As summer heats up, a great meal to make is a nice, simple salad that doesn’t take a lot of sweat in the kitchen. This salad takes three basic steps: marinade and cook the main salad ingredient, prepare the vegetables and make the salad dressing. It’s a great way to use garden vegetables if you grow them or even if you take advantage of farmers’ market sales. You can use any main ingredient including shrimp, chicken or tofu. Plus, the home made Balsamic Vinaigrette will have everyone asking where did you get the salad dressing. Here is a really easy method for making a salad that everyone is sure to love.
Ingredients for 4 servings:
- 1lb Main Ingredient (Chicken, Shrimp or Tofu)
- 3 cups Salad (Pre-washed salad is a real time saver)
- Several Garden Vegetables (Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Olives, Apples…whatever you have on hand or like)
- 1/4 cup Feta Cheese
- Olive Oil
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Dried Basil
- Dried Oregano
- Salt if needed
1. Prepare the Main Ingredient: Shrimp, Chicken or Tofu
Pick Out, Marinate and Cook the Main Ingredient:
Pick out you main ingredient; we usually use tofu, shrimp or chicken. If you use tofu or chicken, chop it up into bite size pieces. Then marinate it in low fat Italian dressing for about 5-10 minutes. We usually use 1-2Tbsp of dressing per pound of main ingredient.
Cook the Shrimp, Chicken or Tofui
Grill the main salad ingredient. We really like to use a grill pan which saves you from having to make skewers. This allows you to cut smaller pieces so there will be more surface area for marinades. Another option is to cook the main ingredient in a non-stick pan with a light coating of vegetable oil. Usually shrimp and tofu take about 7 minutes while chicken takes a couple minutes longer. We usually let the main ingredient marinade while preparing the other steps, and then cook it at the end.
2. Make the Salad Dressing:
Nothing is better than homemade dressing. This is our really simple method for making a really great Balsamic Vinaigrette that you can use on almost any salad. In a small bowl, combine and mix with a fork:
- 1Tbsp olive oil
- 1Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
- 1Tsp dried basil le
- 1Tsp Dried Oregano
- pepper to taste and salt to taste.
Try not to use too much salt because it is very easy to overdo sodium in your diet.
3. Combine Vegetables and Finish Salad:
Chop up all the Garden Vegetables and add to the salad. Toss with the salad dressing.
Arrange salad on plates or in a salad bowl, sprinkle feta cheese on top and then arrange the main chicken, shrimp or tofu on one side.
Using the basic dressing recipe and garden greens, it is really easy to change things up with a different main ingredient. One night try shrimp and on another maybe try tofu. The secret to cooking tofu is to let it marinate for a long time. Hopefully you enjoy this basic recipe for making many different salads!