Wednesday, February 18, 2009
I love hearty salads. Taco salad, salade niçoise, Caesar salad, chef's salad, Greek salad, the list goes on and on. A good salad could literally bring me to my weakened knees.
However, I'm pretty diva-licious about my salads. I have to have at least two things on my salad: (1) a honkin' portion of protein, in any form, and (2) salad dressing galore. However, my two salad prerequisites often mean that I'm defeating the purpose of eating salad--the health reason. Therefore, I decided to take one of my favorite unhealthy salads, the Cobb salad, and give it a "healthy" flair. This meant that I needed to omit the blue cheese, bacon, and perhaps chicken meat.
After whipping together the other Cobb salad ingredients, adding a sprinkling dried chives, and drizzling red wine vinegar over the greens, I felt that my ultimate version of the Cobb salad looked like the epitome of healthiness. I was satisfied. (However, after consulting my health-oriented macrobiotic cookbook, I discovered to my chagrin that avocados and tomatoes are not macrobiotic-savvy foods. Oh well, I can't do the macrobiotic diet anyway.)
Pretty pleased with myself on making a nutritious salad, I decided to taste my healthy twist on the traditional Cobb salad. One taste, and... It tasted like I was eating raw forest foliage. Perhaps it was because I ate a big bite of watercress with no dressing.
With vigor, I threw down my salad fork and angrily stomped my way to the cabinets and fridge for some bacon bits, garlic butter croutons, and blue cheese dressing. Salad should not taste like a compost pile of weed trimmings! It should taste like a deconstructed smothered chipped beef sandwich!
But before I made it to the pantry, the calming voice of reason sounded in my head. Based on the hypnotic voice in my head, I picked up the "low-fat" blue cheese dressing instead. When I arrived back at my place setting, I just added a bit of dressing to the salad, and could definitely say that this spruced up my meal significantly.
If you are interested in the way that I made this Cobb salad, check out the recipe below.
Pseudo-Cobb Salad, The Healthier Version
1 head of red leaf lettuce, washed and cut or ripped into bite-sized pieces
1/4 bundle of watercress, washed and cut or ripped into bite-sized pieces
1 large avocado (or 2 small avocados), peeled and diced
2 whole chicken eggs, boiled and diced
2 large tomatoes, cored and diced
1 pinch of dried chives, optional
1 tbsp of red wine vinegar, optional
several tbsps of low-fat or non-fat blue cheese dressing, to taste
In a medium to small bowl, whisk together the dressing, vinegar, and dried chives. In a large bowl, combine all the remaining ingredients, drizzling the whisked liquid ingredients over the greens. Toss well. Alternatively, you could arrange all of the salad ingredients on a plate into sections (e.g. egg section, avocado section, tomato section, greens section) and allow your guests to drizzle on the dressing to their own liking. Serve and enjoy.
For the best Cobb salad recipe, check out this link, for the inventor of Cobb salad's recipe! Do you have any healthy salad recipes? Feel free to share your link in the comments section!