I am a huge fan of the summer dinner salad. And by “dinner salad,” I don’t mean a salad that goes with dinner…I mean a salad that is dinner! Fresh organic greens (maybe even from your garden!) tossed with beautiful veggies, then topped with something right off the grill. Grilled steak salad with creamy balsamic vinaigrette is a great introduction to salad-for-dinner, and the recipe can be made with chicken or with portobello mushrooms if you’re not a steak person. What I love about this sort of salad is that it’s a great way to stretch your meat (or mushrooms) and still have a meal that’s satisfying and healthy. The creamy balsamic vinaigrette is perfect for this salad, very flavorful and full-bodied. It’s even better because it gets its creamy texture from ground flax seeds!
Start with your favorite salad greens…this salad works great with hearts of romaine, darker greens like spinach or kale, or (my favorite) a mix of both. Add veggies…fresh tomato, sweet onion, English cucumber, radishes…whatever strikes your fancy. Wash, dry and cut your greens and vegetables, and set them aside. Then, make your dressing. In a blender, whip organic balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, stone ground mustard, and some ground flax seed. It will lighten in color as the oil emulsifies, and it needs a few minutes to sit on the counter because the flax seed will thicken and give the dressing a rich, creamy texture.
Finally, just before dinner, prepare and grill your steak. For this salad, I like to use very thin cut organic, grass-feed beef. Rub seasonings on both sides of the meat, and then toss it on the grill. The thin-cut steaks grill in minutes, and cut easily into bite-sized pieces. The seasoning rub works just as well on chicken breasts, or mushrooms (if you’re using portobello mushrooms, you’ll want to rub them with a little olive oil first so that the spices will stick). Let the meat cool a minute, then cut it up. You’re ready to assemble the salads! Just pile on the greens and veggies, layer some steak on top, and then drizzle with a generous helping of creamy balsamic vinaigrette. Ready to go! Fresh, filling, and healthy.
Serves: 4 dinner sized salads
- 1 pound organic, grass fed steak, thin cut (or substitute 1 lb. thinly cut organic free range chicken breast, or 1 lb organic portobello mushrooms...washed and stemmed).
- 1 teaspoon organic ground chili powder
- 1 teaspoon organic ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon organic ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon crushed organic rosemary leaves
- organic ground red pepper to taste
- 2 heads of organic romaine lettuce, washed and chopped
- 2 cups organic spinach, washed and chopped
- 6 organic radishes, washed and sliced
- ½ a small organic sweet onion (Vidalia or red, for example), thinly sliced
- ½ a large organic English cucumber, thinly sliced
- 2 small organic tomatoes, halved and thinly sliced
- Whatever other veggies you'd like to add...avocado, sprouts, carrots, etc.
- ⅔ cup organic balsamic vinegar
- ⅓ cup organic extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons organic stone ground mustard
- 3 teaspoons organic ground flax seed
- Wash, dry and cut the vegetables, set aside.
- In a blender, combine all the ingredients for the vinaigrette. Blend until the oil is emulsified, then set aside to allow the flax seed to thicken.
- Combine the ingredients for the rub, and sprinkle over the meat. If you're using mushrooms, rub them first with olive oil and then sprinkle on the spices. Grill the meat for just a few minutes on each side over high heat. If you're cooking chicken, you'll want to grill it longer...until the center reaches 165 degrees. Mushrooms just need to be grilled until tender and smoky. Cut your meat or mushrooms into thin, bite-sized strips.
- Assemble the salads...on each plate, place a bed of greens, then some of the cut vegetables. Over this, place some strips of grilled meat or mushrooms. Drizzle with a generous helping of vinaigrette and serve right away.
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