Create Your Own Salad
Create Your Own Salad is a 21st century phenomena that appeals to a lot of people who want to decide what ingredients they want in a salad. Not satisfied with the one salad fits all, fans of Create Your Own Salad are by nature people who know what they like and are not afraid to speak up.
When I do take out, I often look for a place where I can create my own salad but when I’m at restaurant, it’s often more difficult (I try not to be that pain-in-the-ass customer who drives servers crazy, at least not to the extent of Meg Ryan’s character, Sally Albright in the 1989 classic “When Harry Met Sally,” but have come close).
There are times when I really want a big huge salad with lots of different greens, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds but I don’t feel like ordering on line and driving to pick up my creation. Recently, when I had a lot of dental work done, I was unable to eat for nearly two days. When I finally left the dentist’s office the second day, I stopped on the way home at a great take out place and asked them to chop my Create Your Own Salad, which they kindly did. A few hours after devouring the salad, I wanted another one but I couldn’t muster the effort to go pick it up so I decided to create my own salad at home.
Creating a salad at home is actually easier than you think, especially if your refrigerator is stocked with seasonal fruits and vegetables. What I ended up creating was an all organic salad that had everything I needed to nourish my body and satisfy my craving for flavor and texture.
Be creative. Use whatever you have in the refrigerator and pantry. Steaming or roasting vegetables is something I do nearly every day. I snack on these vegetables throughout the day but there are often leftovers which I store in the refrigerator. These leftovers are excellent to use in a salad. You’ll be surprised what a great salad can be created in about 10 minutes.
Create Your Own Salad (makes 4 servings)
- 5-6 ounces of greens (kale, spinach, romaine, butter lettuce, etc)
- 2 cans of beans (kidney, chick pea, butter, cannellini, pinto, black)
- 1-2 stalks celery or carrots, or both, chopped
- 1 apple (Honey Crisp or Pink Lady are excellent), chopped
- 1/2 pint berries (blueberries, strawberries, blackberries)
- 2 cups vegetables (leftover steamed broccoli, roasted cauliflower, roasted sweet potato pieces, green beans, beets)
- Handful of chopped fresh leaf parsley
- 1 Haas avocado, optional
- 1/3 cup nuts (walnuts, pecans, cashews, pine nuts, pistachios, almonds, hazelnuts, etc) and/or seeds (pumpkin, sesame, sunflower, pumpkin, hemp)
Place the greens (or chop them first) in a large serving bowl.
Rinse and gently dry the beans and sprinkle over the greens.
Add the celery, carrots, apple pieces, berries (if using strawberries, chop them first into quarters), vegetables, and chopped fresh parsley.
Toss to blend all the ingredients.
Top the salad with chopped avocado.
Sprinkle the nuts and/or seeds on the top of the salad.
Serve immediately. Pass the dressing (a balsamic dressing is always delicious).