When I was in college and visited the campus rec center for a sweat session, I often laughed at people on the elliptical (coughcouhgTHETAsororitygirlscoughcough). Unlike some people, I wasn’t afraid to sweat. I didn’t go to the gym to socialize, sport my boom-boom shorts, and/or pick-up guys. That’s what the internet is for, right?
But I didn’t laugh at them for the laughable reasons mentioned above. I laughed at them because they added no resistance to the elliptical, so that whatever was going on…was not a workout. When you have to put more effort in to slowing or stopping the wheel of a piece of cardio equipment, you’re not doing something right.
Kind of like ellipticals needing some effort, so do salads. And just like ellipticals, salads aren’t my favorite. If a salad is going to be a MEAL, it better have some substantial ingredients…like egg, or nuts, or seed, or…cheese. In other words, some fat and protein.
Leafy greens and vegetables drizzled in a sub-par dressing is going to lead to scary scenes. Like my stomach growling by 2pm, my blood sugar dropping, eating junk that’s available in the break room, and most likely, turning into a huge witch before long. All very bad, bad things, let me tell you. My tolerance of a growling stomach is less than that I have for drivers going UNDER the speed limit…in the left-hand lane. But let’s not go there…
Then there’s the facts. Greens and vegetables are packed with fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K that require fat in order to be absorbed. The fat can come from other salad ingredients, salad dressing, or another component of the meal, but the fat should be consumed in that meal for best absorption. This salad, meets all of my Salad Criteria plus this special wow-factor when the following ingredients are combined. Mmm!
Chopped Apple Salad with Toasted Walnuts, Blue Cheese and Pomegranate Vinaigrette adapted from Bobby Flay
1/2 cup POM Wonderful 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard 1 Tbsp honey salt, to taste freshly ground black pepper, to taste 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 apples (Gala, Fuji, or Honeycrisp), cored and cut into 1/2-inch pieces 2 cups spinach or arugula 1 large head Romaine lettuce, torn into pieces 1/2 cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped 6 oz blue cheese, crumbled 1/2 pomegranate, arils removed
To make the vinaigrette, simmer the POM Wonderful over medium heat until it simmers, thickening to about 1/4 cup (about 10-12 minutes). Whisk together the pomegranate juice, vinegar, mustard, honey, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until emulsified. Set aside.
For the salad, combine the apples, spinach/arugula, Romaine, walnuts, and blue cheese in a large bowl. Add the vinaigrette and toss to coat.Â Yield: 5 entree portions.
Nutrition Information (per serving): 431 calories; 31 g. fat; 24 mg. cholesterol; 534 mg. sodium; 31.8 g. carbohydrate; 7.6 g. fiber; 11 g. protein
Result: I firmly believe this may be the best salad dressing…ever. It’s absolutely divine. I could eat it with a spoon or slurp it down with a straw. It has a great combination or sweet and tart while still being light and olive oil-based. The ingredients in the salad are perfect for fall and the blue cheese makes this salad outta-this-world. Enjoy!