Brussels Sprouts, Grape tomatoes, Avocado, cannelloni beans, and I like to use a bag of the Lafayette salad from Whole foods because the lettuce is buttery–but you can easily use any lettuce you love. Mixed greens work well. Sometimes I add Hearts of Palm (my fave) and cubes of pepper jack cheese.
I buy hearts of palm and artichoke hearts at whole foods. They are the cheapest–by far! $2.19 for a can as opposed to Gristedes (a.k.a. grishittys) where they are $4.99–WHAAAAT? I always complain that you can’t make an inexpensive meal in this city without going to at least four grocery stores and two neigborhoods. There are also certain staples that Whole foods doesn’t sell and vice-versa. I also try to buy all of my fruits and veggies from the guy on the corner (every NYC neighborhood has a fruit guy on the corner)–they’re cheap and I always find the same brand names that are selling for triple the price in the stores. You really can’t beat 3 avocados for $4 and $2 grape tomatoes. Sorry. Um, has anyone seen the monster avocados for sale lately? They’re the size of ostrich eggs. I tasted one last week–DELISHHHH! I’m not even going to think about the steroids I may have consumed.
A cooking note for the Brussels Sprouts: Clean and either half or quarter the sprouts depending on how large they are. Boil in salted water for 5-8 minutes until the green is super vibrant. Then drain and sauté in a mixture of butter and shallots. You can brown them a bit but don’t over cook them.
For dressing I mix a splash of balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, fresh pepper, lemon juice and a tablespoon of pure maple syrup. You can also add a tablespoon spiced mustard like Grey Poupon. If you mix a lot of dressing just stick it in the fridge. Store it in a salsa jar (reduce-reuse-recycle) or Ball Mason jar for another day…great to marinate chicken!
Usually a dinner salad never fully satisfies but this one is hearty and filling…and still healthy so you can enjoy a little dessert after. You can always add slices of meat if you want but I just recently watched “Food, Inc.” and now I can’t seem to clean or cook meat without fighting a gag-reflex. I am sure this will pass but in the mean time I am enjoying inexpensive vegetarian alternatives. Try grilling extra firm tofu on a griddle pan for added protein.