roasted veggie summer salad
Happy Monday friends! Since sharing this page with so many of you, I am totally blown away by the response - so many thanks, it makes me really excited to share what's on my plate. This weekend flew by like a blur, and while I pondered what I really should share next, there were a moment from announcing this page, that made me feel like keeping it more simple for this post. Yesterday, we hosted a father's day lunch at our house - with of course the usual party suspects: a charcuterie board, chips and dips, chicken and steak kabobs, cookies and pie, and one of my fan favorites - a roasted veggie salad. I tend to be the one who makes this salad for parties. It always seems to be such a big hit, it's super filling, and provides some veggies for what usually is a very carb heavy spread.
The tricky part in starting this blog, is that I honestly didn't really share the idea, let alone the link to this page to really anyone. My sister, who works in graphic design, was one of the first, if not the first person I asked for an opinion. There was a quick moment this weekend, while on our porch, that she said, "is this salad going up on the blog next?" and my immediate response was "probably not, this is one of the easiest recipes ever, its just thrown together." But then I realized, well, that's the point.
Eating mindfully, and healthily, doesn't have to mean lame salads. It also doesn't mean to say that I didn't eat this amazing salad, and then a cookie and a piece of blueberry pie. What it does mean, is that you're making smarter choices most of the time, so that you can make some terrible ones every once in a while. That's just living, right?
So after I decided that I wasn't going to share a banana bread recipe (don't worry that'll come later) but that maybe this super simple salad, could be exactly what some of you are looking for.
Its refreshing, light but filling, versatile, and has everything I want in a salad to feel incredibly satisfied.
I typically start by using my mandolin (this is the one I have, and I am obsessed) and thinly slicing carrots and sweet potatoes. Toss them lightly in olive oil and just a little salt and pepper and roast them at 350 for about 30 minutes. In the winter, I'll prep this salad right before dinner, so the veggies are still warm. There's something so different about a warm salad when its freezing outside - don't knock it til you try it. I'll flip them around here and there to get them browned. Some will get crunchy, others will stay soft, but cook them until you're happy with the texture.
While those are cooking, I'll prep the rest. I really like to use a mixed greens, or a spinach and arugula mix. Using multiple types of greens will help amp up this salad without it feeling boring. I'll break out my mandolin again and slice some cucumbers nice and thin, some cherry tomatoes, avocado, whatever veggies I have in my fridge. Another few things I like to add are nuts, seeds and dried fruit - the nuts and seeds will add not only a little crunch, but some added protein and fat, without going overboard. If I have it, I'll throw in some goat cheese - because why not.
I think what happens when people are starting out on a weight loss plan, or a new healthier lifestyle, they think salads. And what ends up happening is they end up making really sad, boring salads, which then ultimately what ends up, is they fall off of a healthy eating plan because its just not exciting to eat.
There are two constants in this salad for me: roasted carrots and sweet potatoes, and the dressing. Everything else can change in and out depending on what you have.
When it comes to dressings, I find that what looks like it might be a healthy option at the store, is jam packed with sugar, or weird ingredients, and no one I know ever uses and actual serving size, so the calorie count and macros end up being way more than you ever intended. So what started as a healthy salad gets doused in some really miserable dressing.
The dressing I like to use on this is so wildly easy - a little olive oil, a little lemon, salt, pepper, garlic and some parmesean (if you're DF, throw some nutritional yeast in there instead) I like my salads a little more lightly dressed, and will vary the amount based on how many servings I'm trying to get out of it. I usually do about 1/4 cup of lemon juice, to 1/4 cup of olive oil. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste. And anywhere from 1-2 tablespoons of grated parmesean. Wizz it up with your immersion blender and you're good to go. If you don't have an immersion blender (or need to bring it to a party and you're dressing it later, the best trick is to put it into a small mason jar and just shake it!) I like to wait until just before I am ready to eat to dress the salad so it stays fresh and doesn't wilt. You can just as easily add some grilled chicken or shrimp if you're looking to make this more into a meal. If you want to get real crazy, make some homemade croutons (don't worry, that recipe will come too) and you've got yourself a super filling, protein packed, exciting salad.
roasted veggie summer salad
Prep Time: 15-20 minutes
Cook Time: 30-40 minutes
Proportions can vary depending on how many people you're serving - keep this in mind as you prep. I am basing this off of one to two servings.
1-2 cups of mixed greens
1 large carrot
1 sweet potato
1 small cucumber
2-3 small sweet peppers
1/4 cup of mixed nuts, seeds and dried fruit
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8-1/4 cup grated Parmesan (or nutritional yeast to make DF)
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Using a mandolin, thinly slice peeled carrots and sweet potatoes (leave the skin on the potatoes - its better for you!)
Toss lightly in olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.
Spread over baking sheet and place in oven for about 30 minutes. Toss the carrots and potatoes occasionally to evenly cook.
While the veggies are cooking, put together the rest of the salad: mixed greens, veggies, nuts, seeds, fruits, cheese, etc.
Next make the dressing: place all the ingredients in your immersion blender or mason jar and blend until creamy.
Once roasted veggies are done, throw into the salad bowl, drizzle with dressing and lightly toss.
Salad is great as a side, or as a main meal with an added protein.
Keep it easy, enjoy this salad and feel good about that cookie later.