For this fall salad recipe, you’ll need:
-5 oz organic mixed greens
-garden veggies of your choice
-2 handfuls roasted pumpkin seeds
-1 handful dried cranberries
For the vinagrette, you’ll need:
-5 tsp stone ground or dijon mustard
-3 Tbsp maple syrup
-3 Tbsp olive oil
-2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
-1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
-1 tsp lemon juice
-1 medium garlic clove, minced
-Salt and pepper to taste
This week we are kick off our autumn recipe series with a refreshingly easy fall salad recipe. This salad is super easy (we’re not re-inventing the wheel here, people), light and perfect for Floridians who crave a taste of the season without dying of a hot kitchen. Because let’s be real, “fall” in Florida doesn’t really exist, does it?
Nevertheless, we are obsessed with this season. September 1st the pumpkin spice candles were burning and our houses are shamelessly decked out in fall decor. (Literally, just wait until Halloween hits. Things get a little out of control.)
Why Homemade Salad Dressing?
Protecting your investment in body sculpting treatments at Trim starts in the kitchen with healthy food choices. While salads are an obvious top choice for healthy eating, the truth is that MANY salads (especially ones at restaurants) can be loaded with extra calories, crappy synthetic ingredients, sugar and tons of fat.
For this reason and a few others, it’s a really good idea to get into the habit of pairing every meal with greens and creative salads topped with homemade salad dressings to eliminate the ingredients you can’t pronounce and which your body won’t digest as easily.
Easy Fall Salad Recipe: The Ingredients
Healthy, light and inspired–all meals should really be this way. This salad is painfully simple but the magic is in the dressing, and the best part is you’ll have it on the table in 15 minutes or less.
Grab your groceries including a garden veggie variety of your choice. In the spirit of keeping things simple and efficient I usually opt for cucumber, cherry tomato, carrot. Depending on your preferences, you could throw in orange, yellow or red bell peppers, chopped celery, beet and red cabbage. Experiment with lettuces for texture. Romaine is milder and crunchier than mixed greens, which might go over better with the fam.
The pumpkin seeds used in this salad can be purchased from from the bulk section of your local grocer, but we opted to purchase a brand for this blog so you could easily look up what was used. The dried cranberries we used are bulk from our natural grocer and are slightly unique in that they are sweetened with apple juice only, which makes them slightly less sweet and super yummy. That said, any ol’ dried cranberries will do.
Putting it All Together
For the salad dressing:
- Place all ingredients together in a bowl, whisk together.
- Optional: If using stone ground dijon mustard, place your dressing in the blender for 10-20 seconds to emulsify things a bit. (See photos for the difference.)
Test and tweak this dressing to your taste preferences. Too dijon-y? Add a touch more maple. Too sweet? Add a touch more dijon, some more lemon, garlic and/or some more vinegar. Too thick? Add water. Not enough taste? Experiment with salt and pepper, or add a little powdered onion and oregano. If you prefer creamy dijon (which has more punch and no crunch – wow surprise rhyme), you’ll probably need less dijon overall.
Salad assembly is where things get really complicated. You ready?
- Throw your mixed greens in a bowl.
- Chop your veggies and throw them on top.
- Throw in 2-4 tablespoons of your salad dressing (and save the rest for next time.) Toss things around.
- Top with cranberries and pumpkin seeds. Voila!
Feeling fancy? Toss the pumpkin seeds in a warm, lightly oiled pan on medium heat for a few minutes. Keep the seeds moving in the heated pan until they’re lightly toasted and then top the salad with them.
Feeling even fancier? Swap the dried cranberries for fresh pomegranate seeds. Less sugar and a crunchier consistency.
Healthy eating should be mildly adventurous or, at the very least, enjoyable. Because if you don’t enjoy it, you won’t eat it. Let us know how your family enjoyed this salad using the hashtag #TrimStudioFL.