Dave here and it’s post number three.
At this point we should be one big happy family so do we really need the intro? Nah.
But can I resist another comic related joke…. also nah. For those of you new or have missed my previous posts here it is… I’ve always had a passion for good tasting food, and while I could list of kitchen related jobs of my past, I find it easier to tell this community that in the 1940s I volunteered for a special government program granting me superhuman taste.
Lucky for you all, at some point during my adventures in the 40’s I became encased in a block of ice… only to be defrosted in the year 2017 where I’ve become a food blogger. And on to the truth.
I’m a self taught average joe who’s been gifted a superhuman sense for what tastes great and I’m here to share my findings. Each recipe will feature a minimum of one of the elusive superfoods because what else do you think superhumans consume?
Before we dive into the featured recipe today I wanted to go over the salad basics and the benefits of making your own salad dressing at home. At some point during your transformation to a superhuman you begin to realize that salads are a great way to eat clean and stay within your diet pillars. The only problem with salads as it can feel repetitive. I’m hoping that I can provide you with enough advice today where you can avoid that repetitive feeling, get excited to eat a salad, and eat so many of these green leafy bowls of goodness that people accuse you or supplementing with gamma rays.
Let’s start with a basic garden salad, then I’ll give you a table full of different salad ingredients that you can mix and match at your leisure. I’d love to hear feedback on which combinations work for you.
Bonus Recipe: Simple Garden Salad
Perfect side dish that can easily be transformed into a full meal with the addition of a well cooked protein like chicken, fish, or grass fed beef. No sexy write up for this one as I’m sure you’ve come across it in your past.
Ingredients: (Serves 2-4 people depending on side or main)
- ⅔ of a Large salad bowl filled with your favorite green leafy. I recommend spinach, kale, arugula or chard for their nutritional density compared to iceberg or even romaine lettuce
- 1 Roma Tomato (Or a large handful of grape or cherry tomatoes) diced into cubes
- ⅓ or ½ of a Cucumber based on preference and size. I prefer to dice my cucumbers but traditional presentation calls for slicing them into disks
- ½ Small sweet onion diced
- 1 Medium carrot peeled and grated (use a box grater)
- (Optional) Fresh Grated Parmesan Cheese
- Fill your large bowl with your salad greens
- Cut each veggie into bite size portions based on your preference. I find dicing to be the best method.
- Add the cut veggies to your salad bowl
- Lastly grate your carrot and add to the top of the salad.
- Optional add Parmesan and top with your new favorite dressing (today’s featured recipe, perhaps ;))
Now for the fun part. Here is a list of various other salad ingredients I’ve played around with in the past sorted into columns of what it brought to this super squad.
|Lettuce||Onion||Grilled Chicken||Feta Cheese||Strawberry|
|Spinach||Green Onion||Salmon||Parmesan Cheese||Apple|
|Kale||Carrot||Steak Tips||Toasted Almonds||Dried Cranberry|
|Swiss Chard||Tomato||Chick Peas||Pistachios|
|Cabbage||Roasted Beets||Tuna Fish||Walnuts|
I’d recommend picking 1 leafy green, 3 veggies, 1 protein and 1 or 2 add ons and assemble your salad like Voltron.
Most combinations you assemble with this logic will pair will with a simple vinaigrette and lucky for you that’s our next topic!
Before we get there one note on the fruit column. Spinach or Arugula would be my leafy green of choice, and partner this up with a nut and a cheese.
Make yo own dressing!
Now that you know how to make a superhuman salad, SALAD EATERS ASSEMBLE, we need to get it geared up in the proper dressing. This is a culinary skill that is quite simple, but also not very common. This skill has been weeded out by the convenience and low cost of pre-made dressings one may find at the grocery store. Sadly that convenience comes with a cost, in the form of a laundry list of shelf stabilizers. Most of these compounds are things your rather avoid, and in addition to the stabilizers most pre-made dressings are high in sodium. By mastering this skill you not only eliminate the stabilizers and high sodium content from your dressing but you also replace low quality ingredients (particularly the oils) with high quality ones. The end result is a better tasting product that better for you.
A basic vinaigrette can be assembled using the base recipe of ¼ cup oil, 2 tablespoons vinegar, 1-2 tablespoons honey/syrup, salt and pepper. Here’s another table of common ingredients for you to mix and match.
|Extra Virgin Olive Oil||Red Wine Vinegar||Honey||Cilantro||Avocado|
|Avocado Oil||Apple Cider Vinegar||Maple Syrup||Garlic||Dijion Mustard|
|Sunflower Oil||Balsamic Vinegar||Agave Nectar||Oregano||Tahinni|
|Citrus Juice (Lemon/Lime/ Orange)||Pepper||Mayo|
To help emulsify (uniformly blend) things like dijon mustard, or tahini, can be used. I’d add about 1-2 Tablespoons of your emulsifying agent when utilized. These Agents of SALAD help your vinaigrette stay blended and some of them can even add a creamy texture to your dressing… and like that we are on to our featured recipe.
Today’s Featured Recipe: Lemon Tahini Salad Dressing
And with all that out of the way let me provide you with one of my favorite homemade recipes. This pairs great with the bonus garden salad recipe and is pretty damn flexible for use with a number of salad combinations. The superfood leading the charge this time around is tahini. A sesame seed paste that’s approximately 20% proteins and 55% oils comprised of healthy fats. Tahini is also nutrient dense and a good source of copper and essential amino acids.
One of the reported benefits is better skin… You know I think I heard some guy Luke swears by the stuff…
This recipe makes enough dressing for 1 or 2 salads depending on how heavily dressed you like your salad. Here’s the per serving stats (5 servings):
Nutrition Pillar Info:
- Fresh Lemon Zest
- 1 Fresh squeezed lemon juice – remember avoid the seeds!
- ¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 Tablespoons Tahini
- 2 Tablespoons Honey
- 1 Teaspoon Garlic
- 1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
- ½ Teaspoon Sea Salt
- A Dash of Fresh Ground Black Pepper
- In a medium sized mixing bowl add your quarter cup of olive oil
- Using a grater zest your lemon. Remove the outermost layer of the lemon, you only want to remove the yellow part of the skin.
- Add the zest to your mixing bowl, cut the lemon in half and carefully squeeze out the juice of the lemon into the bowl. Remember lemon seeds are kryptonite to good food.
- Add your remaining ingredients to the bowl and using a wire whisk mix well. Your dressing should have a uniform consistency.
- Poor on the top of your salad, Excelsior and Enjoy!
Full nutritional stats, courtesy of MyFitnessPal:
Join The Superhero Academy and start unleashing your inner SuperHuman.