I love a good salad

I love a good salad. I really do. Most people think salads are for dieters, but I think a crisp, clean, fresh salad is one of the most versatile meals you can make for yourself, and a great way to use up whatever you have.

Tonight, I had to use up bacon.

Oh yes. I know my mom’s jaw just dropped.

You see, we had a party this weekend (even though the kitchen isn’t totally finished), and long story short, I had some (organic) bacon left over. So I made this grilled cheese sandwich yesterday.

BA GC

BAGC

I may have grilled it in bacon fat drippings

But then I STILL had some bacon left….so I made this salad.

salad

I used fresh spinach and lettuce from my garden and made an herb vinaigrette (also from my garden). I also added strawberries I picked yesterday at a local farm.

BTW — If you haven’t been putting strawberries in your salads, you’ve been missing out.

I also added some yellow bell pepper, half an avocado, and a generous sprinkle of feta cheese.

avocado, yellow bell pepper, feta, strawberries

avocado, yellow bell pepper, feta, strawberries

And of course, some of that bacon I was talking about.

herb vinaigrette

Bacon and an herb vinaigrette

If you don’t make your own salad dressing, I highly recommend you start, like, immediately. It is insanely easy. And store-bought dressings are loaded with unnecessary sugars, cheap processed oils (that may be hydrogenated), and unnatural preservatives. Here’s a hint: If your vinaigrette doesn’t separate into oil and vinegar in the bottle, you don’t want to put that into your body.

I usually make just enough dressing for the salad I plan to eat, or if I’m also making a salad for lunch the next day I’ll make some extra. I usually make about 2 tablespoons for a large entree salad.

Basic Vinaigrette Dressing

  • 1 part vinegar (red wine, balsamic, white wine, rice wine, champagne, apple cider….any kind will do) or lemon juice
  • 2 parts extra virgin olive oil*
  • salt and pepper
  • any fresh herbs or spices that strike your fancy (start small and add more to taste) (Today I used a bit of chopped parsley, basil, and mint from my garden)
  • optional: 1/2 part Dijon mustard; 1/2 part honey; 1 part chia seeds
  1. Combine all ingredients into a small container with an airtight lid. Shake the bajeezus out of it. Taste, adjust seasonings, and serve over your favorite salad.
*Often, dressing recipes call for a 1:3 vinegar:oil ratio. But I prefer a 1:2. I really don’t care what ratio you use, as long as you make it yourself!
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2 comments

  1. I hardly ever buy balsamic vinaigrette anymore. It’s so easy to whip up just before serving a salad it’s ridiculous! I don’t even have to measure it anymore, just eyeball it in a small mason jar (for easy mixing). And I usually make it with a little oregano, but I bet basil would be heaven! Mom used to make a homemade ranch that was divine (honestly, though, I can’t remember if it was from scratch or not…). I think that will be my next dressing venture: a good buttermilk ranch.

  2. […] Much of the book focuses, not surprisingly, on the plight of children, who are becoming obese at rates faster than the older generations. They don’t set the rules about food, and they probably can’t tell their parents they want salad instead of pizza (I mean, really, what kid loves salad?) […]

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