Sunday, July 20, 2008

Summer Salad with Balsamic Yam Croutons

I'm addicted to this new salad bar that just opened up down the street from me a couple weeks ago, the dressings are soo good (it's all about the dressing!) and pretty healthy for you, but it's getting pretty ridiculous how often I have gone considering it just opened! My new solution is to just buy the dressing and make the salads at home. Like every other recipe I've been making these days it's just a mix of some of my favorite foods thrown together. I always seem to start with a base and then start rummaging in the fridge to see what else I can throw in. Haha I should mention that I have 3 other roommates, but I take up more than half of the fridge, all of the freezer (except the corner where Ty keeps his ice cream and perogies) and 3 packed cupboards with all of my food! They know by now not to try and open one of my cupboards for fear of something falling on their head as every space seems to be packed to capacity! Anyways..back to salad, this one had spinach, iceberg for crunch, feta, baby raw zucchini, marinated artichokes and yams which I cubed, threw in a pan and crisped up with a bit of oil, sprinkle of unrefined sugar, sea salt, pepper and balsamic vinegar. It's such a good combo with the sweet, saltiness and tang, I highly recommend adding yams to your salads! Top with your fave dressing (mine is creamy herb tahini at the moment) and you're set!

Summer Salad with Balsamic Yam Croutons
-Favorite lettuce (I like spinach, mixed field greens, romaine, iceberg)
-Favorite cheese (I like feta cheese, goat cheese, shaved fresh parmesan)
-Favorite veggies (My faves at the moment are raw baby zucchini, shredded raw carrot and artichokes)
-Favorite protein(I like chicken, grilled flank steak, chickpeas or Italian tuna packed in olive oil)
-Other options: Wheatberries, couscous, toasted nuts (almonds and walnuts are my fave) flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, garlic butter croutons
-Fave Dressing
Balsamic Yam Croutons
1 large yam (or 2 small yams) cut into small chunks
1 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp water
2 tsp unrefined sugar (or brown sugar/white sugar)
sea salt
black pepper
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1.Heat pan on med-high with oil. When hot, throw in yams and let them get a bit of color. Add in water and place a lid on top for 2 min to help soften.
2. Remove lid and when all the liquid has evaporated add in sugar and salt and pepper. Cook until just tender but crispy on the outside.
3. Add in balsamic vinegar and cook until balsamic has reduced and coated the yams. Serve warm, room temp or cold.

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