Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Veggie Salad with Very Easy Vinaigrette

This is my new go-to salad for lunch, breakfast, dinner, and snack time. I now understand how Jennifer Aniston could eat the same salad every day for 10 years. This thing is gooooood! I've literally made it for an entire month now and haven't tired of it. I up the veggies on it so that it's extra crunchy and sometimes add a protein to the top like turkey or chicken. Just whatever I'm in the mood for that day.

I also recently made this for a big family gathering at my house. It's easy and awesome - the perfect combo. These recipes are both taken from The Garden of Eating by Rachel Albert-Matesz. I use her book for a lot of recipes. Not only is the food in it amazing, but her instructions are very detailed and full of facts and the first section of the book is designed to teach you all about foods and health. Very
creative! Here's my simplified version of her recipe.

Spinach Salad with Parboiled Broccoli, Cauliflower & Carrots
1 - 1 1/2 quarts filtered water plus 1/4 tsp unrefined sea salt
6 cups spinach, torn into bite size pieces
1/2 large red onion, cut into thin half-moon slices (1 cup)
2 small to medium carrots, cut into thin coin-like rounds (2 cups)
2 1/2 to 3 cups broccoli, cut into bite sized florets (You can also peel the stems for better digestion)
2 1/2 - 3 cups cauliflower, cut into bite sized florets

Wash and chop all veggies and arrange them separately. Put the spinach in a 3 - 4 quart serving bowl. Fill another bowl with ice water.

Boil water in a 2 quart saucepan over high heat. Parboil veggie separately, but in the same water, in this order:
onions - 1 minute
carrots - 1 to 2 minutes
broccoli - 2 to 3 minutes (broccoli will turn bright green when ready)
cauliflower - 2 to 3 minutes

After cooking each one remove with a skimmer and plunge into ice water. Remove from cold water, drain, and squeeze to get out extra moisture. Be sure to add more ice to the bowl as needed.

Once all veggies are cooked, cooled, and dried off, arrange them over the spinach and mix it up.

Very Easy Italian Vinaigrette
1/4 cup balsamic
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 large garlic clove, minced or presses equalling about 1/2 - 1 tsp
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp of each, dried and crumbled: basil, oregano, and thyme or rosemary
1/4 finely ground, unrefined sea salt
1 tbsp warm water

Combine Ingredients except warm water, in blender. Cover and blend. With machine running, add the water.

Taste and adjust as needed. Pour 1/2 of the finale dressing over the salad and save the rest for up to two weeks for your next salad. Or, throw it all on to give it more flavor. If you add extra veggies like I do the bonus dressing will benefit it.

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