Last weekend I was in Stowe, Vermont for a quick trip and ended up having two amazing salads that inspired me to remind you all that salads do not have to equal boring. I always check menus for interesting salads. I’m seeing more and more places offering fabulous toppings making a salad a filling, nutritious and balanced meal.
At the Green Goddess Cafe:
Can you see how HUGE that bowl is? I couldn’t believe my eyes when they brought it out. They have an awesome system where you design your own salad and if I ever have my own cafe I would totally do this too. They have an order slip where all the possible toppings are listed in various columns (things like extra veggies, proteins, nuts, dried fruits, etc., plus the dressings) and you circle a certain number from each. They offered tasty additions like raisins, walnuts, avocado, mandarin oranges and olives as well as the basics like carrots, tomatoes, broccoli and celery. Unique assortment of salad dressings also. See, salads can be FUN! 🙂
The other place, Gracie’s, had salads almost as big. I got the Wolfhound Waldorf salad with shrimp. Sorry, no picture but check ’em out if you’re in Stowe.
I’ve noticed a lot of restaurants will offer several salad selections and then a choice of proteins to add. If you don’t consider salads to be filling, make sure you are including a decent protein source in it. Same goes for fat! An all-veggie salad as a meal just isn’t enough.
Here in Rhode Island my very favorite place for a salad is the Two Ten Oyster Bar. I discovered them only this past end of summer when I got their Organic Berry Salad with goat cheese that has since been replaced on the menu with the Harvest Salad. Still very good with its butternut squash, toasted pepitas, bacon and chipotle maple cider dressing, but I am anxiously awaiting the berry salad to (hopefully) come back soon.
No! If you *think* you don’t like salads, could you be doing them wrong?
While salads are one of my go-to things to order at a restaurant, they are even better when you make them at home. Think of stocking your fridge like a mini salad bar with fresh greens, shredded carrots, sunflower seeds, chopped hard-boiled egg, blueberries, dried cranberries, homemade dressings… whatever you can just grab and put together in a bowl for an easy, healthy meal. If you don’t already, start buying some new things in the grocery store like avocado, tahini, chickpeas or slivered almonds. Think about a salad you got at a restaurant, what made it special and then recreate it at home!
A few ideas for making your own dressing:
- Dairy-Free Ranch Dressing
- Tahini Dressing
- Peanut Butter Dressing
- Hummus or guacamole on top of your salad can stand in for a dressing
And not that I have anything against chocolate and wine (just enjoyed both last night!) but I thought this was cute and might make someone smile…