Sweet and Sassy Salad

Courtesy Microsoft Word Clip ArtThis Tuesday Tip is a recipe for a very flexible, sweet and sassy salad!

Yes, you read that right — Salad. I know I’ve avowed my aversion to the stuff in various posts, but this is one salad recipe that I love and will actually eat without much complaint. For those of you in the New York area, you may have seen something similar in Cosi, one of the chain sandwich shops. Nordstrom’s also makes a similar salad in their store cafe.

Why is it so tasty? Well, it’s got the sweet thing going, but also, you can mix and match any of a number of ingredients to make it just the way you want it. So, I’ll give you some of the variations and let you decide how to personalize.

Sweet and Sassy Salad

2 to 3 cups of greens (you can use romaine, red leaf lettuce, mesclun greens, arugula, spinach. I like it best with the mesclun greens. Definitely avoid the iceberg lettuce route)

1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese (you can also substitute blue cheese which is my favorite yum)

1/2 of a Ripe pear cubed (a nice crisp apple will also work)(if you like it sweet, use the whole fruit!)

1/2 of a tomato, cubed

Handful of dried cranberries (or raisins or currants)

Handful of pecans, chopped (or walnuts)

Handful of chopped scallions (but not onions unless you’re doing a mild Vidalia or Maui onion)

Put all of the above in a bowl and toss with a low fat balsamic vinegarette or another mild salad dressing. You don’t want to use a strongly flavored salad dressing because that will interfere/clash with the more delicate flavors of the fruits and cheeses. This salad is so flavorful, you may want to try it with just a hint of vinegar sans oil or even a citrus vinegarette.

A tip for chopping the nuts without having them go flying all around the counter — stick them in a sandwich bag, put them on the chopping board and with the back of your knife, just give them a few whacks. I guess you’re actually crushing them, but the nuts will break into the pieces and then you just empty the bag onto your salad!

Voila! A sweet and sassy salad that has a combo of things that are sure to keep you satisfied for a while, namely, some proteins, fats and carbs. One big dieting mistake is to just have plain ol’ salad with dressing and while the volume of the salad will fill you up, without any proteins/fats/carbs to sustain your energy levels, you are just asking for a major energy crash that will make you have hunger pangs.