN’T LOVE PINK FOOD?)
* Bell Peppers — I prefer red, gold and orange, diced.
* Asparagus — I often make extra asparagus, just to chop up the leftovers for my salad
* Sugar Peas
* Brussels sprouts
* Broccoli (not my favorite, but useful in a pinch. I like the florets best)
* Avocados (just be careful — if you go with goat cheese, additions like tomatoes and avocados can make your salad mushy pretty quickly)
* I could go on forever. Any leftover veggie I have in the fridge is fair game.
Other Fun Stuff (if I have it, I’ll add it):
* Nuts (which I always have to add to my oatmeal–they stay freshest in the freezer)
* Dried fruit (ditto on the oatmeal, not the freezer)
* Garlic Beet Juice Vinaigrette (see above)
* Green Goddess (this dressing is usually pretty thick, so I use some, and then dump Beet Juice Vinaigrette back in the bottle to thin it out a bit…they go magnificently together!)
This salad may seem like a lot of work, but I assure you, it’s not. If you don’t cut everything directly into the salad bowl, use a separate plate — no need for cutting boards and the like, unless you’re going all out making salads for ten people.
Even if you do feel like this is too much time for you to spend, let me assure you — IT’S WORTH IT. Every time I eat this salad, I sit around with garlic on my breath thinking “Man, that was so good…and I feel so great right now. I need to eat those more often!”
Seriously. I think this EVERY TIME I EAT THIS SALAD. (Would I lie to you about something this dumb?)
Drag it through the garden, folks. You’ll thank me later. xox