Sometimes life calls for a big, nourishing salad. Whether you’re out of ideas of what to make for dinner, or looking to eat lighter, or, in my case, looking to clean out your fridge and pantry…a salad comes in as an easy, effortless meal. Sometimes the greatest ideas come out of ingredients you have just laying around. I usually never eat cruciferous vegetables in the raw, (1. they can be difficult to digest and absorb and 2. we live 6 months of the year in an arctic tundra where warmth is more desired than more cold!), but I saw an idea for a brussels sprout salad and decided to expand my horizons.
Salads like this are a great platform for building and expanding a meal how you like. Keep it simple and light for a side, or add shredded cheese, hard boiled eggs, a piece of salmon or chicken to make it more of the main meal.
Eating healthy doesn’t have to take all of your time and effort. Here are 5 easy tricks to sneak into your diet, and believe me, you’ll want to keep them there for good!
You perhaps may be one of many who have made the resolution to eat healthier for the New Year, and salads are a great way to do so. With best intentions, you could unknowingly be hampering your efforts by using store bought dressing. Why? Most commercial salad dressings contain plenty of unnecessary and unneeded ingredients which can be harming to your health. Here are just a few common ingredients and why you should avoid them:
Poor quality oils: The bulk of oils used in most commercial salad dressings are coming from genetically engineered canola or soy, and have been processed and refined to the point of turning them into unhealthy fats.
White sugar or high fructose corn syrup: imbalances blood sugar levels, depletes nutrients in the body and encourages weight gain. We don’t need the extra sugar!
Chemicals, preservatives, and artificial flavorings: The list is too long to mention here, but do we really need titanium dioxide or xantham gum in our lovely greens? Even in small amounts these chemicals have shown to be detrimental to health.
That’s not to say that there are not some decent organic dressings on the shelves, but even so you can’t beat homemade. Here are a few simple recipes for homemade dressings to get you started.
Everyone needs that one ‘go-to’ recipe to make a fast and delicious salad on the fly. This is mine. It’s a recipe that my French mother-in-law handed down to me, it is a typical French Vinaigrette. The first time I went to France, I fell in love with having a salad at the end of each meal because of this dressing. It cleansed the palate and ended the meal on a light, fresh note.
I have a tendency to become obsessed with certain foods. When I discovered the Irish Kerrygold butter you would have thought I won the lottery, so much joy from such a simple thing! A year later, Kerrygold and I are still going strong. But anchovy’s are my “it” food right now. Not only are they packed with healthy Omega-3 fats, they add a subtle yet powerful flavor to anything you add it to. They are wonderful in salads, I love this simply with romaine and shaved parmesan cheese.
This dressing is indispensable. Keep in fridge for the week to drizzle on romaine for a cleaner Caeser dressing, or drizzle on sautéed greens or grilled meats.
Stephane is making his debut on the blog today bringing us a classic French recipe, beef bourguignon. He tells me that it’s called bourguignon because of the Burgundy wine that it is traditionally cooked with. Once considered a peasant meal because of the method of tenderizing otherwise tough meat in red wine, it has become a staple of French cuisine. As Julia Child puts it, “certainly one of the most delicious beef dishes concocted by man”. Voila, enough said.
One of the many things I’ve learned from Stephane in regards to French cuisine, (and all cuisine for that matter) is that the method in which you cook is the single most important thing you do to ensure your dish comes out well. Like browning the meat before roasting, or properly deglazing a sautée pan, or how to chop, mince, and carve your ingredients according to the dish you are preparing. All basic steps, but oh so important. And this dish is no exception. The steps are all laid out for you in the recipe card below.