But I am going to make a case for something that may seem out of place in the colder months: salad.
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the warm-gooey noms of the aforementioned dishes, and just because they are hearty doesn’t mean they can’t be healthy too.
Yes. A salad. In Winter.
One of the biggest deterrents of salad making on a regular basis (at least for me) is that it can take longer than popping leftovers in the microwave for lunch. You’ve gotta dirty up a few dishes chopping up your fresh lettuce and toppings, make your dressing, and toss it all together.
But this recipe keeps it simple with a bright and nutritious make-ahead dressing, roasted broccoli (also a make ahead item), fresh cucumber and red bell pepper.
To make things even easier, I keep a head of red-leaf lettuce washed, drained, and in a salad spinner in the fridge to keep it nice and crisp for when the salad-mood strikes.
And in the spirit of meal prep, we like to keep a container of this amazing green dressing recipe that this salad uses in our fridge.
And you know this dressing has been on repeat for like … a month. It’s also a great dip for fresh veggies like carrots, celery, cucumber and radish.
I love the simplicity of this salad, but you can add in anything that you like: bacon, shredded chicken, mushrooms, avocado, red onion or any other salad topping that you love.
Make Green Dressing. This can be done up to 5 days before you make your salad. I keep a tub of this in our fridge for the week for salad dressing and dips.
Optionally, make Roasted Broccoli. Same concept as above. My husband loves broccoli, so he usually bakes a batch over the weekend and we incorporate it into meals and lunches throughout the week.
Wash, dry and tear red leaf lettuce into bite-sized pieces, prepare cucumber and red bell pepper.
Just before ready to serve, place greens in large bowl and toss loosely with 1T red wine vinegar and green dressing so that all the leaves are coated. Add in cucumber and bell pepper and toss again to incorporate.
Plate salad, and top with roasted broccoli and a squirt of lemon, if using.