When I am prepping for a show one of the hardest things is coming up with dishes I LOVE to eat.. and that I won’t wreck my diet. I can eat carbs and I definitely can eat protein but I have to eat them at certain times so really I can only snack on veggies when I just need to stuff my face at random times, so over time I started playing around with a lot of seasonings and combinations and this was one of the first dishes I came up with and really loved. The secret is the garlic and onions. Ha Ha. Its probably not great if you are at work or about to go to a party, but it sure satisfied my taste buds. And on note is to make sure you look at your Balsamic Vinegar label. Some can obtain a lot of sugar.
A little isn’t going to kill you but if its high, and you are using it a lot you might want to switch to a lower sugar option. On that note, however, investing in high quality Balsamic and Olive oil will transform your salads. If I have great tasting Vinegar and Oil I can eat salad all day. If I have watery, flavorless or bland versions, I tend to rarely make that veggie choice.
Two Cucumbers- halved and cut into 1/2inch moons. I prefer english because they are less seedy. IF you use regular ones, take out some of the seeds so they don’t make the salad watery. A few are ok. I also like to shave half the skins off for looks, but leave some on for nutrients.
1/2-1 Red Onion thinly sliced (depending on preference and size of onion)
1-1/2 Cups halved cherry tomatoes
2-2 Garlic Cloves (the longer this sits in your fridge the more garlicy it will get, just be warned, but this is also part of what gives it a richer flavor)
1Tb Olive Oil
2Tb Balsamic Vinegar (or however much you want)
SALT!! If you are on a low sodium diet you can reduce the amount you use or leave it out, but if not salt really is what makes food taste good. As a trained chef, 9 times out of 10 home cooks food doesn’t taste as good because they don’t season enough with salt. Play with it and find your preference but also try to use Kosher (it is shaved instead of granulated and therefor “melts” into food better) or Sea Salt (which can have richer flavor and more nutrients) Old school granulated salt can often have iodine in it to (from the old days to keep sailors from getting scurvy at sea) and this gives it a tangy flavor thats not as good in my opinion.
Fresh Ground Black Pepper– as with all seasoning ingredients- oil, vinegar, spices, salt etc… using fresh and quality will really make the difference between ok foood and great food. And when you are starting to try and eat healthier and your pallet is accustom to really intense flavors from packaged or processed foods, you need all the help you can get in appealing to that tongue.
**Adding chopped olives and some fetta cheese would make this amore official greek salad but I really think it taste great with out. You can do whatever you like depending on your dietary needs and preferences!
Take all these yummy ingredients and toss together in a bowl and store in your fridge- WaLa!
Oh Wait! It gets better. I snack on this OR I add in a can of tuna (which goes great with these flavors) or chopped chicken to create a carb free meal. AND when I get down to the last portions of this mix, and its a little watery from the tomatoes and cucumbers, I toss it with arugula and the liquid makes a really “clean” salad dressing. And as always- A little hot sauce or Sriracha never hurt anything.