Ok, so one of my goals for 2018 is to try to eat a little healthier and to incorporate more veggies into my family’s diet. One of the easiest ways that I find I can accomplish this is with salads. Full disclosure here though, I really don’t like salads all that much unless they are full of unhealthy things like croutons and bacon!
This Mediterranean Chopped Salad makes up for those ingredients with incredible flavor. The combination of crisp vegetables, salty cheese, crunchy sunflower seeds, and flavorful dressing really hit the spot. You can have this as a side dish or even a full meal if you like. Also, add some protein like chicken or tuna if you want to really make it extra filling.
So there is really no measurements to this recipe because I want you to customize it to your taste. If you love tomatoes, then add more tomatoes. If you love garbanzo beans, then add more. You get my drift, right?
Start with a bed of chopped romaine lettuce. I prefer romaine for this because it’s very crisp, but use what you like.
Next, add the tomatoes to one side of your plate. I used yellow cherry tomatoes, but I have used the multicolor heirloom cherry tomatoes and it makes for one stunningly colorful salad. Just slice the tomatoes in half.
Now it’s time for the cucumbers. Place the chopped cucumbers on the opposite side of the plate as the tomatoes. I suggest English cucumbers because they have no seeds. We love, love, love cucumbers so I add a whole lot.
Drain and rinse a 15 ounce can of garbanzo beans. Place the beans in the middle of the plate. I use about 2/3 of a can because I really like garbanzo beans and they also add filling protein and fiber to the salad.
Here comes my favorite part. Add the chopped Cotija cheese. I love the saltiness of this cheese. It is a Mexican cow milk cheese with a similar texture to Feta cheese. If you can not find it in your grocery store, then you can substitute Feta or Blue Cheese if you like. I personally HATE both of those, so Cotija cheese it the way for me to go. Just sprinkle this heavenly stuff all over the salad.
I am truly a texture person when it comes to food. I like some crunch in my salad. I add a handful of sunflower seeds for some added yumminess. You can really use whatever seeds/nuts you have in the house. Chopped almonds or walnuts would taste great too.
Lastly, add your dressing. I personally think there is no substitute for this Marzetti® Simply Dressed Balsamic Vinaigrette. I could literally take a bath in it I love it so much. It’s my jam! I highly recommend that you use this dressing, but use whatever you prefer. *Tip: this dressing is found in the vegetable area, not the dressing aisle in the grocery store.*