Saturday, 4 August 2012

DIY: Quick Salad with Stone-Ground Mustard Dressing

Salad is a very inexpensive feel-good meal if you made it on your own.  Because there is no standard rule, you can mix-and-match whatever that goes into your salad - cold salad or warm salad, vegetables salad or fruit salad, with rice/pasta or without - the choice is limitless.

After watching too many TV cooking programs, I just felt like making my own salad for lunch, from scratch (too many theories, but no actual practical experience).


Quick Salad with Stone-Ground Mustard Dressing

Lettuce - Any variety.  I have used red sails lettuce
Cherry tomatoes - Love those crunchiness & sourness.  Felt like grapes.

Organic stone-grounded mustard
Or any other varities of mustard.  I chose stone grounded as I prefer the texture of the coarse mustard, giving a bit more spiciness.
There's a variety of vinegar you can use - distilled vinegar, apple cider, champagne vinegar.  Or, if you prefer natural fruitiness instead, you can replace with any accidic fruits like lemon, lime, orange etc.  I didn't add any since the mustard already has added vinegar in it.
Sesame oil
Olive oil was omitted as I didn't have them ready at home.  But according to a study, since you need to have some oil in order for efficient absorption of the nutrients from the greens, I had replaced it with some sesame oil - a little touch of Chinese taste.
Brown sugar/honey - Just to balance out the acidity
Salt & black pepper to taste
Water - Add according to how watery you like your dressing

Sunflower seeds, toasted with some salt & sugar for taste

All these are prepared well in advance, placing the salad in different containers with the dressing kept in separate tightly-lid containers.  When it's time to eat, you can add more ingredients to go along with your salad for some protein.  Possible suggestions:
>  A hard-boiled egg
>  Thinly sliced omellette (pan-fried without oil, obviously)
>  Cooked meat, shredded (left-overs from previous meal - no more worries of food wastage)

They taste superb!  This is my first time actually making my own salad from scratch (because I was lazy enough previously to buy read-made dressings from the supermarket aisle), and it have given me the confidence to add more of this to my diet.

A good way to introduce more greens to your diet in a more fun & interesting way.


If you want to be very health-concious, I strongly advise to stay away from ready-made dressings.

To make them easily accepted by the general market, these dressings are usually loaded with a lot of fat, sugar & salt.  Even if it claims to be "99% fat free", do not be fooled because for some components to be removed from the equation, they will need to be replaced with other (possibly more unhealthy) ingredients & chemicals.

But if you have no choice & insist on ready-made dressings, then do make a habit to go through the labels first before dropping it into your shopping basket.  As advised by Michael Pollan (author of the best-seller In Defense of Food), if you can't pronounce the ingredients or do not know what it is, very likely those are chemically-induced ingredients and it is advisable to stay away from these.  Why buy something that you don't what they have put in.

Another plus-point of self-made dressing is that you have full control of what you add to/minus from your dressing and personlize it to your liking.  The very same dressing can be transformed to a whole new level by just slightly tweeking the recipe.  Isn't that fun?

No comments:

Post a Comment