Where I live, we typically endure five months of winter (this year, harsh and unrelenting and over-the-edge-pushing winter), followed by what feels like two weeks of spring. At that point I am usually caught feeling unprepared to put away my parka (which most closely resembles a sleeping bag) and wear more revealing clothing.
That’s a whole lot of build-up to say that I’m trying to plan ahead this year by switching now from high calorie lasagna and cauliflower tart to lighter fare. And, just in time, Real Simple magazine has offered some suggestions for fancy salads which they more accurately call one-bowl meals.
The magazine shows five one-bowl meals, but makes the point that it’s “real simple” to get creative by mixing and matching from a starter list of healthy ingredients that includes grains, greens, proteins, vegetables and herbs, cheese, and “wild cards” like olives and nuts. Everything can be prepped in advance and combined later for a simple, fresh-tasting meal.
In case you are like me and have a sad history of not using greens before they turn slimy and foul (despite reading many times about how to avoid just that situation), here’s what is working for me: I wash and dry the greens as soon as I buy them and put them in an airtight container. That way they’re ready to use (no excuses!) and stay fresh for about five days.
Finding a good dressing has also been an obstacle to me eating more salad. Most bottled dressings have strange preservatives, including too much salt and/or sugar. Salad Girl dressings (made in my home state of Minnesota) taste good and have only recognizable ingredients, but I really just need to start making my own basic vinaigrette.
If you have a favorite homemade dressing recipe, please share it here!