Mama K's Anytime Salad
Photo Credit for Menu Picture: Nutrition in The Kitch
About a year ago, my sweet friend, Kimberly, had given me the simple recipe for a salad she learned about when she lived in Australia. It was delicious and I found myself making it for lunch quite often. Sometimes, I would need to tweak the simple recipe to accommodate what I had in the refrigerator at the time and eventually, this new salad came to be.
Keep in mind, their are no clear measurements as the beautiful thing about most salads is you put what you like in it.
Note: the base is basically the original recipe given to me by Kimberly.
Baby Spinach ( I do it with Kale sometimes)
Herbed Goat Cheese
*** You can top with chopped pecans, dried cranberries, chickpeas, pine nuts, sliced almonds, apples or pears or even chopped, roasted beets which is my personal favorite.
For the base salad:
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees
- Peel and cut the Vidalia onion into preferred size (I eliminate this part as I am not a fan of onion in my salad)
- Peel and cut the sweet potato (because I am usually limited with time, I buy frozen bags of pre cut sweet potatoes)
- Toss onions and sweet potatoes in a little bit of olive oil, lightly sprinkle with salt and fresh ground pepper
- Place onions and sweet potatoes on a parchment lined baking sheet (this makes clean up so easy) and roast in oven until sweet potatoes are fork tender and onions have caramelized. With my oven and because I eliminate the onion and use pre-cut potatoes, it takes about 10-15 min.
Meanwhile, I take whatever amount of spinach I wish and place in a bowl. Once the vegetables are ready, I take them out of the oven and literally dump them on top of the spinach. The heat "cooks" the spinach just enough to wilt it a little. I personally feel like it enhances the flavor of the spinach just enough so it still tastes fresh yet not so "raw" to the bite.
After tossing the hot vegetables with the spinach, drizzle the balsamic glaze and toss together. Crumble the goat cheese (as little or as much as you like) on top and serve.
I love adding protein to this salad or adding other ingredients to make it heartier although this salad in itself is hearty enough.
I typically buy a whole, roasted chicken from Costco and take all the meat off and break them into smaller pieces. I then put the chicken in a large pan with a light drizzle of olive oil. I add Tony's seasoning, allspice, garlic powder and turmeric and mix until the chicken gets a little brown. I never use all the pieces in one sitting. I always have leftover which I use for salads or tacos later in the week or on the weekend.
I also love buying the frozen, breaded tilapia from Costco and I bake it on a separate baking sheet at the same time as the potatoes and cut small pieces to add into the salad.
There are so many different variations you can do with this base that can keep things simple, yet different. Presentation can make it look like you spent all day in the kitchen preparing it, when it really only took you about 15-20 minutes.
I hope you find this recipe helpful and if you do try it out, let me know what you think!
Hugs, Mama K