I must admit, I’m not very consistent when it comes to cooking and eating vegetables. If you’re like me, then maybe all you need is a bit of inspiration. I created three easy vegetable salad combinations, that you can make too. My enthusiasm for fresh vegetables was stirred from an eclectic mix of restaurants I discovered during a weekend get-a-way.
My weekend adventure led me to Austin (TX) where I discovered three noteworthy restaurants: Josie Café, Péché and Café No Sé. (Click for links.) Every dish was creatively executed by those with a true passion for food, which made my dining experience exceptional.
At Josie Café, we fought over the grilled okra, which was just one of twelve brilliant selections we ordered from”The Experience” menu. At Café No Sé I spied the greenhouse lettuce salad with, avocado, red quinoa, shaved vegetables with a turmeric vinaigrette topped with a compressed sunflower seed cracker. At Péché it was a wine kind of evening accompanied with a creamy butternut squash ravioli, and Niman Ranch pork chops. Every bite was an exploration of delicious flavors.
Note to self: Next time take more photos because even if you’re not planning on it, you might want to share on the blog.
With my limited culinary skills, I may not be able to match the complexity of the dishes I enjoyed on my trip, however I’m now inspired to think about vegetable combinations in a new way.
Today I’m turning three simple salads into healthier meals by adding vegetables. If you want to take it a step further, just add a protein.
Oven Roasted Beet Spinach Salad
Start with sliced beets drizzled with olive oil, rosemary and sea salt. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or until tender at 425°F.
Add the roasted beets to a bed of baby spinach. Sprinkle on feta cheese, green onions, roasted walnuts, rosemary, chives and balsamic vinaigrette. A poached egg on top balances out the meal.
Green Beans with Mixed Baby Lettuce
Start by blanching green beans in boiling water for about 3 minutes, then transfer them to an ice water bath to stop the cooking process and maintain color. The bright green and sweet flavors of the green beans will enhance any salad.
Toss together mixed baby lettuce, blanched green beans, heirloom tomatoes, jicama and parmesan cheese. Top with your favorite dressing or make your own with fresh squeezed lemon juice and olive oil.
Grilled salmon would be a tasty addition to a green bean salad.
Roasted Sweet Potato and Avocado Salad
The sweet potato was roasted the same as the beets. Slice the sweet potato, lightly coat with olive oil and sea salt, then arrange on a baking sheet or iron skillet. Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes at 425°F.
Arrange baby greens on a plate, add sweet potato, avocado slices and pumpkin seeds. Finish with yellow, orange and red tomatoes. Drizzle Italian style dressing or vinegar and oil.
Grilled chicken or a juicy steak would taste divine with a roasted sweet potato and avocado salad.
Next time you have an exceptional dining experience, take that inspiration home to your own table and see what you can create.
© 2017 Salad Inspiration With Vegetables was first published on Thistle Key Lane™