Monday, June 18, 2012

DIY Cooking Basics: Balsamic Vinegrette

For a quick, easy & healthy dinner, nothing beats a salad. As the heat begins to turn up in summer, this is especially true! It seems like everyone is looking for something light and refreshing, full of the bounty of colorful seasonal produce that is peaking this time of year. It also doesn't hurt that salads typically require very little (if any) actual cooking!  

One of the ways that a beautiful, fresh salad can be ruined the fastest is by having someone drown the whole thing in a processed, store bought dressing. They are typically full of preservatives, additives, excess sodium and sugar. The flavor often leaves a lot to be desired as well. Making your own dressing is simple, inexpensive and just about guarantees a rave review!

My Favorite Summer Salad: Strawberry Grilled Chicken Salad!

  • Bed of mixed baby greens or baby spinach leaves
  • grilled chicken breasts, chopped
  • crumbled feta
  • candied walnuts (in the popcorn or baking aisle)
  • sliced, hulled fresh strawberries
  • Homemade balsamic vinegrette (see recipe below)

Balsamic Vinegrette  (per person, multiply as necessary)
  • 1 Tbs (15g) light flavored Olive or Canola Oil
  • 1 Tbs (15g) balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp (5g) dijon mustard
  • 1/2 Tbs (10g) honey (if you like tangy, reduce or skip this)

  • If you have a food scale, put 16 oz measuring cup on scale and zero out. Add each ingredient by weight, zero between items.
    • If no scale, use volume measurements. Add all ingredients
  • Whisk & serve immediately
  • Extra can be stored in closed container in refrigerator. Use within week. Shake before using!

A Few Other Salad Ideas To Try:
  • Mexican: Romaine, grilled corn, black beans, cotija cheese crumbles, crunchy tortilla strips, cilantro & a nice grilled tri tip all topped off with a spicy salsa
  • Italian: Iceberg, tomatoes, red onion, pepperocini, seasoned croutons, sliced pepperoni or salami, a sprinkling of shredded parmesan dressed with a tangy vinegrette
  • Chinese Chicken: Shredded cabbage, shredded carrots, mandarin orange segments, crispy wonton strips, soft poached chicken pieces topped with a ginger sesame vinegrette
  • Japanese: Romaine, edamame, toasted sesame seeds, seared ahi tuna and a spicy wasabi ginger vinegrette
  • Buffalo Chicken: grilled chicken marinated with buffalo sauce (try Frank's red hot!), iceberg lettuce, tomato, butter toasted croutons all topped with a creamy blue cheese dressing.

What's in your favorite salad? Comment below!!

No comments:

Post a Comment