farmers market

I think I mentioned in my I love Salad post that my husband and I have been really enjoying what we call the “Big Salad”.  We have this for dinner once a week now and giggle about past Seinfeld episodes (did you catch the reference?).

I find it funny that without even trying to convince him, my husband is fully on board with whatever I put in front of him these days.  This one is a big hit though, so I thought I would share.

Big Salad

2 servings

Marinade Chicken

  • 1 boneless skinless free range chicken breast
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1 T fresh oregano
  • 1/2 t salt
  • couple good grinds of fresh black pepper
  • 1 clove of garlic, sliced

Put this all in a Ziploc bag with one chicken breast and let marinate for a couple of hours.  At least one I would say but you could probably leave it for as long as 24.

Croutons

  • One slice sprouted wheat bread, cut into small cubes
  • 1 t olive oil
  • 1/2 t garlic powder
  • pinch salt
  • one or two grind of fresh black pepper

put all ingredients in a medium skillet and toss with your hands to coat the bread well with the oil and spices.  Cook over medium until desired brownness and then turn on low (as low as you can go) while you prepare the rest of the salad.  Stir occasionally.

Leaving them on low will allow them to crisp up a little and keep them warm while you prepare the rest of the salad.  They are better if you put them on top warm.  If they start to get too done, then turn them off and then give them a quick sizzle on medium high right before you eat to get them warmed up.

Cooking the Chicken

I like the chicken cooked on the BBQ myself.  This way it has that touch of smoky charcoal flavor that compliments the rest of this meal so well, but you could also use a grill pan, broil it or even cut it up and saute it if you are in a big hurry.

You will want the chicken to be done about 5 minutes before you are ready to eat so that it can rest for a few minutes, but still be warm when you put it on the salad.

We cook it on the BBQ and it takes about 20 minutes.  You will need to figure this out for yourself based on your chosen cooking style.

Assembling the Salad

These are just the veggies that I like and choose to use, but you could use anything you like and try to use what is in season right now for fresher, healthier vegetables.

  • 4 handfuls of organic salad green mix – I have the guy at the farmers market mix half baby lettuce and half spicy mix.  Yum!
  • 2 carrots (or one if it is large – the ones I get at the farmers market are about 4 inches long, so I use 2), diced small
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 1 handful of sugar snap peas, chopped
  • 1 handful of cherry tomatoes, halved (use whatever kind of tomatoes you like or are fresh and cut them to bit size)
  • raw sunflower seeds, raw pepitas, raw almonds (or whatever seed/nut combo you like) – about 2 T total per plate.
  • 2 T freshly ground flax seed
  • Your favorite dressing

Split the above ingredients between two plates and top with half the croutons and half the chicken.  Dress and enjoy.

I love salad.  I think one reason that this eating plan works so well for me is that I love salad.  I eat at least one, if not two, large salads a day.  I’m lucky that my husband loves salad too.

I have been experimenting with different toppings and styles of salad, but for most meals it is pretty much the same.

  • Organic baby greens
  • A variety of chopped veggies depending on what is available that week at the farmers market, but in general carrots, onions, radishes, snap peas, cucumbers, tomatoes etc.
  • Handful of seeds and/or nuts
  • Tablespoon of freshly ground flax
  • Salad Dressing

So for lunch, I generally have a big salad and then a small portion of whatever sounds goods that week.  I usually make a big batch of something each week and eat it at least three times.  Generally some sort of saucy chicken (cacciatore, curry, tikka masala etc.)  and sometimes I will have a little brown rice or sprouted bread, but not always.

This week I made homemade chili with pork tenderloin and beans and organic veggies.  For this , I actually put the salad on top and topped with homemade creamy dressing.

For dinner, we generally have some sort of meat and then a salad and sometimes an additional vegitable, especially right now when asparagus is in season.  I have my husband hooked on what we call big salad, which is basically the above plus grilled chicken marinated in lemon, olive oil, oregano and salt and pepper, and some croutons made with sprouted wheat bread, a little olive oil and some garlic.

My latest favorite salad dressing

I don’t really measure so these are really just guesses.  Tweak with it until it tastes how you want it to.

  • 1/4 cu finely shredded romano cheese (I found a really yummy pecorino made with sheep’s milk)
  • 2 t. red wine vinegar
  • 2 t. fresh lemon juice
  • pinch salt
  • couple good grinds of pepper
  • 1 t. fresh oregano (picked right out of my garden for “vitality” points)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 t. Dijon mustard
  • 1 t. honey
  • couple of tablespoons of olive oil (or you could use flax oil) – Just add a tablespoon at a time until it tastes balanced.

Streamlining the salad process

Although salad is relatively easy, it can be a little prep intensive for making lunch before work or throwing something together when you just have a few minutes.  But with a little prep ahead throwing together a great salad can take only a matter of seconds.

I buy organic salad mix at the farmers market, but this is generally available at most grocery stores these days as well.  Too keep it fresh longer, put it in a gallon Ziploc with a damp paper towel.

I also cut up a variety of veggies, mix them together and store them in a Ziploc or Tupperware.  Seed and nuts can be mixed and stored this way as well.  Buying small tomatoes eliminates the need to cut them fresh.

I do grind my flax fresh, but I keep the seeds in a closed mason jar on the counter next to the grinder, which makes this very easy and quick to do.

With these small steps, a handful of this and a handful of that and a few seconds later you have a great healthy salad with little to no work.