Hello my friends! Sorry for being MIA. So, so much going on—lots of driving and little time spent at home cooking. But it’s back to the regular routine today. And today, we’re talking salad, but not just any ordinary salad. No siree, this my friends, this Big Chopped Salad is a way to restore some balance in the universe. Confused? Let me explain.
Despite having the best of intentions, we all overindulge now and then (lately more nows, than thens—yikes! Hard to eat healthy when life is crazy busy!) Anyhoo, what I like to do is keep a salad like this all ready to go in the fridge to act as a sort of antidote. That way, I can get right back on the wagon without letting those brownies or nachos do too much damage!
The best part is that eating this crunchy mix of veggies in no way feels like doing penance—it just tastes so good, makes you feel so good and is so good for you all at the darn time and how many things can you say that about?!!
There are two things that keep this easy salad consistently interesting. First is the vegetable versatility—here, I’ve used radishes, cucumbers, carrots, shredded cabbage, snap peas and grape tomatoes—but you could easily sub in or out any veggies you like, such as thinly sliced Brussels sprouts, fresh corn, kale, red onion, string beans—your imagination is the only limit.
The second is the tangy buttermilk dressing that lightly coats the veggies that adds just the right balance of mellowness and kick to make you keep going back for another healthy bite!
So don’t beat yourself up when you make less than wise food choices, just keep a container of this terrific salad in your fridge and overindulge in the right direction. Happy crunching!!
The Big Chopped Salad
Makes about 8 servings
Prep Time: 15-20 minutes
1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk
½ cup light mayonnaise
1-2 tablespoons bottled horseradish (stick with the lower amount if you don’t want things too spicy)
1 garlic clove, grated on a Microplane or minced
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
About 15 cups of fresh chopped veggies (you really don’t have to measure—just fill a large bowl with veggies. For this I used ½ head of red cabbage, shredded, 5 large carrots, 8 radishes, 1 medium cucumber, about ½ pound sugar snap peas and a one pound box of grape tomatoes.)
1. To make the dressing, place the buttermilk, mayo, horseradish, garlic, vinegar, cayenne pepper and a generous pinch of salt and pepper in a small bowl and whisk together well.
2. Place all your veggies in a large bowl. Pour over some of the dressing and toss. You will likely have some leftover dressing which you can store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week. You can serve the salad immediately and store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. I think it even gets better as it sits for a day or two and the veggies get infused with the buttermilk dressing flavors but still keep their crunch. Yum!
Note: Recipe adapted from Carla Hall’s Soul Food. I tinkered with proportions. Feel free to make this your own.