Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Rainbow Salad with Homemade Italian Dressing

This summer I've been on a little hiatus from the blog while I figure out some diet and lifestyle changes. The biggest thing that needed change was my cooking and baking. I had to reinvent some of my methods and conquer my cravings. With the support of a health coach, I've been able to make some positive progress and feel much better and lighter (down 16 lbs. so far!) I started the health program in early June and for the summer have been trying all sorts of new foods and reinventing old ones. I've learned vegetables, a protein, and healthy fat are essential elements of a balanced meal. Less about the food group concept that I was raised on. I am learning so much. Throughout the program, this salad has been my go-to meal. I have to thank The Faux Martha for the dressing recipe which she modified from the Brown Eyed Baker. I modified it further to leave out the parmesan cheese, since my husband can't do the dairy. Plus I am adamant (rigid/OCD) about the type of vinegar, how much honey, and the variety of garlic. I want the dressing to come out the same every time because it's so darn good. Then just drizzle it on a big plate of greens with all the beautiful color of veggies, and your choice of a good protein. I seriously have to fight the urge to lick the plate. Seriously. You will never buy store bought dressing again.

Rainbow Salad with Homemade Italian Dressing 
(serves 1 a big meal or 2 for side dish)

Italian Dressing
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 c. red wine vinegar (Pompeii Pomegranate Red Wine Vinegar)
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 large clove garlic, or two small (I use Persian Star from my local farmer's market)
1 T. raw wildflower or orange blossom honey
1 tsp. fresh cracked pepper, more to taste if that's your thing

I put all the ingredients in my Ninja Bullet blender and puree the daylights out of it. I almost always double the recipe so it fits well in the Ninja travel cup. I transfer to a mason jar with a plastic screw top lid and rinse out the Ninja cup and blades so your next blueberry smoothie doesn't have a hint of garlic aroma to it. (Metal lids get funky when you have to shake the dressing prior to serving.)

3 cups mixed lettuce, baby romaine or herb mix from Earth Bound Organics
6 cherry or grape tomatoes
4 mini sweet peppers
1 mini cucumber, cut in chunks
2 T sunflower seeds
4 oz grilled chicken or 2 hard boiled eggs or both

Toss together and drizzle with dressing. Optional add crumbled feta.

Now. Excuse me while I wipe the drool off my chin and go eat this salad right now.