A HEARTY "GOOD FOR YOU" SALAD WITH ITALIAN DRESSING

I consider this a "not to be missed" salad that has just about everything but the kitchen sink! With the holiday season here and all of us stuffing our faces full of high calorie food I figured a salad would do me some good now and then. I'm thinking my tummy would thank me! This salad has fresh avocados, diced ham, tomatoes, spinach, arugula, lightly toasted whole wheat pita (for croutons), grated Parm, red cabbage etc. There are so many flavours and colours going on that it's really hard to resist. I remember saying "it's a work of art" after I put this salad on the plate. Also, I made a homemade Italian dressing that gives the right amount of acidity to help brighten up the salad even further. Make this salad today so your body can feel a big sigh of relief!

Dressing recipe adapted from the "Homemade Italian Dressing" recipe in the http://www.cooks.com/ website.

Serves 4

Salad Ingredients:

  • pkg of baby spinach
  • pkg of baby arugula
  • handful of fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 small red onion, sliced thin
  • 2 cups red cabbage, sliced thin
  • 3 medium tomatoes, diced
  • olives, sliced thin
  • 8-10 slices of ham, diced
  • 3-4 ripe avocados, sliced
  • 4 large whole wheat pitas, sliced and lightly toasted
  • Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Coarse salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Italian Dressing:

  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp grated Parmesan cheese

On a large salad platter, layer all of the salad ingredients. Make sure that the spinach and arugula leaves go on first and then layer the rest of the ingredients right on top. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper on last. In a bowl, whisk together all of the Italian dressing ingredients. Serve the salad immediately and drizzle on the salad dressing.

Cook's tip: If you really want to make a full meal out of this, I suggest adding some thinly sliced grilled meat right on top.


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