Anyway, back to the subject at hand... salads. I make boring salads. Lettuce (romaine), tomato, carrot and celery with maybe some hard-boiled egg, some shredded chicken or sunflower seeds sprinkled on top. I love looking at beautiful salads. Check out this link and you will see 35 beautiful salad ideas from Southern Living. I look at them but I wonder... how does all that stuff taste jumbled up together like that? I've even been reading over Auntie Leila's salad post and realizing that is a standard I aspire to but need to work my way up to. You know... baby steps. Taco salads are about as fancy as I get.
Here's my biggest problem besides not being adventurous enough... the dressing has to be on the side. Why? Because none of my children like salad dressing of any kind. Trust me... we've tried them all. Raspberry vinaigrette, thousand islands, blue cheese, ranch, oil and vinegar. Nothing. They like their salads plain and dry. And to complicate things even more... ever since I had an ulcer in college, I can't tolerate vinegars in my salad dressings or even in sauces like BBQ sauce. Balsamic is the worst.
So... that's my salad predicament. I'd like to try some salads with variety. Any advice? Suggestions? Recipes? Thanks!
What a predicament! My only suggestion -- stick to fruit salads. ;)ReplyDelete
Seriously, eating veggie salads without any dressing is healthier for you so just follow the kids' lead and remember St. Bernadette at the Grotto eating the vegetation. Praying for cooler weather for you all.
Sunshine is the queen of the fruit salads but she usually makes those for everyone for lunch.Delete
I don't serve salads like Leila's because the menfolk would be complaining of starvation! But I love the concept! I make taco salads and use salsa and sour cream on mine. If your meat is moist, you don't really need dressing. Tonight we had Barbara's (Praying for Grace) Spicy Asian Lettuce wraps, which I just shortcut and put on top of lettuce. Easy peasy!ReplyDelete
You are right. When I do make taco salad even the grownups very rarely use dressing because, like you said, the meat is moist. Might have to try Barbara's lettuce wraps!Delete
I'm also on a salad quest this summer as well. My salads are not overtly appealing to the younger crowd but my daughter in law has been eating salads nightly while my son adds lots of meat to his.ReplyDelete
"Add lots of meat" would definitely appeal to my 14 year old boy!Delete
I beg to differ on anonymous' claim that salads without dressing are healthier. Many of the necessary vitamins in green vegetables are fat soluble (which is why vegetables with butter, oil, or cheese taste so good. Our bodies are telling us this is something we need.) So if you aren't going to use a traditional salad dressing you should make sure your salad includes some other form of fat: cheese, nuts, avocado slices, olives, meat. Otherwise your body won't be able to absorb all those lovely nutrients.ReplyDelete
My salads tend to be kind of boring too. I get into a rut and need to kick myself out of it. I've been experimenting with various things I can throw in with the usual ingredients you list. My favorite add-ons for salad recently have been sliced red bell peppers, sliced radishes (they add a wonderful crunch a a bit of spiciness too), cucumbers, snap peas, roasted beets (not canned beets or pickled beets but fresh beets that are coated in olive oil and roasted in the oven until they are soft), olives, pepperoncini, roasted bell peppers, ham, cheeses of all kinds, grilled meats, artichoke hearts.
I love green salads with fruits and nuts. Toss on some fresh blueberries or strawberries or apple slices or dried cranberries. Add some sunflower seeds or sliced almonds or mmmm roasted pecans (especially if you roast them with a bit of sugar and some cinnamon and a pinch of cayenne). My husband, however, hates fruit in his salad. So I usually put it on the side and add it to my plate at the table.
Charlotte, if you can't do vinegars is lemon juice also too acidic? I adore lemon based dressings. There's one salad I discovered last year that is arugula and Kalamata olives with fresh Parmesan curls and a lemon and oil dressing.
For a while I was making green salads with cottage cheese on top. Sprinkle the cheese with a bit of cayenne pepper and oh yum it just sings.
Suddenly I want a salad.
I agree with you Melanie about needing some fat to fully digest the greens. Maybe I should start trying one or two new things to top our regular salads with before I try some really crazy combination of unfamiliar stuff. Sunshine made one of my typical green salads last night and I had her set out some sunflower seeds for the kids to sprinkle on. The Professor told her his second helping "Thanks! That was a really great salad!"Delete
can you tolerate lemon instead of vinegar? We dress our salads with olive oil, lemon (or vinegar) and salt...so refreshing with the lemon.ReplyDelete
We like rughetta and thin slices of grilled beef, very thin (shaved)parmesan and onion with the lemon/oil/salt dressing. Nice, cool, filling.
I've never tried lemon in a salad dressing. I drink lemonade so I guess I can tolerate lemon. Can you tell me what the ratio would be for a lemon/oil dressing? Thanks!Delete
Don't think that just because the recipe says to toss the salad with the dressing that you can't just put the dry salad and the bottle/boat of dressing on the table and let whoever wants dressing to put it on their salad.ReplyDelete
As far as the lemon juice goes, start with 1/4 to 1/3 of the amount of vinegar in a vinaigrette and then adjust it to your taste so that the dressing doesn't taste too sour or too oily.
This is also a favorite in our house:ReplyDelete
Traditional greek salad
sliced (english) cucumber
green bell pepper cut into 1" pieces (we use other colors, too)
several roma or heirloom tomatoes cut into wedges
part of a red onion, cut into 1" pieces
kalamata olives, pitted
feta cheese, cut into cubes
a nice sprinkling of oregano
extra virgin olive oil
red wine vinegar (which you can replace with lemon)
this is so delicious! We eat it a few times a month, and love it with warm, crusty bread. If you want to make it go farther, you can put some lettuce in it, but this is how we used to get salads in Greece - and I guess they are on to something with that mediterranean diet!! Don't forget some crisp white wine!
I started making a salad like this after my husband returned from his Kosovo deployment. He ate this type of salad throughout Kosovo, Greece and Bulgaria and loved it. I usually saute a thin white fish filet sprinkled with salt and pepper and serve this cold salad on top of the hot fish. Yummy. And the recipe calls for lemon juice instead of vinegar (as you suggest). Charlotte, I try to grill/broil chicken breast once a week and I make a bunch. Leftovers get put in salads, generously, and my husband takes that to work. He doesn't prefer dressing either, but between the meat and the cheese I usually add, it tastes just fine.Delete
Poppy seed dressing is simply wonderful!ReplyDelete
Try looking at some of the recipes at The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen (scroll down for salads): http://www.nourishingmeals.com/p/recipe-index.html. Some of their recipes are good and some have been not so great but I think that's more because of my taste (and lack of taste!). I can verify that the Green Apple dressing is very good and does not use vinegar or lemon juice! Some of the recipes use vinegar but I think you'll be surprised at how many do not. Best of luck!ReplyDelete
One other link that may be worth looking at: http://www.dailybitesblog.com/2012/07/03/101-summer-salads/ReplyDelete
I still have to scroll through these so I'm not positive on the dressings but it could be inspirational!