Something simple is sometimes the best

Sometimes a quick and easy salad is a perfect side dish, or even a main course. I try to keep a variety of greens on hand. I always have bags of baby spinach (we use three 9 ounce bags a week just as ingredients in our smoothies.) Aldi also has bags of what they call “Spring Mix Lettuces” but I always think it looks like someone just got done weeding a garden. (I don’t know what the leaves are, but it makes for a nice salad, and always tastes great.)

I like to slice a few cherry tomatoes on top. If I have some berries, I will add a quarter cup (this time it was blueberries.)  I also like to add a tablespoon of cheese. Sometimes cheddar, sometimes mozzarella, sometimes a bleu, but the cheese helps to balance the acidity of the berries.

My vinaigrette is simple, and will also vary according to my whim, but it follows the same basic recipe:

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Teaspoon vinegar (I like balsamic, but I will also use red wine, malt or cider)
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon sweetener
Black pepper
1/4 tsp dried herbs (and as noted before, I like to use the salt-free blends from Penzeys.com.  This time I used their Mural of Flavor.)

Mix together. The mustard helps the oil and vinegar to combine without separating as quickly.

When I make my salad a main course, I add some smoked salmon, grilled shrimp, diced grilled chicken, or some leftover steak (about 4 ounces of each protein choice.) Another option is to add the vinaigrette to a can of tuna (drained), mix together, and top the salad with the tuna.

If you want to be vegetarian, slice a hard boiled egg on it and add an ounce of walnuts. If your personal diet choices allow it, a piece of hearty whole wheat or rye bread goes very well. 

Eating healthy can be interesting and exciting. You simply need to keep some basics on hand so that you will be able to make the foods that you want.

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