Cool Girl Fall Salad
This salad is more of a lifestyle than a recipe so I’m providing general guidelines. This is a great one for making salad a full meal and hitting all the nutrients. You can easily prep ingredients ahead of time and eat this for several days ie meal prep but I am not a meal prepper.
Base: some sort of greens - arugula, chopped kale, mixed greens, fancy crispy greens, whatever tickles your fancy.
no real instructions here, you’ll need a couple handfuls
Grain: this is optional but if you’re going for a more filling meal, it’s key. I like to add farro - you could also add quinoa or cous cous or wild rice.
cook according to package instructions
Cooked vegetable: So to keep this seasonal, I like to use either a squash or sweet potato. Ive tried this with butternut, honeynut, and delicata squash. I’ve also tried it with diced sweet potato. All of them were killer.
Preheat your oven with to 400 the baking tray inside so it gets hot. Peel, cut into small cubes (about 1cm or 1/2 inch), microwave for 1 minute. Drizzle olive or avocado oil. Add a sprinkle of salt, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, and a pinch of brown sugar or maple syrup. Toss that all together. Add to the baking sheet, bake for 20-30 minutes, flipping halfway. After cooking you can toss with more of the same seasoning.
Fruit: I like to go with a nice honeycrisp apple but could you switch it up? You guessed it - yes. Sensing a theme? Blackberries, a different kind of apple, strawberries, those little mandarin orange guys, hell even craisins will work.
Fresh vegetable: honestly I have two good ideas here - cucumber if you’re going for crisp and fresh, shaved brussels if you’re going for more cruciferous and earthy. Don’t let my lack of imagination in this category stall you.
Protein: This is a great time for rotisserie chicken or whatever leftover chicken you have from yesterday. It’s honestly never not a great time for rotisserie chicken. You could also easily sauté some shrimps in very basic seasoning (Italian, Cajun, blackened, citrusy, ya it’ll all work). If you’re not into animal proteins, toss in some rinsed chickpeas.
Use something leftover or just cook chicken/ shrimp/ salmon however you normally do. Keep it basic so flavors aren’t overpowering.
Cheese: if you don’t like or can’t eat cheese - boo. However I am under the impression that even lactose intolerant people can eat goat cheese. My favorites for this salad are crumbly cheeses like feta and goat cheese. I’ll never be on board with blue cheese but live your life you little weirdo! I am a fan of Stilton however and apparently its in the BC fam.
No instructions here
Dressing: I like to use something simple like a balsamic vinaigrette
If you’re making your own dressing, I like using a 2:1 olive oil to balsamic ratio with a pinch of salt and a drop of honey. I found a really yummy raspberry balsamic that I love.
no measurements? yep and here’s why - when I make a salad it‘s very specific to what I’m in the mood for or what I need that day. For example, right now I’m focusing on eating more protein so I might add more chicken than normal and that’s okay. I’m not here to tell you exactly what you should be eating in situations like this - especially when our ingredients have lots of room for variety
My exact salad if you’re curious:
2 handfuls arugula
1/4 cup dry farro
1 cup sweet potato
1/3 cup diced honeycrisp
1 Persian cucumber, diced
4 oz cooked chicken breast
1 oz feta cheese
1.5 tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette