News: I bought a Magic Bullet. I know; seven years late to the party, always. But look. In my defense, it was the center display at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. So.
But now my life is complete. Hooray. Balloons. Confetti. The end.
I swear I’ve used it six times since Sunday when I pridefully hauled it out of the store—one arm balancing it precariously between my left arm and my love handle while my right arm held my phone to my ear as I hollered to notify my Mom of my purchase. “Just THINK of all the ways I can use it,” I told her, practically beaming. “Smoothies, sauces, pesto, dressings (!!), cool coffee drinks. More sauces.” She stopped me just before I committed to reciting the full infomercial.
Now, I’m a blending fool. Admittedly, you could achieve the exact same results in a full-sized blender, but what I love about the Bullet is the convenience due to its small size and easy clean up. It’s lightweight, portable, and it makes whipping up a quick sauce to drizzle over all of the simple meats I’ve been grilling lately a breeze. But the real reason I was so excited about the Magic Bullet? Dressings. Emulsified, thick, creamy homemade dressings.
Longtime readers know intimately how my deep salad love runs. They’re a mainstay around here. I eat one nearly every day for lunch and I’ve often thought of my consistency in that one veg-heavy meal as a very integral piece in my weight maintenance and feeling healthy physically. Tons of raw vegetables (perhaps some cooked, too); protein; a hearty dose of stick-to-your-ribs fat; a handful of something fun for added flavor; and dressing. These salads are just a part of my life now, and not the least bit regrettably, because I make it my business to make them delicious. Always.
Last year, when I lived in the Costa Rican jungle with Camille for two months, fresh lettuce was scarce. And when it wasn’t scarce, it was wilted and bug ravaged. We took to making finely shredded green cabbage salads and topping them with avocado, mango, fresh cilantro, and a piping hot scoop of black beans that we sautéed with garlic, onion, cumin, and chile in adobo. In the winter, I roast most things and top my salads with all of the crispy, caramelized vegetables and meats that emerge from my oven. Now, in grilling season, I’m skewering and charring everything in sight. The key to keeping salads fresh is changing your ingredients and your method of preparation for the toppings. For a refresher on how I toss together these lunches, here’s a post I wrote a year ago about mixing and matching toppings for maximum nutrition and flavor: How to Make a Delicious 400-Calorie Salad
This particular salad—the springy one pictured—is my current favorite. Grilled chicken, feta cheese, sliced almonds, baby spinach, and a refreshing berry dressing.
- 1 ½ cups strawberries (about 6), hulled
- 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 7 ounces baby spinach
- 1 pound grilled chicken breast (four 4-ounce grilled breasts)
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
- ½ cup sliced almonds
- In a blender or food processor, combine the strawberries, lemon juice, olive oil, and honey. Pulse until smooth.
- Assemble the salads by dividing the spinach among four large serving plates or bowls. Divide the chicken among the spinach, followed by the feta and almonds. Drizzle 3 tablespoons of dressing on top of each salad and serve immediately. Any extra dressing will keep for up to 5 days in the refrigerator stored in an airtight container.
Nutrition Information for 1 Serving (1/4th of Entire Recipe): Calories 385, Total Fat 23.3 g, Total Carbohydrate 14.4 g, Dietary Fiber 2.0 g, Sugars 10.3 g, Protein 30.5 g