A few years ago, a friend of mine asked me about healthy foods. I was just learning how to cook, and she wanted to know what she could make on a week night that was healthy, but quick to assemble. I stated the obvious – salad. She actually said to me, “I don’t know how to make salad.”
What do you mean?!
Doesn’t everyone know how to make a salad? I mean, you literally just throw vegetables into a bowl, and you’re done. It couldn’t be any fucking simpler. It’s like telling me you don’t know how to make a sandwich. I just don’t understand.
Salads get a bad rap for being too healthy, or not being healthy enough (i.e. taco salad), and for lacking flavor. I have a friend that often refers to them as “bowls of sadness.” I find this simultaneously hilarious and frustrating. It doesn’t help that most people grew up eating crappy bottled salad dressing and flavorless iceberg lettuce. I grew up dousing everything in ranch dressing, and that included all my vegetables. (I’m from Minnesota. It’s what we do.) I also ate croutons like they were chips. You know those Texas Toast ones with the seasoning? Those are fucking delicious. I ate them by the handful, and routinely bought 6 bags of them at a time. But! They are not even close to being healthy. That goes for most bottled dressings, too. That shit is full of chemicals and preservatives. You’ll be doing your body a huge favor if you just start making your own salad dressing. And stop eating croutons. It’s really easy, I promise.
This recipe can be an entree, or a side dish. I usually eat it for dinner, in a medium sized silver mixing bowl, at least once a week. I’ve had people comment on the size, but it’s just vegetables. You can’t judge someone for eating too big of a salad. I mean, really. Don’t be a dick.
Yes, this salad has a lot of fat in it. Before everyone panics about consuming too many fat grams, let’s consider what is actually included in those fat grams… fucking tons of vitamins and nutrients. It’s all healthy fat, and so amazingly good for you. Avocado fat and McDonald’s fat are not the same thing.
Salad with Avocado Dressing
4-6 cups mixed greens (please never use iceberg lettuce again)
Salt and Pepper
Add all your favorite vegetables, seeds, nuts, cheese, meats (or whatever you have handy). I usually like some variation of the following:
Crumbled goat cheese
I like to slice everything really thin, and even use a peeler for the carrot. It’s a nice texture. Chop everything however you like. Once you’re done topping your salad, you’ll mix up the dressing.
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1/3 to 1/2 avocado, mashed
1-2 tablespoons spicy mustard
1 lemon wedge
1/8 cup water
Salt and pepper to taste
Whisk everything in a bowl (or blender, if you want it really smooth), and toss with salad.
Eat it, and feel good about yourself.