When my first daughter was 2, we were sitting in the Dr’s office waiting to get an ultrasound for #2. Someone was making small talk with her and asked her what her favorite food was. She naturally replied, “salad.” It may have been the happiest day of my life, or my most proud moment as a Mother thus far. But either way, the apple DEFINITELY did not all far!!
I used to bring salads home from work every night and then share them with her in the morning for breakfast. She would ask for it when she woke up and honestly, I couldn’t get thru a shift without ordering one. My favorite was the Chopped Salad. Chopped super small so I could eat it with a spoon. Which I typically did. And maybe why my one-and-a-half year old loved it so much…it was easy to eat. The salad had a mess of stuff in it. 4 different lettuces, 4 more different veggies, Parmesan cheese and this BOMB dressing that was SUPER tangy. I think that is the thing about salads that I love most. The dressing. And for me, the tangier, the better. I LOVE vinegar!!! I actually have been making my own dressing for so long because most dressings don’t have enough in my opinion. This particular dressing was perfect!
When I didn’t wait tables at night, she would help me put together our own salads at home. We would use whatever was there! Sometimes meat, sometimes not. Sometime cheese, sometimes not. Seeds, nuts, avocado, fruit, WHATEVER!!! And THAT is the joy of salads. You can create ANYTHING you want and sometimes they aren’t the best, but you are getting a ton of nutrients, so no loss really.
This all veggie salad happened when I signed up to bring a side dish to a party. I didn’t plan very well and found a bunch of random veggies and and then realized I had no lettuce, only a little spinach. So I went with it. Who says a salad needs lettuce anyways!? So here is what I threw together…
SUPER Chopped Vegetable Salad
1c baby spinach finely chopped
1c chopped cauliflower
1c chopped grape tomatoes
1/2c chopped black olives
1/2c chopped radishes
1/2c chopped jicama
1c chopped sugar snap peas
1c chopped bell peppers (I used tri-colored)
1c feta cheese (optional)
1/2 c olive oil
1/4 c red wine vinegar
1/4 c lemon juice
1T dijon vinegar
1t fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, tarragon, basil, whatever you like)
salt and pepper to taste
**for creamy dressing, blend all ingredients, except oil in blender with 2 egg yolks and then stream in oil as you blend.