A Twist on Salad

I know its January and really cold out today and when I think of cooking dinner in January I think of soups and stews, piping hot casseroles and Sheppard’s pie. But today I am going to suggest a salad. Yes you heard correct a nice, light salad with a twist.

My family really enjoys salads for dinner because there’s so much variety in the greens and toppings you can use and everyone can make their own. As a dietitian I really enjoy serving entrée salads for dinner because it’s a great way to eat a lot of vegetables! One serving of vegetables in Canada’s Food Guide is one cup of greens or ½ cup of chopped vegetables. My daughter will easily eat three vegetable servings and be excited about it – yay, a dream come true!!!

To make an entrée salad a complete meal it should include three of the four food groups. So wash up your favourite greens, we like spinach and romaine, and chop up some veggies. Add some shredded cheese to cover off the Milk and Alternatives food group and then top your salad with a meat or meat alternative. Try nuts and seeds, chicken, salmon, chick peas, or my favourite an egg. I would normally use a hard cook egg but recently we’ve been adding a poached egg and it’s delicious! The egg is nice and warm and the soft yolk adds to your dressing so you don’t have to use as much. If you are intimidated by the thought of poaching an egg don’t be. It’s pretty easy – just follow these steps.
Start with a small pot if you are making one or two poached eggs and fill it about half full with water. I also add a splash of white vinegar, for flavour. If you’re making more than two eggs you will need a larger pan like this one. 

You will also need a slotted spoon and one small bowl for each poached egg you are making. Crack each egg into a small bowl – it’s just easier to add the eggs to the pot this way. Remember one egg per bowl to help keep them separate in the pot.

Bring the water to a simmer. You don’t want the water to boil. You’ll know the water is ready when there are small bubbles at the bottom of the pan but they are not coming to the top.

Give the water a little stir and pour each egg into the pot – one at a time. 

Keep the water simmering you still don’t want it to boil so you may have to adjust your heat to medium low. For a soft yolk egg cook for 3 ½ minutes. Cook longer if you want the yolk hard. When the egg is ready use the slotted spoon to take the egg out of the pot and drain the extra water. 

Place on top of your salad with a little black pepper and enjoy!

What are your favorite salad toppings?
Shannon RD