Friday, July 10, 2015

Supergreen Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette.

After a really long time, I am writing a post specifically with Fiesta Friday in mind!! Life for some reason always seems to be hectic with me. You would think that summer would be a little more relaxing with the kids off from school.. No sir!! For me it is pretty much the same or worse. Now because it is nice outside, I have to take them out more!! My son always goes " park, park" after a full day at school"! Yes, you heard me correct. Both my kids go to summer camp ( read at a school) all day long!!. I wish I had his energy!! I tell them to go to bed because they have to wake up early to go to school, and my son goes " but the sunny is still up! It is not night yet!" My son is three years old and does not understand the concept of time. For him life is simple: if it is light outside and the sun is up, it is daytime. If it is dark outside and the moon is out, it is night time!! I wish life would be that simple!! I feel bad for my kids. They don't get to sleep in even during vacation!! Speaking of which, we went away last week on vacation. We flew in 5 airplanes in one week going from the east coast to the west coast and back. They had loads of fun. Me well.. It was nice. But I had things to so "before going on vacation" and things to catch up with " after coming  back from vacation!" Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining or whining.That's life right??

Coming back to the salad, I am sure you must have wondered," what kind of salad is super green salad"?? Frankly, I didn't know what to name this salad and since I used greens that were superfood and the container that the greens were packaged in said " super greens", I decided to call it " Supergreen Salad".
I have made this very simple salad and served it with my friend Frugal Hausfrau's raspberry vinaigrette . I love her recipes!! She is frugal like me! You can find her recipe for raspberry vinaigrette here.

Those who know me, already know that I don't make complicated long drawn meals!! I love to eat healthy, freshly cooked meals. But they are all very easy to make and simple recipes with rather easily available ingredients that don't require breaking the bank. This is one such recipe. The plate that you see was one of my weeknight dinners. I do this every so often: have just a salad for dinner. I took the leftover for lunch. All you have to do is pack the dressing separately otherwise the leaves get soggy. My co-workers loved it. Well, you see that I got a big box of greens!! I eat rather small meals.

I came across this box of super greens that comprised of baby greens that are considered superfood: baby spinach, arugula, red and green Swiss chard and tat soi. It was organic and on sale for $2.49!! Guess many people don't eat it!! But these are the greens that I use on a regular basis! Good for me!! I came across a box of Cherry tomatoes for a dollar! I had some seedless green grapes that were so sour that nobody would eat( not even me!! I tried!:() I decided to use them in the salad instead. I had apricots, cucumber and feta cheese on hand. I had a Clementine that was begging to be used. Well I always have walnuts and cranberries in my pantry! What more do I need!! I made Frugalhausfrau's raspberry vinaigrette, rustled up a salad that was delicious, perfect for the summer and enjoyed by my neighbor and co-workers! My neighbor requested me to help her make this tomorrow evening to take it for a Ramadan Iftari party somewhere.

Do give it a try. Bet you will love it! By the way, I use very little vinaigrette.

Servings: 4-6


For the vinaigrette :
Raspberry or red wine vinegar: 1/4 cup
Apple cider vinegar: 1/4 cup
Dijon mustard: 1 tbsp
Olive oil: 2 tbsp
Salt: 1/4 tsp
Black pepper: 1/4 tsp
Honey: 1/3 cup

For the salad:
Organic Supergreens: one 5.6 oz box. ( you can make your own mix with baby spinach, Swiss chard, kale and arugula).
Yellow onion: one, sliced thin
English cucumber: one, thinly sliced
Seedless green grapes: 1 cup, washed
Cranberries: one tbsp

For garnish:
Clementine: one small, peeled and sections separated.
Apricot: 4, peeled, deseeded and cut into 4-6 slices.
Walnut pieces: 1/2 cup ( optional) ( use one tbsp per plate)
Feta cheese: 1/4 cup ( use 1/2-1 tbsp per plate)


The raspberry vinaigrette :

Add all the ingredients listed under " for the vinaigrette" to a glass jar and shake well. Can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 weeks.

The salad :
In a large salad bowl, take the washed and completely drained super greens, the sliced onions, cucumber, green grapes and cranberries. Mix well.

Putting the salad together:
Divide the contents of the above bowl equally between 4-6 plates.
Add to each plate 3-4 pieces of the clementine sections, 3-4 slices of apricot. Top it with 1 tbsp chopped walnuts, 1/2-1 tbsp feta cheese and 1 tbsp of raspberry vinaigrette.

Serve immediately.

If planning to travel or carry it for lunch or a picnic, mix the ingredients listed under " for garnish " with those listed under " for the salad " and carry it in an airtight container. Carry the dressing separately in a container/jar. Just before eating, drizzle the desired amount of dressing, mix well and eat.

Enjoy. I hope all of you at Fiesta Friday like it!

Cooking made easy:

You don't have to necessarily bring the pre-packaged salad greens. You can mix your own with baby greens. Pre-packaged just makes it easier.
You can also try other combinations of fruits/nuts and vegetables, based on what is available. You can use green apples, sliced red radish, sweet peppers, slices tomato, avocado etc for fruit variation. For nuts, you could skip them entirely if you have allergies or use pecans, slivered almonds, pine nuts etc. There is no hard and fast rule.

If you find making home-made vinaigrette hard, try getting a low fat one with no high fructose corn syrup or any preservatives from a store. 

Tip for healthy living: 

Most people like to state that they eat only salads for dinner or lunch but are still putting on weight or seem to be unable to lose the weight. There is a simple reason for this: you might be eating salads.. but it is the type of dressing used that is important. Drowning the salad with creamy dressings defeats the purpose as these dressings are high in fat and pack a lot of calories per tablespoon. Chose vinaigrette as opposed to mayonnaise-based or other creamy dressings.

Food for thought:

When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new. Dalai Lama