(**MISS KATE: THIS ONE’S FOR YOU!!**)
Prior to my sister-in-law’s help with my first garden, I was convinced that my thumbs were black. Fortunately, she helped me to see that this is NOT the case…they happen to be quite green actually (this comes as a tremendous shock to my mother…and pretty much everyone who knows me). Picking lunch (and dinner) has become my new favorite thing to do.
Lately my salad of choice has been a Thai chicken salad. I just picked the ingredients pictured above and am happy to report that in a month, I will only be required to purchase two things for this salad: the chicken and the dressing. I’m not in the habit of buying bottled dressings, as I much prefer homemade. However, Trader Joe’s (LOVE) Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette has become a staple in my fridge, as have their frozen breaded chicken breast tenders. To make this salad, toss together: mixed greens, shredded carrots, chopped peanuts, basil, mint, cilantro and chives with the chicken and the peanut vinaigrette–it’s fresh and packed with flavor.
I’m also looking forward to a long summer of caprese salads with tomatoes and basil from the garden. I toss it with the following balsamic vinaigrette:
BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE (*these are approximations, alter amounts to your preference)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon agave syrup or honey
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
salt and pepper
My other salad fave is the good old iceberg lettuce with green onion, candied walnuts, and blue cheese dressing. Again, I tend to eyeball the ingredients, but this one is adapted from America’s Test Kitchen.
BLUE CHEESE DRESSING
1 1/2 cups blue cheese
1/2 cup milk or buttermilk
1 crushed garlic clove
1/2 cup sour cream or whole fat plain yogurt
3 Tablespoons mayo
2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
salt and pepper