Friday, April 20, 2018

Broccoli Blueberry Chopped Salad with Herb Dressing

Spring, where are you!?! Groundhog day was forever ago, and here we are still dressing like it's winter most days. Spring is usually my energizer after a long winter, but day after day, week after week, I sit staring at gray, rainy (sometimes snowy) sky. Our meteorologist says that spring weather is coming. Could it actually be? I only dare to hope.

In the meantime, I'm trying to do my part and make it at least feel like spring around here. Springy wreath on the front door, lavender candles, spring cleaning and purging... anything to make it feel like someday the clouds with give in to the sun and we can open the windows once again.

As for meals, even though it seems like we should be making hearty, soul warming meals, my mind has already shifted over to spring like foods. Salads, veggies, and fish dinners have taken over our menu and the recipe I'm sharing with you today is going on our regular rotation of salads for this spring/summer. I made it first a few weeks ago, and immediately wished that I had taken pictures for the blog.

I have mentioned it before on this blog, but it's worth repeating - I cannot get enough of chopped salads. Lettuce is not typically my favorite part of salads, especially when it's served in big chunks that you have to cut up. I much prefer a salad that has just as much vegetables/cheese/nuts/toppings as the lettuce itself. Enter this chopped salad. Blueberries, broccoli, sunflower seeds, feta! Every single bite it full of spring loving flavors.

Let's proceed, shall we?

Here's what you need.

Salad Ingredients
4 cups lettuce of your choice, chopped into bite sized chunks
3-4 cups broccoli, chopped into bite sized chunks
1 cup fresh blueberries
4 (or 5) ounces feta cheese
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup sesame seeds (more for topping if you want)

Dressing Ingredients
1 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup milk (more or less to get desired consistency)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dill, dried
1 tsp parsley, dried
1/4 tsp paprika

The good thing about a chopped salad? All the ingredients are "give and take." If you want (or have) more of one thing, and less of another, switch it up! The flavors of the ingredients blend together, so it's your call. For example, I love, love, love feta, so when I have extra, I throw it in too. So take those salad ingredients and throw them all together.

 Now for the dressing. I've been making up this dressing as a cleaner version of ranch dressing. It is so yummy, versatile, and tastes so much fresher (obviously) than the bottled version.

Mix together your Greek yogurt and milk, until you get your desired consistency.

Throw in your herbs and spices, and adjust to suit your flavor preference. I tend to always throw in a little extra salt, and maybe a little garlic powder (or real garlic) too. It just depends on what you're in the mood for. If you have any of this leftover, it would be good as a veggie dip, or whatever. There is no reason for this to go to waste.

 Serve it up and enjoy!

I served it on the side of a grilled salmon with garlic, lemon, butter sauce that was seriously the best fish I have ever made at home. The salad was the perfect side!

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