21 August, 2009

Salad Bar is What's cooking!

We love salads at our house!

Always have.

always will!

My favorite dinner, especially in the heat of the summer is . . .
you guessed it, to make a salad bar for dinner.

#1 -I start out with a bed of lettuce and spinach.
Swiss chard is also good to add. Arugula a.k.a. Rocket is one of my favorite spicy greens.

#2 -Then come the toppings.
This is the best part for the girls and the engineer because they get to choose exactly what goes on their dinner plate.

Toppings can include but are not limited to:

veggies -

diced beets
diced bell peppers
purple onions - sliced thin
green onions
shredded carrots
cherry tomatoes
raw or sauteed zucchini
caramelized white or purple onions


dried cranberries
fresh pineapples
sliced strawberries
mandarin oranges


black beans
kidney beans
white beans
pinto beans
sunflower seeds
slivered almonds
sun dried tomatoes
artichoke hearts
roasted bell peppers (coop sells a jar of fabulous ones)
Spanish rice
crushed tortilla chips

You get the idea, the options are practically endless. Whatever is in my fridge that I think someone might eat on a salad, it goes in the salad bar.

#3 -Then the dressing arrives.

My first post of this blog was my favorite two dressing recipes, well, hate to tell you but the ranch has been replaced with a new dressing. Yep, a new dressing recipe.

I found the recipe in finecooking.com magazine. It was included with a recipe for a cobb salad with fresh herbs. I have never tried the cobb part of the recipe but Miss M and I could eat my version of the dressing with a spoon. I have altered their recipe a bit, they call it vinaigrette -
here is my version, I call it . . .

Miss M's Lemon Mustard Dressing

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
zest & juice from 1 large lemon - about 1/4 juice
1 T. agave syrup
2 cloves minced garlic
2 t. Dijon mustard
1/2 t. sea salt
1/4 t. pepper

Put all ingredients in a bowl and blend with the stick blender until combined and creamy. Season to taste. Drizzle lightly over salad and enjoy.

* Cook's Note - the engineer did not like this dressing plain but LOVES it on a salad - it is a tad bit strong alone.

Since I was measuring and all today, I decided to measure my brown dressing recipe and write it down WITH measurements also, here it is;

Miss L's brown dressing recipe

6 oz. EVOO
4 oz. Balsamic Vinegar
2 oz. water
1 T. 21 Seasoning Salute (Trader Joe's) Trocomare would work as well, any seasoning blend that you like will work great.
1 T. Agave Syrup or Honey
1/2 t. sea salt (omit this if your seasoning blend has salt)

Put all ingredients into a bowl and blend with the stick blender. Season to taste. That stick blender is amazing and makes all my dressings so smooth and creamy. This dressing is also great to dip pizza crusts or breadsticks in or drizzle over plain WW pasta.

** Both salad dressings are good in the fridge for at least two weeks. After that amount of time the quantities are running low anyways and it is time for another batch to be made.

Än Guetä! - Jenna

update: sweetener added to Miss L's recipe - sorry that was omitted!


Julie Ramsay said...

Wow! Can I come live at your house? I just watched bridget jones the edge of reason and that reminds of: always have, always will!:)

iamwoman said...

I will be making that dressing.. right. now.

pleased to announce that I just happen to have agave syrup on hand...

you are my salad hero.

likeschocolate said...

What a great idea!

The Voracious Vegan said...

Ooooh this post is SO awesome! I have been on a major salad kick lately, I just can't get enough. A salad bar would be a great idea, and a lot of fun, too!

About the vegan cheese, in Europe I'm sure you will have plenty of options! Tofutti is always good, and it is the only vegan cheese we get here so I'm more than happy to make due.