A Whopper of a SALAD!

COLORS of Health in one BIG SALAD!

Today, you’re going to Scrap that HO-HUM SALAD!

And get your mind out of the fast food gutter.

When I said WHOPPER I didn’t mean a jumbo sized burger.

But before we talk food…can we discuss how I feel like I missed something? Like an entire week? Cause it’s the middle of March already!

HEY SPRING! WELCOME!

THINGS I think we can all agree on and how Spring is one of the most pleasant times of the year:

  1. Our bad moods just seem to dissipate.
  2. More time is spent outdoors and less on our couches (which thank goodness cause we all need a shotsky of Vitamin D!).
  3. Flip flops (need I say more?).
  4. Ridding ourselves of pale skin (SUNBLOCK always!).
  5. Peonies, tulips, cherry blossoms and hydrageas->Grey be gone!

 

Tulips just make me SMILE!

Okay, now onto the FOOD.

Does the word SALAD every turn you off? Well, if the mix-ins include some flimsy white lettuce served alongside some out of season tomatoes and the same low-fat salad dressing then you have a reason to be turned off. Move over ranch dressing and bacon bits!

What I love about salads is that there are NO RULES! (I think I need to make that a tagline, I use “no rules” often). Anyway, as far as I’m concerned everything but the kitchen sink can go in there. Leftover couscous? Toss it in. Leftover roasted tomatoes and asparagus? Toss that in to. Maybe NOT the leftover brownies.

Think about COLOR, TEXTURE and FLAVOR the way that I do and you’ll soon pile up a pretty good salad. Plus, it just happens to be National Nutrition Month, so celebrate with COLOR!

Now, there are a lot of ingredients listed here, but don’t get freaked out and panicked, you aren’t making a souffle (I have yet to tackle that one).  Plus, it probably took me way longer to write this post then it did to assemble the salad!

Don't think I missed a single ingredient!

By the way, did you miss my COLOR of HEALTH food photos on my facebook album last week?

Check it out HERE! and while you’re at it, LIKE IT!

RECIPE

“Cornucopia SPRING salad

topped with

Carrot Ginger Dressing and a Delicately Poached Egg”


Serves: As many as you like-I fed myself today.

Time: 20 mins for the roasting, 10-15 mins for the salad dressing

Equipment:

  • food processor
  • blender
  • saucepan with straight sides
  • cookie sheet with edges

Ingredients:

For the Roasted Veggies

  • 1 package, portobello mushroom halves (6 oz. I believe)
  • 1-bunch asparagus, trimmed (meaning, cut the ends off)
  • 1-2 teaspoons dried rosemary (optional)
  • olive oil (for drizzling-remember, GOOD STUFF)
  • sea salt to taste
  • fresh ground black pepper (to season)

Other Salad Add-Ins

  • 1 cup or just a pile of greens (your choice, I used a red and green Romaine mix)
  • 1 avocado (you will only use a as many slices as you wish)
  • 1-15 ounce can hearts of palm (1-2 for a single serving)
  • 1-15 ounce can artichoke hearts packed in water (2+ for a single serving)
  • 1/4 cup grape tomatoes

For the Poached Egg

  • 1 egg (or as many as you’re serving)
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar (I use Nakano rice vinegar)

For the Dresssing

  • 2 cups grated carrots (I’m obviously a fan)
  • 2 tablespoons grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons dark sesame oil (or alternative oil)
  • 2 tablespoons *tahini CLICK for another recipe using tahini(or more, I believe I wasn’t shy and added a third tablespoon-1/4 cup total)
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons tamari -I use Eden brand (or soy sauce)
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup water (you may need more if it’s too chunky)

Pre-Prep:

  1. Roast the asparagus and mushrooms the night before if you like, have with dinner and reserve some for the salad the next day as I did. Roast once and use twice!
  2. Grate the carrots using a food processor or by hand, set aside.
  3. You can poach the egg once you’ve assembled the salad and made the dressing

Make a nice little bed of asparagus and mushrooms

Methods:

Roasting the Asparagus and Mushrooms

Preheat Oven to 425 degrees F. Trim asparagus and place on a rimmed cookie sheet along with the mushrooms. Drizzle with olive oil (a tablespoons will do), sprinkle with salt, pepper and rosemary. Place in the oven. Roast for approximately 15-20 minutes. If you don’t want MUSHY asparagus, check after 15 minutes (you’ve been warned).

Remove from oven and let cool. (If making the night before, they will already be nice and cold).

Pulverized and ready for a dressing!

One sexy salad dressing! Fav ingredient? CARROTS

Meanwhile, Make the Carrot Ginger dressing:

NOTE: Save in the refrigerator for up to one week in an airtight container).

Take grated carrots and place in a blender, add all other ingredients and pulverize the carrot combo. What I did was added a tad bit more tahini as needed to make it creamier, you may also want to add a little more oil or water. The dressing is a little globby, it’s not going to drizzle over your salad, I spooned it on top. I like this, but by all means change it up! Remove from blender and clean your mess up later. Set aside.

The beauty of just a shell.

Poach the egg:

Ya know what? Check this out and you’ll be a poaching expert in no time!

Love Cookin Canuk’s blog and Dara is a sweetheart.

Fun ingredient? Hearts of Palm

Little flower like bundles of goodness! ARTICHOKE

Assemble the Salad:

Choose a pretty salad bowl, and start with your greens, top with some asparagus spears (I cut mine into smaller pieces), mushrooms, tomatoes, add a few avocado slices, and everything else! Top with a poached egg and drizzle the salad dressing (or glop it) on top. A little crushed pepper, a little sriracha (CLICK here for another recipe and info on this spicy condiment)on top of that poached egg and that’s one heck of a salad!

Cooks Tips:

  • You can pretty much add anything you want to a salad as far as I’m concerned.
  • I was going to roast some beets and try adding one to the carrot dressing, maybe next time!
  • The dressing can be used to top a nice baked piece of Halibut or other mild white fish!
  • I forgot to add the nuts. Just a little more texture. Next time!

Other Recipes using some ingredients here!

HAPPY NATIONAL ARTICHOKE HEART DAY!

SO, WHAT’S YOUR GO TO SALAD AND SALAD DRESSING?

HOW DO YOU ADD COLOR AND VARIETY TO YOUR SALAD?

AND WHILE WE’RE AT IT:

WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS SPRING?

ENJOY!

-Jen





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54 thoughts on “A Whopper of a SALAD!

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  3. I am currently studying to be a Dietician and your blog is so inspiring.

    Thanks for being awesome!

    I have thoroughly enjoyed looking at almost every single one of your posts today. Can’t wait to see more.

    • Hi Meg!
      I’ll take “awesome!” Ha! Congrats on being a future RD and I luv that I provide a bit of inspiration! That gives me nothing less then joy. You are so sweet to take the time to peruse through my blog, thanks for stopping by and the kind comments!

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  8. So Richard made this for me. He even went out shopping and got everything; except that he had another ‘how do I’ question every couple of minutes, so I had to help.

    This was a fantastic meal! I love the whole thing because:

    1) You reduced the amount of fat by basing the dressing on a puree of carrots.
    2) The combination of the sesame in the tahini and sesame oil and the ginger, sweetened by maple and soured by wine vinegar created a complex Asian flavor that immediately suggested many other places where I will be using it.
    3) I think that this is the first time I ever had hearts of palm and they were delicious
    4) Raw and roasted together
    5) – 10) Yum, yum and more yum.

    Thanks for helping make healthy eating so delicious.

    Linda

    • Hi Linda!
      I love that you tried this and that Richard made it for you and I love even more how thoughtful your response is! Oh and your description of the dressing is spot on! Hearts of palm are unique, aren’t they? Small little stalks with a pretty good flavor. I often pull them out of the can and snack on em. Thank you so much for your kind words and what a testimonial I just received! 😉 I am so happy that I made “heathy eating delicious!”.

  9. Thanks for the health inspiration.

    Here in northeastern NJ, the first bulbs are coming up behind the chain link fences of our neighbors’ little yards. It’s springtime and we’re going out for a walk. I’m going to make a salad for Linda today!

    • Richard I love that you’re going to make a salad for Linda! And first bulbs are perhaps one of the simple beauties in life, aren’t they? Enjoy the outdoors and soak in some Vitamin D. 😉 And always nice to see a fellow food photographer pop in!

    • Yeah, I swear I smell the ocean today it’s just so gorgeous out and the color of the flowers, well you can’t beat that for an instant mood lifter! Go take some pics! I’ve been eating asparagus daily and I really can’t get enough! Thanks for stopping by!

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