Rainbow Salad + Creamy Basil Dressing

Summer is in full swing here in Shanghai. The plum rain season is about over, and the temperature and humidity are rising every day. Only another few weeks until I won’t be able to step outside without immediately dehydrating. There is an upside to this “surface of the sun” weather, and that is an abundance of fresh, summer fruits and veggies. Enter: Rainbow Salad with Creamy Basil Dressing.

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I am lucky to be in Shanghai where there are so many options for cheap and healthy “expat” foods, like avocados. I ordered some fresh herbs from kateandkimi.com and went to avocado lady for the blueberries, peppers, and of course, avocados. I have been seeing a lot of these “rainbow” type salads on the food blogs I read lately, and I not only like how pretty they look, but they also tend to be super healthy. Including all the colors of the rainbow ensures that you are getting the full spectrum of vitamins and minerals you need, also it tastes pretty damn good.

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Making your own, fresh salad dressing is the key to keeping this salad healthy. Everyone knows that the store bought dressings are full of god knows what ingredients and a ridiculous amount of sugar. Making your own salad dressing is so easy, once you start doing it you probably won’t stop. This dressing has a lot of fresh basil and lemon juice, and is made creamy with a big scoop of greek yogurt. Everyone who knows me knows I hate mayo, so I almost always substitute with yogurt; much healthier and I can eat it without my skin crawling.

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This salad is pretty much a blank canvas. All you need is a base of greens, I used chopped romaine for this salad, but kale, mixed greens, or arugula would all taste good. It can also be meat free, even though I added grilled chicken, and use whatever veggies/herbs you have one hand. It’s a great “cleaning out the fridge” day salad.

Salad Ingredients:

  • 1-2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1/2 tomato, chopped,
  • 1/2 yellow pepper, chopped
  • 1 handful of fresh parsley
  • 1 handful blueberries
  • 1/2 avocado, cubed
  • 2 grilled chicken tenderloins

How To:

  1. chop and rinse all veggies and fruit
  2. start with the lettuce base, and then add the fruits, veggies, and herbs in sections
  3. chop two grilled chicken tenderloins and add to the final section of the salad
  4. add dressing (recipe below)

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Ok, so I have to admit I didn’t do a good job of writing down the ingredients for the dressing, I made it a few days prior and was using it for a bunch of stuff. The good thing about dressing though is the measurements don’t have to be exact, it can be made to your personal taste.

Ingredients for dressing:

  • 1 handful of fresh basil
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 T of grainy mustard
  • splash of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 T of greek yogurt
  • salt & pepper to taste

How To:

  1. Add all ingredients to blender and pulse until a creamy consistency is reached.
  2. Taste and adjust ingredients to your liking (aka add more lemon juice, or more mustard, etc…)
  3. Pour over salad and pig out

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Btw, blueberries in salads is my new favorite thing ever. Actually blueberries in everything. Actually, just blueberries.

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