Chopped Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

On our first date, my husband and I went to the cutest little Argentinian restaurant.  It is dark inside with rustic details and pretty candles everywhere.  They have the best mojitos.  The other thing about this restaurant is that they serve a salad with every entrée without mentioning it.  Well, when our salads came, Ryan insisted our server take his away immediately because he hated salads that much.  How awkward, right?  That’s how I remember it at least.  He seems to remember a slightly different version, but either way, it obviously turned out well.

So much has changed since that night 6 years ago, but tonight, Ryan said this was the best meal I have made in a while.  The same guy that sent a salad away claims that a salad is the best thing we have eaten lately? Must be a pretty good salad, I guess.

A chopped salad is a great way to use up different vegetables in your refrigerator and can easily be made into a meal with some meat or even pasta.  Next time you’re looking for a healthy, easy to make salad, try a this out.  You can even set some aside for lunch the next day before you put the dressing on like I did.

Ingredients:

1 large head of romaine lettuce

1 chicken breast, grilled or baked

4 strips of bacon, cooked

1 tomato

1/2 onion or 2 green onions

1/3 cup shredded cheese

1/2 green pepper

1/3 cup black beans (optional)

1/3 cup olive oil

1/2 tsp minced garlic

1 tsp Dijon mustard

juice of 1/2 lemon

salt + pepper

Given the name of the recipe, you’re obviously going to chop up most of the ingredients.  Chop everything pretty small but all approximately the same size.

Start by chopping up the lettuce and adding that to a large bowl.  Add the chopped chicken, bacon, tomato, onion, green pepper and shredded cheese along with any other veggies you want to add in or substitute.

For the dressing, you can use any store bought dressing or make one really easily.  This is my favorite dressing for most salads.  Combine the olive oil with lemon juice, fresh garlic and Dijon mustard.  The mustard makes the dressing really creamy.  Whisk the ingredients together.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Toss the salad ingredients together with the dressing.  Serve by itself or with soup or garlic bread to make it a meal.

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