As a follow-up to my last post on how to build a healthy meal-sized salad, I bring you a vegetarian take on the classic chef’s salad recipe.
In summary, the key to building a filling and nutritious salad to enjoy as a main course is to pay attention to balance. A bowl of plain greens is boring and won’t keep you full for very long, while a bowl of cheese, bread, creamy dressing and a few sad leaves of lettuce is, well, not really a salad anymore.
This variation of a chef’s salad is easy to put together and has the right balance of the base (romaine lettuce), vegetables (cauliflower, radishes, etc.), protein (hard-boiled egg and chickpeas) and dressing (homemade vinaigrette). I also added some sunflower seeds for extra texture.
- 1 head red leaf lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
- 2 eggs
- 1 tbsp vinegar
- 6 radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 2 mini (Persian) cucumbers, thinly sliced
- 1 cup chickpeas (if using canned, drain and rinse before using)
- 1 1/2 cups roasted cauliflower, cooled
- 2 tbsp sunflower seeds
- Homemade vinaigrette dressing (recipe here: http://www.ricottaandradishes.com/dressings-sauces-and-condiments/food-prep-tips-for-healthy-meals-all-week-plus-a-homemade-salad-dressing-recipe/)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- To make the hard-boiled eggs: Place eggs in a small pot, cover with cold water and add the vinegar (this makes peeling much easier). Bring to a boil over high heat. As soon as the water starts boiling, remove pot from heat, cover and set a kitchen timer for 18 minutes. When the time is up, run the eggs under cold water until cool to the touch. Peel and chop; set aside.
- Divide the lettuce among two dinner plates or bowls. Divide the cucumbers, radishes, chickpeas, cauliflower, egg and sunflower seeds evenly among the two plates or bowls. Top each salad with vinaigrette dressing and toss; season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.