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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

How To Make a Salad

If you know me very well, you may have heard my rant about salad.
Salad can be many things. It can take many forms, with a variety of hundreds of ingredients.
But let me tell you what salad is NOT.
Salad is NOT lettuce in a bowl.
I take salad very seriously.
Maybe it's the influence from the Seay family, who is in large part vegetarian or vegan. We always have salad, and we have REAL salad. Good salad!
I have had a few people ask me how I make my salad.
I am not a gourmet cook. But I know how to put together a decent salad.
So in true biblical Titus 2 fashion, I think making a salad falls accordingly under this umbrella of what I can offer my younger girl friends.
(In turn, you can help me find jeans and shoes!!! Seriously!)
So let me give you a few tips on what I think makes a good salad.

1. At least have, at minimum, two vegetables. My favorites are cut baby carrots and grape tomatoes. I also like red bell pepper and avacado, but I have to catch these on special.

2. Nuts. (I can hear my husband laughing like Beevis in my head.) I like to always add a nut. Pine nuts is my staple, but you could add any nut; pecans, walnuts, almonds, whatever. Candied pecans are an amazing addition to some salads!

3. Cheese. Who doesn't like cheese? I use Feta almost all the time. It is the lowest fat cheese option, and I LOVE it!!!! But you can add any cheese you want.

4. Craisins! Dried cranberries. Especially with Feta cheese. These are awesome in almost any kind of salad. You can add other fruits like strawberries or mandarin oranges. Like the classic strawberry Feta salad. That's good!

5. Finally, croutons. Who doesn't like croutons? I try to add them on the side so that my left over salad doesn't have soggy croutons in it.

And of course, when I have time, I make this fresh herb dressing, which I can never get enough of! But invest in some decent salad dressings. I like Greek, Green Goddess, and my husband likes some of the fancy Italian ones. I try to have a good assortment for guests to choose from.
This all sounds very basic, but you just can't underestimate what a good salad can add to a meal! And a Jillian tip from the Biggest Loser says to eat your fill of good salad first in a meal, and you wont' eat as much of your main dish like pasta. But watch out for calorie packed dressings. Use them on the side, and you'll be amazed at how much dressing you conserve!
I make salad almost every night of the week, and I bring it to our church Potluck weekly. It seems to go fast.
Now, younger women, let's talk jeans...


Kathryn, Michael and Alex said...

I LOVE salad. I use spinach leaves instead of lettuce.

I will chunk up chicken in the left overs and make a lunch out of it.

Anonymous said...

Ok, I have to share a dressing that blew me out of the water! It's called Cardini's and their Balsamic Vinagarette is the best! It's by all the other ones in the grocery store! You'll have to try it...

As for jeans, I'd love to share some of my favorites with you. I won't lie, I never EVER thought I'd buy an "expensive" pair...but after trying a pair on and feeling like I'd lost 5 lbs AND they are way more comfortable than most & obviously super cute, I invested...BUT, I did this in a savvy manner - Buffalo Exchange (a resale shop), or eBay or shopbop.com! So, if you want my thoughts, give me a call or shoot me an email! Love you!

Crowley Family said...

OK - I have silently watched your blog for over a year. My daughter is a patient of Rusty's and my second (due in May) will be too. The salad thing finally got me to comment! We have actually met at LAST year’s Dash. I was running right along with you two and your friend the last few miles.

Anyway I made AMAZING dressing the other night that I have been dying to share with people and then I read this... Hmmm. Coincidence?? Anyway the only problem is I never measure ANYTHING, so these are the best estimates

-juice of 1/2 lemon
-juice of an orange
-Wisk in olive oil (maybe 1/4 cup?? wasn't too oily, that is why we loved it)
-Salt & Pepper to taste (I use a lot of pepper)
-Dried oregano (Maybe 1/2 tsp.?)
-Garlic Powder (same as Oregano)

Anyway - seems really simple and it was AWESOME! Light and perfect. I won't tell you what "salad" I put it on though... but I did add in thinly sliced red onion to the bagged mix... :)

Ricci said...

Jenn, I may not know jeans really well... but I do know shoes.

What are you needing to know?

The Roberts' said...

mmm... i like fruity salads. spring mix/spinach leaves, with dried cherries & croutons, & i love this dressing - Wishbone Bountifuls (Berry Delight). OR I like salads with avocado, eggs, bacon, cheese, & flavored ranch or honey mustard.. but obviously that is more like a meal since it can be calorie-laden!

texasmcvays said...

Is it possible to be a salad Groupie? Every week I seek out your salad at CORE Group...I love salad and I do much of what you do! But next year when it's lettuce season I will give you the home grown lettuce hook up, even tastier! Those tips are great and I'm printing it out and putting it in my cooking binder! I am going to change up my salad and go Bacak Salad Style now that I know the method. You've made some Veggie Freaks happy at the McVay house. See you tonight! MMMMM...are you bringing the salad?
P.S.-Don't forget to buy your pine nuts at Sam's Club way cheaper.

Jennifer Bacak said...

Kyle, of course I'm bringing salad tonight! And I definitely want the homegrown lettuce hook-up!!!

Elizabeth said...

I would LOVE to take you jean shopping! Any shopping is good if it does not involve me spending money I don't have :) I hear Cavendar's has great jeans...I know, I thought the same thing too. I have lived in TX for 7 years and am proud to say I still do not own a pair of cowboy boots. And Cavendar's scares me. But we (and by we I mean me) should face our (and by our i mean my) fear together!