This healthy nicoise salad is packed with healthy ingredients and it’s a very filling but figure friendly. Sometimes salad can get a little bit over done with toppings, and before you know it a healthier option really would’ve been a burger and fries. But not this beauty.
Okay, okay I’ll admit I have an affinity for salad. Call me weird, call me crazy, but I can’t get enough. I’ll happily eat my weight in salad every day without complaining. But don’t fret if salad is not for you, I’m here to change your mind!… or at least I’ll try.
There are some key ingredients for the salad that I think really make it noteworthy and irresistible. Roasted potatoes, do I even have to explain why these are delicious? These potatoes are super crunchy on the outside and deliciously soft and creamy on the inside. the perfect salad topper. Certainly better than croutons, and better for you.
Hard-boiled eggs. I love hard-boiled eggs in a salad. When the soft crumbly yolk mixes with the vinaigrette, it ends up giving the dressing a creamy consistency. But I get it, some people don’t love eggs like I do. So I like to leave them halved like this, in case people don’t like the yolks (they can pop the yolks out and still enjoy the egg whites) or if they don’t eat eggs, they can avoid them completely. This is a much better option than chopped eggs for this reason. Eggs not your thing? That’s okay add some hemp hearts. You get the same benefit of heart healthy fat and you also get some protein!
Whatever you do, don’t skip on the healthy fats. They help you feel full with less food. To get the most out of your salad you have to have fats; those fat-soluble vitamins aren’t doing you any good with that fat-free dressing and lettuce.
Salads are a great way to get your daily recommended fruit and veggie intake. Remember most vegetables are packed with water and are very low-calorie on their own. Where people get in trouble with salads is adding too many high-fat or high calorie toppings. Let’s not forget that pesky salad dressing. Most bottled brands that you find on your local grocery shelf are unfortunately packed with so many chemicals and nonfood substances, I try to stay away from them all together.
But this girl loves her salad dressing. So I found ways to make my own salad dressing! I love the use of dijon mustard as the emulsifier (that means it helps the dressing get thick and stay together) and a flavor agent. I keep about seven or eight types of vinegar in my home at all times. I find that vinegar is usually exactly what I need to add brightness to a dish. And of course you have to add spices and heart healthy olive oil for added flavor and to balance out that acidity in the vinegar.
I think everyone has a different level of acidity that they love and they also have different vinegars that they prefer, so the recipe is more just for reference, please feel free to add more or less vinegar as you find suitable for your pallet. If you’re new to making your own salad dressings I would recommend red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, champagne vinegar, apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, and sherry vinegar. The list might seem excessive but I’m sure you probably already have two or three of those in your home already; and if you commit to making your own salad dressing you’ll quickly find that the investment in the vinegar’s was well worth it.
Healthy Nicoise Salad
- 1 package spinach
- 1 package arugula
- 2 large beets chopped
- 1 1/2 cups roasted potatoes
- 1 large red bell pepper diced
- 1 large avocado cubed
- .5 Juice of half a lemon or lime
- 1/2 cup red cabbage sliced thin
- 3-4 hard boiled eggs or 2 tbs. hemp hearts
- 1 tbs. dijon mustard
- 3 tbs. champagne vinegar
- 2-3 tbs. olive oil
- 1 tsp. herbs de province or italian seasoning
- pinch salt
- black pepper to taste
Roast potatoes (use these directions) and beets the day before or earlier in the day so they have time to cool.
Hard Boil eggs (start eggs in cold water, bring to boil, once boiling, turn off heat and cover) let rest 10 minutes. Drain and add cold water to pan with ice cubes. Peel within 10 minutes to ensure egg shells are easily removable. Let eggs cool 1 hour.
Once eggs have cooled, cabbage, red bell pepper and beets and start to assemble the salad.
Place spinach and arugula in bowl. Add each ingredient to the salad, moving around the plate.
Slice avocado and add lemon juice to avocado before adding it to the salad so it doesn't brown.
Slice eggs in half and add to salad.
In a small bowl, add dijon mustard, spices and champagne vinegar. Stir. Slowly whisk in olive oil until thick dressing is made. Add salt and pepper, and taste.
What About You?
- Favorite salad topping?
- What is you favorite vinegar?
- Do you make your own salad dressing?