Baby Greens Salad with Light Balsamic Vinaigrette

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baby greens with balsamic vinagrette

“A perfect side salad served with lighter version of Balsamic Vinaigrette”

Baby Greens Salad with Light Balsamic Vinaigrette

Ingredients

  • 8 cups mixed baby greens, washed and dried
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes (you may cut into halves if desired)
  • Fresh chive sprigs, or thinly sliced green onion
  • Edible flowers, if desired, optional
  • Dressing

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely minced fresh thyme
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste (about 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper)

Method

Step 1

Whisk all the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl. Place greens in a large salad bowl; add dressing and toss. Place into a bowl and top with tomatoes, chives and edible flowers, if using.



{The making of Baby Greens Salad with Light Balsamic Vinaigrette}

 

baby greens salad with light balsamic vinaigrette

 

Sometimes, after weeks of travel, overeating, overindulging, you just have to get back on track to get back into your pants. Salads are a great way to do this, and summertime is a great time to eat salads. Tomatoes are at their prime, little edible flowers, such as pansies, are abundant in the garden, and the farmer’s markets are flush with fresh, interesting, field greens.

And we all know that the dressing is the perfect foil to foil your good intentions. Most dressings use just too much oil. One tablespoon of oil = 100 calories. It doesn’t matter what type of oil you are using, olive oil, grapeseed oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, whatever oil, they are all 100 calories per tablespoon.

Yes, even canola oil, whose use I do not advocate because I don’t think it’s a real or healthy oil. Canola Oil is short for Canadian oil low acid which is made from a cultivar of rapeseed selectively bred for lowered levels of erucic acid in order to make it fit for human consumption. I mean, anything that they have to breed to “make it fit” for human consumption, is not something I want to eat. I’ll stick with foods that are already fit for human consumption.

The easy way to lower the fat of your dressing mix is to add an equal amount of water to the oil. Of course, a lot of flavor is derived from the oil, so to supplement the flavor factor, I love using Dijon mustard and fresh herbs, in this case, thyme. And of course, I always only “dress” my salad greens with a light hand, I love the flavor of my fresh baby lettuces and want them to “shine through”.

 

baby greens with a light balsamic vinaigrette

 

 

Pulling lettuce out from my garden is my favorite lettuce, but as summer goes on, and the weather gets hotter, my garden lettuce likes to bolt, so off to the Farmer’s market, I go to purchase their tender leaves.

If you can’t grow it or don’t have a Farmer’s market to go to, there are many fine packaged varieties in most all grocery stores today. When choosing pre-packaged varieties, look for packages that are flat, not full of air. When lettuce starts to get old it puts off gases. It’s these gases that cause the packages to make the air inside.

So flat packages have fresher lettuce in them.

Once cleaned, make sure to thoroughly dry your lettuce so no water remains on the leaves to dilute the dressing. I love my salad spinner, but you could also do it the old-fashioned way; the way my grandmother did it, by tying the lettuces in a clean dish towel and then stepping outside and swinging it around and around until no more water came out. As a child, I loved doing this on a hot day, kind of a refreshing shower while making a salad.

Of course, you can add more to the salad then I did. Cucumber is a good, low-calorie choice. Avocado, while high in fat, is all good fat. So add some if you wish. Beans, garbanzo or kidney, also go well here and add fiber and protein. Another good way to add protein, and make it a full meal, is to add poached chicken breast or halve a hard-boiled egg.

 

Baby Greens with Light Balsamic Vinaigrette

Baby Greens Salad with Light Balsamic Vinaigrette 

So make it right, and make it light! And enjoy your greens…


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Nutritional Info

This information is per serving.
  • Calories
    104
  • Protein
    8g
  • Carbohydrate
    14g
  • Dietary Fiber
    6g
  • Cholesterol
    0mg
  • Sodium
    131mg
  • Fat
    4g (tr Sat, 2g Mono, tr Poly)
  • Nutritional data may not be 100% accurate

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