So in conclusion, you should just abandon all hope and eat a Big Mac and Fries. End Blog Post.
I kid! You need to think outside the box when it comes to classic salad flavor combinations.
A great example of this is the classic Cobb Salad, one of my personal favorites because it is a beautiful and very satisfying combination of flavors with enough protein to last you all day.
But a traditional cobb, even made at home, is very high in fat and calories. Usually you have chicken, egg, blue cheese, avocado AND bacon - all not so bad for you in moderation but moderation doesn't mean all 5 in one spot. And we are all stuck in this mentality that a Cobb salad has to have all these things, or it's not a Cobb.
If you think of the unique elements and what they lend to the salad , you can improve the nutritional profile of the salad without sacrificing overall flavor. For example, bacon is of course, undeniably crazy delicious, but one of the main flavor components of bacon is smoke.
And you can get smoky flavor without the smoked meat.
Chipotle powder is great for this. It's a dried powder made from dried, smoked jalapenos. Chipotle powder = Smoke + Heat + Flavor. For my version of the Cobb Salad, I roast broccoli with no oil and chipotle powder – adding smoke and heat without the added calories or fat. It’s seriously tasty and even my husband can’t stop grabbing it off the baking sheet.
And of course, grilled chicken is great for you but if I don’t have chicken on hand, I’m looking for a substitute that for once, isn’t tofu. For a Cobb, I love to substitute cooked quinoa. It has a nutty flavor and adds some extra protein and whole grain to the salad.
Personally, I don’t love a ton of blue cheese, so a great way to reduce this indulgent ingredient, is to add it to the salad dressing. That way, you get the blue cheese flavor throughout with a much smaller amount. It’s a much cleaner flavor than gooping up the whole salad with thick, creamy blue cheese dressing. My simple and delicious recipe is below.
So step outside the salad box and start getting creative!
Blue Cheese Vinaigrette
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
Place the vinegar, mustard and honey in a small mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Whisk to combine.
Slowly whisk in the olive oil until combined.
Whisk in the crumbled blue cheese.
* Dressing can be stored in the refigerator for up to 1 week.