I am not a massive fan of the stringy, bitter green salads somewhat in vogue at most cafes in Sydney now- a- days.
I beg to differ when I see those urban hipsters, munching on raw, bitter greens and waxing lyrical about how good bitter foods are for your digestion. Ok – so I can not contest that bitter foods stimulate your digestive juices, but I am quite sure my digestion screams to a massive halt if I dare to digest shoots and leaves en masse.
Which is why you won’t see me sparingly dressing a bunch of dandelion leaves and chickweed and convincing you its the latest taste sensation.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I LOVE salads – but I need to eat ones that love me back. This means, salads, properly dressed in a good quality fat to help me assimilate all its nutrients. In fact in a recent study published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, fats were demonstrated to be necessary for the absorption of nutrients from fruits and vegetables. Those poor ‘lab rats’ who were fed fat free salad dressings, absorbed far less of the phytonutrients and vitamins than their full fat consumers.
Move over vinegar, come hither Mr. E.V.O.O.
I haven’t always loved a good creamy salad dressing. Often they were redolent with cheese ( I really can’t stand the stuff – childhood phobia that I can’t grow out of) and looking at the ones on offer in the supermarket most are filled to the brim with canola oil, a processed oil, high in pro-inflammatory omega-6’s and laced with too much sugar and corn thickeners or gums. It wasn’t until I mastered the simple art of home made mayo, that I relished the creamy taste sensation that is a good quality whole egg accompaniment.
With my own home made mayo on hand, I know I can assemble this simple chicken dish in a flash. This is seriously easy, super nutritious and can be made from a random assortment of goods in your fridge. I usually poach some chicken breasts at the beginning of the week, shred them up and have these on hand to throw into a salad come the lunch hour. Feel free to experiment with different vegggies, I have added some steamed fennel before, left over bits of broccoli, macadamias for crunch
…whatever floats your boat.
Once again- this is more an assembly of food rather than a meal laboured over for hours- after all- that is what satisfyingly, simple and healthy food should be, right?
Basic Salad Elements
120g of Chicken breast, poached and shredded
1/2 cup chopped celery
Handful of butter leaf lettuce or cos lettuce
1 tbs of homemade mayonnaise
1 tbs of greek yoghurt
1/2 tsp of liquid stevia
Scant tsp of good quality mild curry powder (optional but good for a variation and adds a lovely colour!)
Place all your salad ingredients in your serving bowl of choice.
In a separate cup, add your dressing ingredients and whisk around with a fork until mixed well
Add a small dash of hot water to the dressing in order to create a good runny consistency. Only a little please!
Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients, toss to amalgamate all the flavours and textures.
..how easy was that!?
This dressing alone is so good that I usually make a large batch of it at the beginning of the week – in fact it was so good that my mum- a woman of few words- rang me up to rave about the left over dressing I had kept in her fridge after mothers day. According to Mum it is lovely over some Roast beef!
So tell me – what’s your favourite Salad assembly?