Seems like everyone is on a diet these days. I know I am.
Speaking of junk in the truck, here are some really great salads that kind of make that green stuff more attractive. They’re easy to make and to take to the office for a healthy lunch. Or just serve any of them with a lean meal.
SWEET AND SALTY SALAD
1 16-ounce package of bagged salad greens
8-to-10 bacon strips, crumble
1 11-ounce can mandarin oranges, drained
½ cup purple onion, chopped
¼ cup almonds, sliced
¼ cup shredded cheese (optional)
½ cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons vinegar
¼-to-½ teaspoon salt
Ground black pepper, to taste
Mix the first six ingredients in a large salad bowl. Using a Mason jar or similar tightly fitting container, vigorously shake together all remaining ingredients, and pour over salad. How easy is that? For extra flavor add a few sliced red grapes. If you really want to streamline, skip the bacon and cheese, replace the vegetable oil with olive oil, and use honey instead of sugar. Mm-mm, good!
HOT AND SOUR SALAD
¼ red onion, sliced
1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1 pound fresh baby bok choy, trimmed and sliced with leaves torn
1 teaspoon canola oil
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seed oil
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
Whisk together vinegar, soy sauce, lemon juice, sesame oil, pepper flakes, and salt; set aside.
In a wok or large skillet, heat canola oil over high heat. Stir fry onion, garlic, and ginger for about two minutes. Add bok choy and stir fry for three more minutes. Toss with vinaigrette. Serves four.
BLOODY MARY GREEN BEAN SALAD
1 pound fresh green beans
½ cup purple onion, thinly sliced
12 pickled okra pods, sliced
1-pint grape tomatoes halved
4 celery ribs, sliced
¼ cup fresh celery leaves
1/3 cup bottled Bloody Mary mix (or more, to taste)
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1-1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
¾ teaspoon hot sauce
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
4 ½ teaspoons prepared horseradish, divided
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup vodka (optional)
Cook the beans in boiling water for two minutes cover until tender-crisp; drain, then plunge into ice water. Drain again and pat dry. Place beans, onion, and okra in a large bowl. Place tomatoes, celery, and celery leaves in a separate bowl.
For the dressing, whisk together Bloody Mary mix, lime juice, mustard, salt, hot sauce, pepper, and four teaspoons of horseradish in a medium bowl. Add oil in a slow, steady stream, constantly whisking until well blended. Toss bean mixture with ¼ cup dressing. Spoon tomato mixture over bean mixture. Add salt and pepper and serve with remaining dressing. To give your guests a jump-start on things, add a little vodka (the drink of champions) to the dressing. Serve on a platter.