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How to Make the Best Salads Year-Round!

You’ll love this creative Raspberry Crunch Salad with Raspberry-Almond Oil Vinaigrette (plus 9 salads I crave)
Crispy, Crunchy & Sweet ~ a brilliant, colorful, healthy salad.
Serve with my Nut & Seed Crunch and Raspberry-Almond Oil Vinaigrette

I have been asked to be a part of The Salad Gazette from the great minds at The Devil Wears Salad in Australia.
Including recipe creators from around the world – a celebration of food diversity and creativity.
They love salads with vibrant colours, distinctive flavours and sensory contrasts – and so do I! Check it out.

A lovely salad I serve on occasions – perfect for Thanksgiving

See the RECIPE: Raspberry Crunch Salad with Raspberry-Almond Oil Vinaigrette

Salads have come a long way with creativity, approach and ingredients since my youth.

What was standard back then, and what was on my dinner table in my youth; Iceberg Lettuce (usually cut) with shavings of carrots, a scattering of cucumbers and a heavy pour of Good Seasons Italian dressing from it’s cruet.

We’ve come a long way as a multitude of fresh ingredients are available in super markets, farmer’s markets and also being grown in home gardens!
Our palates have changed with a desire for variety – exotic fruits and vegetables, and they are finding there way into the typical supermarket.  

Much of us are eating seasonally and organically – me included!

Today, I adore making salads everyday, and always have a selection of homemade dressings in the fridge.
Yes, really! A adore a good homemade vinaigrette and creative dressings ~ so I spend the time to stir up these liquid flavor enhancers.

Another reason I make my own dressings is I have control over the ingredients, and do not need commercial fillers, flavors, thickeners or preservatives.
I choose oils that are expeller pressed (not pressed with chemicals like all corn and canal oils), great quality extra virgin olive oils and nut oils; like roasted peanut, walnut and hazelnut.

It’s fun to try all types of vinegars and citrus juices that will team with oils.
I love a good aged red wine vinegar, balsamic from Modena Italy (the best balsamics do not have “caramel coloring”), lemons and meyer lemons, many varieties of oranges and limes. Each will add a different acidic profile and flavor.

Learning how to emulsify a dressing properly offers a nice consistency; other times a blender dressing will achieve the same.

Elements of a salad are the largest change of the salad scene from the 70’s until now. From the typical iceberg lettuce to the dressings… remember Russian dressing (named because it once contained caviar), Thousand-Island dressing and French dressing?

Sold in plastic containers, these dressings were loaded with unappetizing ingredients loaded with preservatives, colors and fake ingredients. Many manufacturers have taken out high fructose sugar and “artificial flavors”, yet they still have many undesirable chemical ingredients (in red.) Make your own!
See below ingredients and the one’s I do not eat.

Today’s ingredients for Kraft Thousand Island Dressing:
Soybean Oil*, Tomato Puree (Water, Tomato Paste), Vinegar, Sugar, Water, Chopped Pickles, Egg Yolks, Salt, contains less than 2% of Natural Flavor, Mustard Flour, Dried Onions, Xanthan Gum, Dried Red Bell Peppers, Citric Acid, Paprika, Oleoresin Turmeric, Potassium Sorbate and Calcium Disodium EDTA (to Protect Flavor).

I do not consume natural flavors (similar to artificial flavors), soybean oil, oleoresin turmeric, potassium sorbate, calcium chloride, citric acid or calcium disodium EDTA.
* Soybean, is the number one genetically modified crop in the world.

Elements of a Salad:

  • The Greens – all types of leafy greens
  • The Proteins – grilled or poached, including vegan proteins
  • Texture and Crunch – think nuts and seeds
  • Garnishes / Herbs – sprouts, herb sprigs, edible flowers
  • Vegetables and Fruits – raw or roasted for color and a boost of flavor
  • Dressings / Vinaigrettes – emulsified, whisked or blended

Here’s a line-up of some of my favorite Salads:

All will love this twist on the classic Caesar! Low acid, sweet Cara Cara navel oranges entice a Caesar-style dressing with zest! A Wonderful – Simple Salad with crunch and a daily dose of garlic.

Little Gem Salad with Cara Cara Caesar-ish Dressing with Garlic Parmesan Toasts

Fattoush is a popular salad in Lebanon made with mixed greens, a lemony vinaigrette and pita bread pieces. Fabulous too with add-ins like grilled shrimp or chicken.

Fabulous Fattoush ~ A Middle Eastern Salad with Vegetables and Toasted Bread

Buddha bowls are trending for good reason – they’re one bowl meals packed with grains, veggies, protein, a homemade dressing and finished with seeds or nuts. Use ingredients you have on hand, love ~ or follow my delicious recipe.

Buddha Bowl With Beets, Quinoa and a Bevy of Vegetables

So simple, fresh & delicious! Summer peaches are sweet and juicy and their flavor intensifies on the grill. Peaches out of season? Try Fresh Figs!

Grilled Peach Salad with Sweet & Sour Vinaigrette

Modern Shrimp Louis: A Comeback for a Classic Dish is a seafood salad you can enjoy year-round. A trendsetting recipe of the early 20th century takes on a modern flair with Fresh (not frozen) Pink Shrimp and a Zippy Louis Sauce. Updated for today’s palate. 

Modern Shrimp Louis Salad: A Comeback for a Classic Dish and
Modern Shrimp Louis Dressing

A Gorgeous and Healthful Salad and Dressing Bathed in the Hues of a Sunset. In winter, I believe we all need a little pick-me-up from the grey, cooler weather.
I created this salad and salad dressing with a bolt of energizing color – and because a raw salad can be a delicious treat.

Sunset Vinaigrette (and Salad)
Sunset Vinaigrette – so pretty… just give it a shake and serve

My version of they healthy Middle Eastern Salad spiked with a mélange of Vegetables is tossed in a Zesty Lemony- Scallion Dressing. One of the healthiest salads you can eat. Refreshing and Addictive!

Karen’s Quinoa Tabbouleh – Vegetable Salad (Naturally Gluten-Free)
Take-Along Food Jar layered with Quinoa Tabouli Salad – The ULTIMATE Lunch to-go! Add the dressing to the bottom and layer to the top

A salad to “fall” in love with! Starring Fall ingredients like Radicchio, Pink Pearl Apples, Pink Radishes, Delicate Squash and teamed with Chèvre Cheese and Pistachios.

Fall Salad with Chèvre and Apples

A delicious and healthy Fall Salad with Caramelized Pears, three Greens, julienned Purple Carrots, Pecan Halves, Pomegranate Seeds and an awesome Zesty Garlic Confit Vinaigrette. 

Fall Salad with Pears, Pomegranate Seeds and Zesty Garlic Confit Vinaigrette

I hope I inspired you!


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