Can I tell you a little secret? Sometimes I make gourmet salads in under 2 minutes! That is, with a little help from a pre-made store bought salad mix.
At first I was hesitant to purchase something when I couldn’t use the dressing included because it wasn’t vegan, but I got over myself and decided to mix up my own balsamic vinaigrette and have a quick delicious meal that didn’t take tons of prep!
My current favorite is this Eat Smart Sweet Kale Salad mix that I found at Costco. (although I have seen it at many different grocery stores including Target) It’s got all the greens I want plus a touch of sweetness from the cranberries and extra crunch from the pumpkin seeds. Add avocado and it’s a full meal that really hits the spot.
The real star of the dish is my balsamic vinaigrette. I’m not of fan of sour dressing so making it myself I can customize the flavor profile to my liking and so can you.
Here’s my recipe:
- 3 Tablespoons good quality olive oil (like this one from Temecula Olive Oil Company)
- 1 Tablespoon water
- 1-2 teaspoons good quality balsamic vinaigrette (like this one)
- 2 teaspoons coconut aminos (or Braggs aminos, or low sodium soy sauce)
- 1-2 teaspoons honey or agave
- 1 teaspoon seasoning mix (I used this one)
- ½ teaspoon black pepper (or red pepper for a kick of spice)
Whisk ingredients together then toss with enough salad for one portion. Garnish with avocado and even dates if you want a little more sweet in your salad.
Really you could customize any store bought salad in this way. Make a dressing that fits your taste and whip it up quick if you’re running low on time or just don’t want to be in the kitchen chopping a ton of ingredients.