Chef Master Supreme: Not-so-boring salads

The finished product, show above, proves that not all salads have to be boring. (Margaux Ancel/The Daily Campus)

I’ve never been a fan of ‘eating grass’ as my sister likes to call it, but once in a while, I find an interesting recipe or mix of ingredients that makes me give it another shot. This week, I am sharing my two favorite salad mixes to spice up the boring aspect of the leafy greens.

Almond-cranberry:

This one is my go-to whenever I’m in a rush (always) and I want to eat something delicious and guilt-free.

You will need:

-Grilled chicken

-Iceberg or romaine lettuce

-1/4 cup of honey-roasted sliced almonds

-1/4 cup of dried cranberries

-Yogurt ranch dressing

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Bake it in the oven at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes, based on how much chicken you’re planning to use (more chicken will require a longer cooking time). Begin broiling for three to five minutes once the chicken is no longer pink. Alternatively, you can also cook the chicken in a pan with some olive oil, for about seven minutes on each side, or in a Panini press for about ten minutes by grilling the meat like a sandwich. Set the chicken aside to cool down. Mix in the almonds and cranberries with the lettuce. Cut up the chicken in small pieces and add to the salad. Finish it off by incorporating the dressing. To ensure freshness, only add the dressing right before eating the salad.

Meal prep tip: store all the ingredients in separate Ziploc bags over night and throw them all together, except for the dressing, in a container to bring it on the go.

Bleu cheese-walnuts with homemade vinaigrette

You will need:

-Crumbled blue cheese

-Walnut halves

-Arugula, frisee, or kale

-Two tablespoons of olive oil

-One tablespoon of balsamic vinegar

-1/2 tablespoon of mustard

-Salt

-Pepper

Start by making the vinaigrette so it has time to set. Combine the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Add the mustard, salt and pepper and whisk them in quickly until the mustard is melting in the olive oil and balsamic. The general rule is two tablespoons of olive oil for each tablespoon of balsamic, and half a tablespoon of mustard for each one of balsamic as well. For a spicier vinaigrette, consider using more of a spicier mustard (my favorite is the Dijon from Maille).

Crush up the walnuts into smaller pieces and add them, along with the bleu cheese crumbles to the greens of your choice (or the ones recommended above for the most enjoyable texture). 


Margaux Ancel is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at margaux.ancel@uconn.edu.