Thursday, May 14, 2009

Yum: Who says Yummy Food Can't Be Good Food? Part 2

Waaaayyy back on 17 April, I provided you with one of my favorite healthy breakfast recipes and teased you with a promise of a salad to come. And then I promptly fell off the face of the earth. Judging from the zero outcry that I received, I gather you weren't awaiting the salad with bated breath. But I'm gonna give it to you anyway.

This is my favorite lunch du jour. If you don't like bleu cheese or if you are expecting, you can substitute any kind of cheese you fancy. Happy munching!

2 cups baby arugula (substitute romaine if you're on a budget)
2 oz roasted deli turkey breast (try and stay away from smoked or honey roasted; they're good, but have more salt/sugar/additives than you need)
1 oz bleu cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons dried cranberries or raisins
1/4 avocado, sliced (optional)
2 tablespoons vinaigrette (recipe follows)
salt and pepper to taste (DON'T forget to season your salad. You can't believe what a difference it makes.)

Combine and savor.


Normally you make a vinaigrette with 1 part vinegar to 3 parts oil. This is delicious, but in my opinion, less flavorful and more fattening than it needs to be. I typically use a 1:1 ratio, and add a touch of honey or sugar to balance the flavor. If you like more oil, however, by all means, use it.

1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil (or a neutral flavored oil, like canola, if you don't like the taste of olive oil)
1/2 teaspooon dijon mustard
1/2 tablespoon finely minced shallot*
a squeeze of lemon and a teaspoon of honey or sugar, according to taste
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

*You can also add herbs that you like, such as parsley, chives, or basil, or you can use a dried herb or herb mix. I would use a tablespoon of fresh or a teaspoon of dried.

I'll borrow from Julia and Martha here, and suggest that you combine all ingredients in a screw-top jar. Shake. Measure 2-3 tablespoons over your salad, and refrigerate the rest. Much better than just about anything you can buy. And I may be surprised, but that WILL be enough dressing.

Enjoy and happy eating.