Yesterday in the midst of baking, weaving and preparing for the holidays I found myself at a loss about what to have for lunch. I wanted something healthy but I didn’t want to take much time out of my day to prepare. My pantry was a little sparse as I had not been shopping since I got back from a weekend away.
When I looked in the fridge I found some spinach, a couple of carrots from my friends garden, beets from the same friend and not much else. I opened the cupboards and walked into the pantry and came out with some raisins, a few dried cranberries and some seeds. I thought, greens, fruit, seeds, vegetables, hmmm, what kind of healthy mix could I make of this?
I knew it would have to be some sort of salad as I did not want to be cooking anything, so I chopped some spinach, grated some beets and carrots and tossed them in a bowl. Next, I threw in raisins, cranberries and a few sunflower seeds. When I tossed this it still looked a little sad. I went back to the fridge and spied some feta cheese, then I opened the freezer and rummaged around. I came up with a bag of chopped kale that I had stored in the fall when my friend’s garden was abounding with with the curly greens. I took a handful of frozen kale and some feta cheese, added them to the mix, tossed and was then satisfied with my creation.
Next I thought about flavours that might give this hearty winter salad a bit of a ‘pick me up.’ Another perusal through my cupboards and I came up with a mixture of olive oil, avocado oil, 2 kinds of vinegar, a bit of maple syrup for sweetness and some mayo and mustard to emulsify the mix and add tart and sweet flavours. The result was delicious and we liked it so much for lunch that I replicated this salad to serve with roast chicken that evening.
So, if it’s a dull winter day and you need a good healthy lunch or dinner salad, I suggest you play with these ingredients and make your own version of a winter salad. Take liberties with this recipe and try to use what you find in your own fridge and pantry. I think you will find it satisfying to know that you can eat in season and have adequate nutrition, along with fantastic flavours and textures . I have named this salad, Winter Vegetable Salad.