What you will need for 1 salad; layer the following:
- A quality lettuce base. I prefer mixed baby greens, if you can find the type an organic type with fresh herbs mixed in, then even better - 1 huge handful (about 3 cups loosely packed)
- Essential salad veggies: tomatoes, cukes, and onions. Sure, you can add anything you want, but these are my default choices - sliced, about 1/2 cup of each
- Protein (meat or beans); I used chicken breast - 3 oz boneless skinless chicken breast
- Cheese, a must have for my salads! I used a smoked cheddar...it was divine!! - 1 oz, chopped
- Something sweet, fresh or dried fruit; I used dried cherries. Combined with the smoked cheddar, the dried cherries were a treat....truly amazing (and I don't say that much about salads) - 2 TBS chopped dried cherries
- Something salty & crunchy. My new favorite way to add this to my salad.........Garlic & Butter Bagel Chips. They crumble easy; I enjoy the smaller bits vs ginormous croutons that you can't seem to ever spear with your fork - 4 bagel chips, crumbled
- Something pickle-y (is that a proper adjective?) I found some hot and spicy pickled green beans, or pepper rings would work too - 1 oz chopped prickled green beans
- Now that it's all built, and before we add the dressing, just give it a gentle toss. I find I use a little less dressing if I do this - it distributes more evenly, rather than to top of the salad dressed and nothing on the bottom.
- Because I had so many layers of flavor in this salad: nice baby greens, fresh chopped veggies, grilled chicken, savory cheese, sweet dried fruit, salty & crunchy bagel chips, hot pickled beans.....I only used 1 TBS of salad dressing, a nice balsamic vinaigrette tied it all together.
When S asked his usual "what's for dinner"?....and my reply was salad, he rolled his eyes. Then he tried it....he was wowed, because he asked for seconds! He even commented on the smoked cheddar and dried cherries, how good they were, and the 1 TBS of dressing was enough to satisfy him as well. He has actually asked for this salad again, if that's any indication.
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