Remember how I said last post that I rarely can convince myself that salad is a meal? You do? Well, dear readers, congratulations on paying attention to me better than I do. Frequently when I go to the grocery store, I convince myself that this is the day I’m going to discover my love for salad. This is the day I’m going to become one of these women. And people, as foolish as this is, it’s a noble goal. A good salad does taste delicious. Salad is light and refreshing and oh so good for you. And I tell myself this repeatedly in my local Safeway, and come home with this:
What that is is a mix of bagged baby greens and bagged baby arugula. I am really fond of arugula, it adds a nice spiciness to a salad. It’s also a fun replacement for spinach if you want something with a little more zing. But the problem with that bowl above is that it just isn’t satisfying. It’s kind of dry. And kind of bland. And also, I’m sure I saw something, anything else in the kitchen that would make a better meal . . .
But the other tricky thing about salad, of course is that it goes bad. Surprisingly quickly. And it ain’t cheap. So I’ve made a rule about not throwing out produce that I buy because of forgetting to eat it, which meant that for lunch yesterday I was engaged in a staring match with the rapidly wilting remains of some bagged salad.
So I turned to the handy-dandy internet and I found this recipe. I didn’t quite follow it to the letter, but it gave me the boost I needed to turn my boring bowl of greenery into an appetizing looking meal.
I took some balsamic vinegar and some greek yogurt that I had on hand and mixed them together until I was satisfied with the consistency. (A note: I highly recommend keeping plain greek yogurt around in your kitchen. It’s perishable, but not very, and you can eat it straight with fruit, nuts, or (my favorite) chocolate chips, and it’s also a great replacement for mayo in a lot of things. There’s a ton of recipes for using it (it’s having a moment), and it’s chock full of protein!) The recipe called for honey and some mustard, but all I had was honey mustard, so in that went.
I actually completely left out the olive oil and the soy sauce. I didn’t have soy sauce on hand and I just plain forgot about the olive oil. Honestly, I didn’t miss it, it’s mostly if you want your dressing a little less yogurty.
I took a taste, and it honestly wasn’t bad, but a little plain. So I added a sprinkle of salt and. . .
Delicious dressing. So the next step was to give the salad a little more interest. This led me to my super-awesome stash of dried fruits and nuts. I love trail mix, but I hate purchasing trail mix. It’s crazy expensive and you reach in one day and realize all you have are super salty peanuts, off brand m&ms, and raisins. Blech. So I buy dried fruit and nuts (and chocolate chips) separately and make my own little mini bags of mix whenever I have a hankering (I’ll post about it someday!) I had dried cranberries and dried strawberries (which might be my favorite thing of all time) so I added a handful of each. I’m a big fan of fruit on a salad, and dried fruit works just as well! Then I tossed on some walnuts for good measure.
I added the dressing, and enjoyed some salad! I have to say this turned out to be super delicious and super super easy.
You’ll notice I didn’t bother with amounts here. I felt like this was kind of a “make as much as you want” type of recipe, and the amount of each ingredient you use is kind of up to you. Do you want it really creamy? Really vinegary? Really sweet? The world is your salad dressing; make up the proportions as you go! And then take a picture to send to your mom, because you’ve just had a very healthy lunch!