I love a good salad, but typically only at home. I don’t like to go out to a restaurant and order a salad where there’s 1) lots of yummy food to choose from and 2) they want to charge like $15…. FOR A BOWL OF LETTUCE. Lol.. no thank u bye.
I started working on this “winter salad series” in the fall because I knew once the holidays passed and I crawled out of the depths of the carbohydrate dungeon, I would want to resume my healthy eating habits. Except, when it’s cold outside you want a hot meal.. right?? Hellooooo winter salads! The key is simply to add a hot/warm component to your bed of greens, but there are tons of different ways you can do it aside from throwing a chicken breast atop a bowl of romaine ya feel me??
Olive Garden Copycat Salad with Pulled Roasted Chicken:
Ok so full disclosure, I made this “copycat” dressing by complete accident. I almost always make my own dressings because I like to know exactly what’s in them. I mean, when you shop from the store they have those ingredients in them that you can’t pronounce. Not that I never use store bought dressing, I just primarily make my own at home. Aaaaanyway, so here is this “copycat” Olive Garden dressing recipe (I’m using quotes around that copycat word because this does not follow the ingredient list for the actual dressing recipe, but somehow still tastes like it).
- 1/2 cup EVOO
- juice from 1/2 small lemon
- 1 tbsp oregano
- 1 tsp pink Himalayan salt
- dash of garlic powder
Full disclosure, I typically just eyeball all of this and taste as I go. I would suggest starting with 1/2 cup of the EVOO add the seasonings and THEN add lemon juice in squirts (ew hate that word haha) tasting as you mix. If you over lemon just add more olive oil and so forth. The salt is the key to cutting the olive oil flavoring and balancing out the tartness of the lemon juice.
Fill a bowl with your choice of leafy green (I usually use butter or romaine lettuce), pour your dressing over top and toss to coat. This is my little trick to having a perfectly tossed salad. I hate when a salad has too much dressing and gets soggy. GROSS.
Once you’ve got your greens coated how you like, top with shredded roast chicken (I buy a whole roast chicken from the deli at the grocery store), olives, tomatoes, celery, or whatever other toppings you prefer!
I seriously eat this salad at least twice a week… trust… you need to try.
Brussel Sprout Caesar with Blackened Shrimp:
I love using Brussels in this salad over the traditional romaine used in a Caesar. It just makes it… heartier? I don’t know if that’s how other people would feel but its how I feel and I’m writing this so what I say goes. LOL. Making Caesar salads at home is one instance where you WILL catch me using a store bought dressing because ya girl ain’t got no time to make a caesar dressing at home… I mean I guess I could but I don’t wanna ok?
This recipe doesn’t really require much instruction, but here ya go!
- 1bag of shaved Brussels
- caesar dressing
- fresh shredded parmesan (trust me you’ll appreciate this)
- 1/4 pound peeled & deveined medium shrimp
- blackened seasoning
Toss the shaved Brussels in the caesar dressed. Set aside. Coat the shrimp with the blackened seasoning (as much as you want… more seasoning equals more spice). Add shrimp to the coated Brussels and top with freshly grated parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
Roasted Veggie Salad:
This one is the heartiest of all the winter salads. Sooo many roast veggies including my FAVE roast veggie: broccoli. I don’t know why it’s so good when roasted but it IZ.
- 1 cup chopped broccoli
- 1 cup diced red onion (make sure it’s a thick dice)
- precut butternut squash
- 1 diced gold potato (I would suggest no bigger than 1.2 an inch size just so that the potatoes can cook through at the same time as the rest of the veggies)
- Optional: diced carrot (I hate cooked carrots so I’m out on this one)
- 1/4 c EVOO
- 1 tsp italian seasoning
- 1 tsp pink Himalayan salt
- 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
- Greens of choice (I like to use arugula with this one, but if you don’t like arugula then you can really use whatever is your own fave!)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a small bowl, mix together the EVOO and the seasonings. Set aside. Add all diced/cut veggies to a large mixing bowl. Pour EVOO mixture over the cut veggies and toss to coat. Spread veggies out evenly on a cookie sheet, and roast for 25-30 minutes or until all veggies become tender. Serve atop bed of leafy greens.
Which one are you excited to try?