Simple Tossed Salad is a salad we serve regularly at our house. When you eat mostly salads you come up with all kinds of combinations to get the nutrients you need in your diet. Nothing is more disappointing to me than going to a restaurant and finding out after you ordered what they call a “salad,” it contains only “iceberg lettuce, 1 tomato wedge, 1 cucumber slice and if you are lucky a few croutons!” This is not salad!
My salads have everything thrown into them. I use a lot of nuts and cheeses to add protein, and I mix fruit with salad ingredients regularly. I’ve gotten people who never eat beets to eat beets when I’ve put raw julienned beets in salads (served on the side for them to taste first). My seven-layer salad is more like 15 or 16 layers! Most salads are healthy, low calorie, gluten free and can easily be vegan if you leave off the meat, cheese and hard-boiled eggs. I have salads all over map.
I’ve give a rough estimate of ingredients in recipe form, but it is probably more helpful to show and describe how I make salads so they don’t decompose so quickly in the refrigerator. Most of my salads will last up to 3-5 days in the refrigerator. Sometimes even longer. You can use almost any combination of veggies – whatever your family likes and in the amounts you prefer. As you will see from the directions below, the key is patting dry the ingredients. Then I layer them (and don’t mix them). When we serve the salads we use tongs and dig to the bottom. Mixing all the ingredients tends to cause everything to contaminate a little more quickly.
I hope you enjoy the ideas and suggestions I’ve given you for making a Simple Tossed Salad so you can enjoy them more frequently and have less waste.
Simple Tossed Salad is simple! But it isn’t just iceberg lettuce, one tomato wedge, one cucumber slice and a couple of croutons! That does not make a salad!
I enjoy salads with tomatoes (lots of tomatoes), broccoli, cucumbers, yellow squash, bell peppers and zucchini.
Here’s a close up so you can see the texture of the salad. You can add anything you want or have on hand: sliced carrots, cauliflower, radishes, sugar snap peas, green or red onions, celery or shredded red cabbage–anything you enjoy eating. All provide crunch, texture, delicious flavor and are filled with antioxidants and have many other beneficial ingredients.
Here’s what I did.
Start with your lettuce. I used romaine. After washing the individual leaves I dried the leaves with a hand towel. Then, after cutting down the lettuce into bite sized pieces, I dried the lettuce again. I try to get the lettuce really dry before adding anything else.
Add tomatoes. Actually cherry or grape tomatoes work best because the pulp and seeds don’t saturate the salad like the Roma tomatoes I used here.
Here I’ve added quartered, sliced cucumber. I washed the cucumber, but didn’t peel it. That will help prevent decontamination. I sliced the yellow bell pepper into strips. Before adding peppers and cucumbers, I gently dried them with a hand towel.
Add sliced, quartered zucchini and sliced yellow squash. I did not peel either. Pat dry with a towel before adding to the salad. Wash broccoli and dry well. Cut off the florets and break into bite sized pieces. If you desire you can add nuts and seeds. Walnuts, pecans, almonds, cashews, pistachios and even Brazil nuts work great in a salad. Sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds also work well if you want additional protein.
You can use almost any kind of ingredients for your salad, including cauliflower, yellow squash, zucchini, nuts, raisins, craisins, halved grapes, water chestnuts, chick peas (rinsed, drained and patted dry), hard-boiled eggs, celery, radishes, snow pea pods, sugar snap peas, bean sprouts or alfalfa sprounts, fried bacon or turkey bacon, grilled chicken or steak, any kind of cheese – I’ve used cheddar, feta, mozzarella, Monterey jack, habanero cheese, parmesan – anything you like. If I serve beets I keep them in a separate bowl so they don’t color everything pink!
The salad can be as simple or elaborate as you want it to be. I serve salads as main dishes a lot so I prefer them to have some substance, and not have merely two or three ingredients and call that a salad!
So portion out your share, add dressing and enjoy.
Simple Tossed Salad is a great way to get your veggie servings each day!
Here’s the recipe.
SIMPLE TOSSED SALAD
(My own creation)
- 1 head romaine lettuce
- 3 Roma tomatoes, chopped
- ½ cucumber, unpeeled, sliced and quartered
- ½ zucchini, unpeeled, sliced and quartered
- ½ yellow squash, sliced
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- ½ red, orange, or yellow bell pepper, cut in strips
- Wash lettuce and pat dry well with a towel. Cut down the vein and then cut in fourths lengthwise. Then cut lettuce cross-wise so pieces are about 1 inch strips. Place lettuce in large serving bowl. Wash and chop tomatoes. Pat dry and add on top of lettuce. Wash and slice cucumber, zucchini, and yellow squash. Pat dry and add on to of tomatoes. Wash broccoli and pat dry. Spread on top of other veggies. Wash bell pepper and remove seeds. Pat dry and cut into strips. Add on top of other salad ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve with your favorite salad dressing.
Simple Tossed Salad is healthy, low calorie, gluten free and this version is also vegan.
Simple Tossed Salad is a great side for any main dish entree.
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