So this week for the health and fitness challenge I'm in we are striving to consume our recommended servings of vegetables daily, similar to our challenge with fruits last week (when I shared my recipe for this beautiful fruit salad). For me personally that is about 2 and a half cups of veggies per day...easy peas-y!
I thought I would stick with my "eat the rainbow" theme and create a veggie dish that showcases a bright assortment of colors as well. Some of them, particularly the purples and blues, were a bit challenging to represent, but with a little creativity I think I got them all: tomatoes for the red, carrots for the orange, a sweet bell pepper for yellow, lettuce, celery and cucumbers for the greens, and a red/purple onion for the blues/purples...I even snuck some white in the form of garlic cloves into this homemade ranch dressing along with some vibrant fresh herbs.
A chop salad seemed like a great way to put them all together and boy was I right if I say so myself...I could easily get my 2 and half cups in each day with a big plate of this salad as a side dish or as a meal all on its own!
Chop salads started trending a few years ago and I never knew what the big deal was...that is until I tried to eat a salad with a squirming child on my hip trying to grab each bite I took. Now I get it! A chop salad, which is basically a regular salad all chopped up into bite sized pieces provides the opportunity to enjoy a salad- gracefully! Anyone who has ever fought in that battle between their fork and the one gigantic leaf of lettuce in their salad while not slopping dressing all over their face and/or clothes knows what I am talking about...and here is the solution.
Makes: 4 generous servings
1/2 head of iceberg lettuce (I know, I know iceberg is like the black sheep of the lettuce family but its crispness makes it perfect for this salad)
1 small tomato
6 baby carrots
1/4 yellow sweet bell pepper
1/2 English cucumber
1 small stalk celery
1/4 purple onion
1 (6 oz.) container plain Greek yogurt
1-2 tablespoons lowfat milk
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Handful each: fresh chives, dill, and parsley, roughly chopped
Prepare the salad dressing first by combining the Greek yogurt, milk, minced garlic, salt, pepper, and fresh herbs in a small bowl and set aside.
Wash and chop all of the vegetables, except lettuce, into bite-sized pieces, approximately 1/4 inch. The lettuce can be chopped into larger pieces, approximately 1/2 to 1 inch.
Place all of the vegetables into a large bowl and give them a toss to mix them up.
Pour the salad dressing over top and toss again to coat all of the pieces evenly. Serve immediately. **The salad dressing can be kept separate until serving if the salad is to be eaten at a later time.
Delicious topped with a little bit of grated Parmesan cheese and warm croutons!
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