If I was ever entered into a vegan “hot dog” eating contest I would lose. I would probably make it through one hot dog. Then maybe half another. Then I’d get a stomach ache and be voted out.
But, a salad eating contest? Now that’s a different story.
A few months ago I came up with this weird idea that I was going to eat a salad every day. It was the beginning of spring and eating a salad just seemed like an easy way to get more raw, fresh veggies into my diet. Now three months later, I’m hooked.
Every weekday I eat a salad for lunch and on the weekends, I eat a salad for dinner. There have definitely been a few days where I missed my daily salad and I felt the difference.
Now, when I say “salad” I’m not talking about the kind of salad that has more fat than a Big Mac. But, I’m also not talking about the weird “diet” salads with just lettuce and non-fat dressing. In fact, I think those freak me out more.
If you’re really aiming to make a salad a meal I think it needs to have a few components. I always make sure that mine have a good balance of fat and protein. You want your salad dressing to have some fat in there so that you can absorb all of the good nutrients from the greens and vegetables you are eating. Fat, in moderation, is a friend.
And you can’t forget the protein. I always make sure my salad has a couple of different kinds of beans and on occasion I’ll add tempeh or tofu. This is what will really turn your salad from a side dish to an entree.
For my salad dressing, I usually make a mix of vinegar and olive oil with fresh herbs, but I’ve been craving something a little creamier and different lately so I decided it was time to make some green goddess dressing. I’ve seen lots of different versions of this dressing and it always seems to have a mix of herbs, oil, and lemon juice. I added some avocado for a creamy texture and played around with different fresh herbs from my garden. You can easily adapt this to your own version based on the herbs you have on hand.
Green Goddess Dressing
Serves 2 – 4
1 avocado, skin removed and pitted
3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh parsley
10 basil leaves
1 small sprig of mint
2 green onions
2 Tablespoons agave
1/4 cup oil
freshly ground black pepper and sea salt to taste
Add the avocado, apple cider vinegar, water, lemon juice, garlic, herbs, onions, and agave to a food processor or blender. While the blender or food processor is running, add the oil in a thin stream. Blend until thoroughly mixed. Add in salt and pepper to taste.