…Asking it to be nachos. Or more like tacos. But in all seriousness, I actually really enjoy salads! They are so yummy and can be so versatile. My biggest struggle with salads used to come down to what to put on it. You spend all this time washing, cutting, and prepping your organic leafy greens and vegetables and then potentially ruin all that hard work (and healthy meal) by using a salad dressing full of hydrogenated oils, sugars, thickening agents, preservatives, and emulsifiers. Using a readymade salad dressing may seem more convenient than whipping up your own dressing, but making your own is actually really easy (recipe below!).
My other battle was more about taste than the convenience factor. When I first started my journey into the world of dark leafy greens, it was a ‘bitter’ experience to say the least. Definitely an acquired taste, but I promise you with time your taste buds will adjust and you will truly love kale, chard, and the like. But until then, here are a few tricks plus my most basic salad dressing to get you started!
First trick, make sure to massage your rougher greens (read more about that here). Second, I find cutting the greens very fine really helps. These greens are harder to chew through, so when they are chopped finally and massaged, they can absorb more flavor and provide a nicer eating experience. Third, try adding half an apple or some kind of fruit, avocado, nuts, etc to help bring some sweet and creamy flavors to complement the bitterness of the greens. Fourth, make your own yummy dressing to top it off. It’s so easy and you can get so creative.
For my first salad dressing recipe we will start with a basic champagne vinaigrette
Start with a bowl or blender
- Champagne Vinegar
- Dijon mustard (my favorite is the white wine Dijon from traders just $1.99)
- Organic E.V.O.O.
- Sea salt & pepper
- Liquid sweetener of choice i.e. agave, maple syrup, etc.
- Lemon- (optional)
Using a bowl-
Pour in champagne vinegar into bowl, add ½-1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (preference), sweetener of preference start with 1 tsp and adjust to taste, salt & pepper, if you wish to use lemon, add juice of ½-1 lemon. Then whisk all ingredients together. Stick finger in and do taste test to make sure it tastes balanced and to your preference (i.e. salt, sweetener, lemon, etc). If so, then start whisking again, it will create a funnel in the center of bowl, start pouring E.V.O.O. into the center where it’s funneling, about 1-3 tablespoons depending on preference. From there, use immediately or put into mason jar and shake vigorously, the more you shake, the more it will emulsify and get creamy/help not separate as quickly. Can store in fridge up to 1-2 weeks.
Using a vita mix or blender-
Same idea as bowl- add all ingredients, minus the oil. Always start with your acids, so in this case your vinegar and lemon if using, then start your blender or slow, on variable and 1 or 2 if using a vitamix, you just want a funnel happening with liquids but not fast. You can go up a bit to blend everything, but make sure to bring it back down to a nice slow funnel before adding the oil. Once you add the oil you can continue to keep on a low to medium blend for 5-10 min if you prefer. The more you keep it blending the more the fats will emulsify and create a creamier dressing and will take longer for oil to separate from other ingredients. Just re-shake if dressing separates. Can keep in fridge 1-2 weeks.