Salad for Dinner

I’m a seasonal eater. I like fruit and veg in season…they just taste better.  I also like eating cold things when it’s hot and hot things when it’s cold. I could live off soup during cool weather and when it starts getting warm, just give me salad.  I also find both a way to eat healthy, be budget conscious, and clear out whatever I need to in the fridge.

Thus the salad kick I’ve been on recently. The gorgeous heads of lettuce I’ve been finding at the farmers market and in my backyard garden have also helped fuel the abundance green on my table.

Here are a few of the salad we’ve been binging on recently:

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Turkey chopped salad. Provolone, tomato, cucumber, avocado, bacon, chopped turkey, with a white wine vinaigrette (white wine, EVOO, dijon, S&P). I made a sandwich with these same ingredients (turkey, lettuce, tomato, provolone, bacon and a drizzle of the vinaigrette) between two slices of thick whole wheat bread. These both were inspired by a trip (or three) to Kaldi’s coffee shop on are recent trip back home.  After going 3 times to have either the salad or the sandwich, I figured I better make an attempt at home.  They were a hit with everyone and now both are in permanent rotation thanks to their ease and tastiness.

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BBQ chicken salad. Lettuce (red leaf), corn, black beans, avocado, tomato, Colby Jack cheese, bacon, chopped chicken, and drizzles of bbq sauce and ranch dressing.  We buy a pint of ranch from Jim ‘N Nicks if we are in the area to use for salads, and veggies and dip.  Should I make my own…probably, but there’s is so good!  Most restaurants will sell you a container of their dressing, if you ask.

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Fried chicken salad. Butter lettuce, cheddar, corn, broccoli, tomato, hard boiled egg, carrot.  Basically whatever veg I have laying around, I throw in this.  I serve it with Bell and Evans gluten free chicken strips.  Two boxes for my family. (!).  Despite my best efforts, I have one kids whose favorite meal is still chicken fingers and fries.  He feels like this meal is a win because he gets chicken fingers, I feel like it’s a win because he has to eat salad with his chicken fingers. This is a pretty quick and easy meal to get on the table, and one that everyone likes…win!

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Steak salad.  I am paranoid about not having enough food for guests, so I always make an abundance.  The weekend we had friends over for flank steak (marinated in balsamic, soy sauce, worstechire sauce, garlic, and salt and pepper for 8 hours) was no exception.  Leftover steak being a perfect salad topping, that was where it headed.  I chopped it to make it easier to serve the kids, but strips would have been prettier.  Underneath it is cucumber, tomato, broccoli, carrots and red leaf butter lettuce.  I made Ina Garten’s green goddess salad dressing to go with it.

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This was just a simple salad for lunch one afternoon when I actually had a moment to make something.  Plus I was trying to savor my last few moments of silence before school was out, and a nice salad and book seemed like the perfect thing to do just that.  This was red leaf butter lettuce with shredded carrot, cucumber, chopped dill havarti cheese, and served with green goddess dressing.  This would also make a great side salad for dinner, or you could add some grilled chicken to make it an entree in itself!

Hopefully one of these will give you some inspiration to grab a head of lettuce, clear out your fridge and get a salad on the table!