I hate to say it, but I understand the world's tendency to associate salads with dieting.
At the height of my disordered eating, I ordered salads galore because I thought of them as a healthy way to maintain or lose weight. Lucky for me, I actually enjoy eating them, so in that regard, it worked in my favor.
These days, I still love salad, and I'd be lying if I didn't add that weight maintenance is part of the reason. Is it so terrible to be concerned with one's weight?
Seemingly, the world today might shame me for saying that I watch what I eat or label me any number of terms, but I feel a tad proud of both my self-control and effort in this regard. After three kids and many years in this body, I know what weight I feel best at, and I know how to eat and exercise in order to stay there.
A big part of my regimen includes eating a good amount of vegetables each day, many times in the form of salad.
I'm a creature of habit, so the contents of my bowl are fairly similar...a combination of leafy greens and either red or green leaf lettuce, shredded red cabbage, chopped red or yellow bell pepper, cucumbers, scallions, grated carrot, and occasionally a few other raw veggies like red onion or chopped cauliflower.
In addition to the above, I like to top my bowl with raw pumpkin seeds, raisins or dried cranberries, chopped chicken, and some type of delicious homemade dressing.
I've been playing around with this dressing for months, varying the herb and spice combination, but within the last week or so, I really felt like I nailed a good one!
I know it's good because I want to make it again and again, which is just what I've been doing.
Just like my Italian Dressing, the added raw zucchini lends the 'creamy' factor to this recipe, while also reducing the need for added oil.
If assembled correctly, a salad can make a great meal for even the hungriest eater!
Creamy, Smoky, Spicy Cilantro Dressing
- 1 large zucchini , cut into 5-6 large chunks
- ¾ c . water
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 3 T . olive oil
- 1 large garlic clove
- 1 T . Dijon mustard
- ½ t . sea salt
- dash or two of cayenne pepper
- ½ t . cumin
- large handful of fresh cilantro (around 1/2 (packed) cup)
- Blend all until smooth and creamy.
What's your favorite way to dress salads?