Friday, June 20, 2014

Crunchy Chopped Salad

I think this was originally a recipe from a South Beach Diet cookbook.  But I started making it so long ago, and have added and deleted ingredients over the years…so that I am not sure it’s the same one in the book.  That’s okay – it’s not about exact ingredients.  You can add or subtract as you like.  It’s about CRUNCH!  And that’s what you get in this Crunchy Chopped Salad!
I know that chips aren’t great for me.  I usually don’t crave them, and I make sure I don’t keep them in the house (because as a stay-at-home mom, you DO eat whatever is in the pantry!)  But sometimes you just get that urge for something kind of salty and crunchy.  I make this salad instead.  Is it the same?  Of course not!  (Otherwise I’d call it Doritos Salad!)  But this satisfying, fun-to-eat dish  scratches that itch for me, and maybe it will for you too.
If you need a break from lettuce, try this.  If you have lots of singleton vegetables in your crisper drawer, try this.  If you want something fresh and different for your next cookout, try this!
Crunchy Chopped Salad
(Serves four as a side dish)
  • 6 baby carrots
  • 1 bunch radishes, trimmed
  • 3 stalks celery, trimmed
  • 2 Persian cucumbers, or one large cucumber
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper
  • 2 green onions
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • juice of 1 lemon or lime
  • 2 or 3 drops of honey
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 avocados
  1. Wash and trim all your veggies.  Cut them all into medium-small pieces.  This is up to you, but for example, I cut the peppers into 1/2″ square pieces.  The radishes, cucumbers, carrots, and celery all get sliced vertically, then cut into 1/4″ slices.  If you dice everything too small, you won’t get the crunchiness.  If you cut everything too large, you’ll only get one or two veggies on your spoon at a time.  Experiment and see what size you like best.  If you are using a large cucumber, you may want to peel off the waxy skin and scoop out the seeds.  I like Persians because they are thin-skinned and have very little squishy gel around the seeds.  Pile all your chopped veggies into a big bowl and toss.  Beautiful, right?
  2. In a little food processor, blend up your garlic, lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper, and 1/4 cup olive oil.  Taste and dilute with more oil if you like.
  3. To serve, dish the salad into a bowl and drizzle liberally with dressing.  For each serving, dice half of an avocado and place it on top (otherwise it gets smushed.)  Eat this salad with a big soup spoon so you get a little of each vegetable in every bite!
If you have leftovers, you can mix in a can of tuna the next day.  It’s wonderful!

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