Fancy Salad with Homemade Ranch


We haven’t eaten much salad in this house- the salads I like are drenched in ranch dressing and have lots of toppings and a variety of veggies, which I normally don’t take the time to put together.  I normally just serve one veggie at a time; broccoli, spinach, and squash are our standbys.  After I read about ‘the pemmican principal’ on The Nourishing Gourmet I thought that it was a great idea to put together a few days’ worth of salad at once.  I started by making ranch dressing.

Good news for those of us who love rich creamy dressings! If we make homemade dressings, we know that the fats in it are good for us and there are no bad additives.

Homemade Ranch Directions:
I first made mayonnaise using two eggs, and a combination of olive, coconut, and almond oil (coconut oil was heated slightly melt).  I wanted to use all olive oil, but I didn’t have enough so I added the rest of the almond oil in the cupboard and filled in with coconut.  Then I added 2 tablespoons of parsley, 4 cloves of garlic, half a red onion, and sea salt to taste and whirred until smooth in the food processor, then added about 1/4 cup of plain yogurt.
*For a more exact ranch recipe, Kelly has one.

My little one and I chopped veggies until we filled our largest bowl.

In here:
Broccoli sprouts
Bean sprouts

Then we fried some chicken thighs to make salad for dinner more likely to fly with my it’s-not-dinner-without-meat husband.  Who could refuse fried chicken covered in ranch… even if it was surrounded by green stuff?

We took out one night’s portion of salad from the big bowl, added
Sunflower seeds
Fried chicken strips
Parmesan cheese

And tossed with the ranch dressing. Yum!
It worked too, he loved it and I think we’ll be having salad for dinner often!

What additions do you like in your salad? 

(part of Real Food Wednesday)

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  1. Food Renegade says

    What a lovely idea! I sometimes *almost* do this, but I keep my veggies separate since they're easy to throw together anyway once chopped/prepped/etc. That way the veggies are also already chopped/prepped for other meals throughout the next few days as well.

    But this is great. It's kinda like making your own salad mix!

    (AKA FoodRenegade)

  2. Amy Lee says

    Instead of yougurt, I use buttermilk in my salad dressing. I also like to put some kind of nuts in my salad and also hard boiled eggs.

  3. Angie says

    I love this! It is making me hungry looking at it! I make my own dressings too…I will have to try this one!

  4. Anonymous says

    This picture is beautiful! We do salads for dinner quite a bit in the summer, and it depends on our moods. We add cheese, dried cranberries, sliced strawberries, roasted pecans, sliced almonds, steak strips, tuna, avacado, whatever sounds good. And, only one bowl to clean up! Thanks for the great reminder!

  5. Tracey says

    I absolutely love salads, I love adding fresh herbs: parsley, garlic chive and cilantro in my greens for their spicy kick. There's a wild herb called lemon sorrel. (looks like tiny clover with yellow flowers) it's lemony zing is great in the greens too. When I'm good I make a simple garlic, vinegar, olive oil vinegrette. But I love creamy dressings but they are so fatty and full of calories that I can't afford.

  6. Heleen says

    This looks really good! I too am married to a green barbarian (no meat, no meal) but my youngest (just under two and a half) loves salad and green stuff with bits in it. So this is a really good idea. But you're talking about making salad for a couple of days. Does that keep well? My salad always goes off after a day or so. I say off, it goes limp, slightly brown and just looks less fresh. Do you wrap it up in something?

  7. Rebeccah says

    That looks really yummy! We, like others have commented.. like to add hard boiled eggs to our salads :-)

  8. Shelley says

    Wow…yum! I’ve been making large batches of salad to last a few days a a time for years, but you’ve given me inspiration for yummy things to add! Your chicken strips look delicious, btw. What did you fry the thighs in? Did you coat them with something first? Thanks for the wonderful ideas!

    • Cara says

      Those are breaded in coconut flour and fried in coconut oil, but I usually use almond flour for my breading now- I like it better :)

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