This week has been one of those relentlessly, non-stop busy ones filled with tasks, projects, work, and Mom duties, from dawn ’til the wine glass is empty (pinky up). And unlike Cinderella and Snow White, there aren’t any precious little birds, mice, and woodland creatures helping me gleefully rise in song to greet and tackle another day.
Today was another “back to back” day. Whew. That being said, when I’ve finished a long day strong, it’s a relief to come home and be able to quickly throw together a healthy and nourishing dinner. Where to start? Tonight, I literally stood in front of my fridge and thought … what can I easily combine and get in my belly before I eat the kitchen?
Here’s what I threw together as a salad:
3 kale stalks (roughly torn)
Sweet peppers (chopped)
Cherry tomatos (chopped)
Zest of 1/2 a lemon (makes it extra “lemony” and pretty)
I regularly eat a lot of raw food and always have a variety of chopped veggies in the fridge. Throw in whatever you want – the above just happened to be chopped and ready to grab. Artichoke hearts and banana peppers also add a lot of flavor to salads if you have some in your cup board.
To dress my salad, I typically just use olive oil and vinegar, but I wanted to add a different dynamic to this salad to give a better balance. I’ve been doing a good bit of research to make my diet one of true moderation and variety, so I tried my hand at a lemon vinaigrette.
Here’s what I used for the vinaigrette:
Zest of 1/2 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon
– Tip: Zest first, then juice the same lemon.
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons of spicy brown mustard
Vinaigrettes can be tricky, especially lemon ones. I really enjoy a citrus flare in my salad, but some find lemon flavors overwhelming and require a sweet ingredient, like honey, to stabilize taste. The sweet peppers in my salad give me that balanced flavor, but you can certainly add some honey (to taste), should you desire.
And there you have it … simple, easy, and super healthy. You could use any variety of veggie and meat combinations here as well. This salad has lots of potential for different flavors. More importantly, the ingredients here have extensive health benefits and are considered brain food. If you’re like me, you’re not scooping ice cream all day, so the mental fatigue can definitely take its toll. Rejuvenating your mind with healthy dishes like this help to replenish the energy burned while your synapses were firing all day!
Dig in! And of course, pair with your favorite vino.