When I was still living in Johannesburg, South Africa, there was a restaurant I would love going to called Mike’s Kitchen, it wasn’t that the food was particularly amazing, or even special, but what they had was a salad bar – a real innovation at that time and the only restaurant offering this. To me there was nothing better to eat than a delicious fresh salad and one which I could pick and choose my own ingredients.
On moving to New York and working in the city, I discovered that salad bars were a standard offering, they were everywhere and I was delighted. What could be easier to put together than a salad when all the work has already been done for you. This rapidly became my lunch time staple (along with frozen yoghurt – another novelty back in the 80’s).
Fast forward a couple of years to the arrival of the City Bakery first on 17th Street and now on 18th in NYC. I was in salad bar heaven. Not your garden variety salad with bowls of chopped tomatoes, shredded lettuce, grated carrots, hard boiled eggs etc but gourmet salads using the freshest local, mostly organic ingredients frequently sourced from the nearby Union Square Farmer’s Market. It was truly inspirational and remains one of my most favorite places for lunch.
Since I obviously could not eat there every day, I started thinking what I could do to eat this way on a more regular basis and so the idea was born to turn my fridge into my own personal salad bar.
Once a week, I dedicate some time to chopping, dicing and slicing a variety of vegetables and salad greens storing them in glass containers in the fridge. I keep my assortment as varied as possible, allowing me to make not only salads, but also soups, stir fries and even roasted vegetables. Its time well spent and means a healthy and delicious meal can go from kitchen to table in no time at all. It’s also a wonderful opportunity to become truly creative and try new combinations of ingredients you may not have tried before.
Here is one of my favorite salads…
Mixed Greens with Clementines (serves 2- 3)
- 2 cups baby spinach leaves, washed and dried
- 1 cup arugula, washed and dried
- 1 small radicchio, washed and coarsely shredded
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 clementines, peeled and sectioned (if clementines are not available, substitute with grapefruit)
- 1 avocado, peeled and cut into cubes
- 1 mango, peeled and cut into cubes (optional)
- Sesame seeds to sprinkle
- Combine all ingredients and drizzle lightly with Balsamic Vinaigrette
- 2/3 cups extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon raw honey
- Pinch of salt
- Combine all ingredients in a glass jar and shake well until thoroughly blended
For more recipes, go to http://www.elevenelevenwellness.com/resources/
You will find salad recipes in each section of Remove, Revive and Sustain.