Sunday, May 27, 2012

Weight Loss Salad

A salad without dressing is just a bowl of leaves.  Joining a CSA taught me to be creative with a salad since I was eating one or two every day through May and June of last year just to keep up with what I was getting in my weekly share.  Grocery store salad dressings are full of chemical nastiness, hidden glutens in the form of Modified Food Starch, and soy.  Read the label some time.

Dressing can be so versatile, tasty, and cheap when you make it yourself.  I keep a variety of small bottles and jars on hand so I can switch up according to my mood of the day.

One salad I turn to when I'm in weight loss mode is the Italian Salad with Garlic Vinaigrette Dressing.  Completely sweet- and fruit-free to keep my sweet tooth from being activated, this salad has satisfying Pepperoni, Genoa Salami, salty olives, spicy Pepperoncini, and tangy, garlicy dressing.

Bitter, hearty greens work much better in this salad than delicate Butter Lettuce.  Try Romaine, red or green curly leaf, or a combination with Arugula (aka Rocket).

Italian Salad with Garlic Vinaigrette Dressing

Red onion
Red pepper
Cherry tomato
Applegate Farms Genoa Salami and Primo Naturale Uncured Pepperoni or grilled chicken
Kalamata olives or a variety
Pepperoncini (spicy pickled peppers)

Garlic Vinaigrette Dressing:
Red Wine vinegar
Extra Virgin olive oil
Minced garlic (or grushed, roasted garlic is delicious but doesn't seem to stay fresh for long)
I use 2 to 4 Tablespoons or cloves per cup of vinegar.
Dried spices (oregano, basil, marjoram)
Salt & pepper

I re-use an old plastic olive oil bottle and toss in the ingredients without measuring which gives me the freedom to make a little or a lot.  Mix vinegar and oil using a One-to-One ratio (equal amounts of each-- just eyeball it in the jar) then add your other ingredients.  Place the cap on the bottle and shake vigorously.  Keep this dressing in the fridge for a month or more.  Shake vigorously before each use.

Take or leave salad ingredients as your taste buds and produce stock allow.

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