Written by Nick –
I eat seasonally. Wintertime is for meat and potatoes, but when the sun is shining, I’m all for a fresh salad. Salad doesn’t need to be a side dish. It’s easy to “dress-up” with your favorite salad dressing and adding a bit of grilled chicken or any other favorite protein item makes it a filling meal. A salad is also a great way to get your recommended five servings of fruits and veggies. And it’s one of the simplest meals to make for one or two people, which is what I typically cook for. But, I think, the best thing about a salad is the constant variety you can create by adding new and interesting dressings with the seasonal veggies and fruits.
I’m lucky enough to live close to a fantastic green grocer. Not only do they have great, fresh produce, but shopping there takes out the headache of dealing with the crowds at the grocery store. Plus it helps you avoid the grocery store temptations. After all, salads should be healthy, but I can’t help adding bacon to my cart when I see it right next to the low fat ranch dressing…
You can add all the different veggies you want, but if you don’t have a unique dressing, salads can become stale and boring. So I’m always on the lookout for homemade dressing recipes. I like making dressings at home so I can constantly customize to my individual liking and then brag about my expert skills in the kitchen. Anyone can chop some lettuce and tomatoes and throw in a bit of store bought dressing, but when you have a“signature” dressing it’s worth showing it off.
I decided to step out of my comfort zone and try this creamy salad dressing, which uses NESTLÉ COFFEE-MATE Liquid Coffee Creamer! I didn’t follow the recipe for the salad, I like to pick out whatever looks fresh. In this case I mixed in some romaine, added some spinach, cherry tomatoes, red onion, avocados (since moving to California I add avocados to everything), and topped it all off with some grilled chicken. This dressing is a delicious, creamy mixture with a kick of pepper. Each tablespoon is packed with flavor, so don’t get too overzealous when adding to your salad. A little goes a long way with this dressing.
What’s your favorite way to dress up a salad?
Ingredients for 4 Servings:
- 2 slices whole-wheat bread (about 2 ounces total), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 8 cups chopped romaine lettuce
- 1 cup sliced cucumber
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
- 3 tablespoons Original NESTLÉ COFFEE-MATE Liquid Coffee Creamer
- 2 tablespoons fat free sour cream
- 1 1/2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons BUITONI Refrigerated Freshly Shredded Parmesan Cheese
- 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
PREHEAT oven to 350° F.
PLACE bread cubes in single layer on large baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove from oven; cool completely.
PLACE lettuce, cucumber and onion in large bowl; set aside.
COMBINE Coffee-mate, sour cream, mayonnaise, cheese, vinegar, salt and pepper in small bowl; stir until completely blended. Add to lettuce mixture; toss gently, yet thoroughly, to coat completely. Add bread cubes; toss gently.
with Avocados and Oranges