Thursday, January 5, 2012

Splendid Salads

This year I resolve to eat more salads. Fortunately many restaurants nearby offer delicious, healthy, and satisfying medleys. 

Some of my favorite, reliable local salads include:

Lulu's on the Alameda Chopped Salad: Mixed lettuce, napa cabbage, chicken, bell peppers, corn, tortilla chips with a cilantro dressing. I love the lime flavor in the dressing, and the crunchiness of the tortilla chips and peppers. I've also been to parties where this is served to wide applause.   

CPK BBQ Chopped Chicken Salad:  Sweet corn, black beans, jicama, cilantro, basil, tortilla strips, and Monterey Jack in a homemade ranch dressing. Topped with BBQ chicken, tomatoes and scallions, I always like to add avocado for a creamy balance. It's a go-to salad meal for me and my daughter Valerie (photo above). Yum.  

Amici's Artichoke Panzanella Salad: Classic Tuscan Bread Salad with artichoke hearts, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, red onion, romaine, basil, capers, extra-virgin olive oil, and red wine vinegar. We always order this when getting Amici's incredible New York style pizzas and bread sticks with Ranch dipping sauce. The common ingredient is Amici's soft and chewy bread: you gotta love the big, chewy croutons and wonderful melding of salad crunch and tangy dressing.  

Michael's at Shoreline Chinese Chicken Salad: They mix it all up for you in a big bowl. The crunchies and dressing meld together nicely with the chicken and vegetables. You can eat it outside with a view of the golf course after a relaxing walk along the baylands.  

Sprout Cafe has lots of great salads. Two of my favorites are the Farmhouse (red leaf lettuce, orange, roasted red beets, goat cheese, shaved fennel, cherry tomatoes, red onions, roasted red bell peppers, balsamic vinaigrette) and Somen (Japanese somen noodles, mixed greens, caramelized shallots, kaiware sprouts, carrots, bean sprouts, fresh herbs, crispy wonton strips, roasted chopped peanuts, chili lime vinaigrette). You can also create your own, but why bother when Sprouts has already designed such delectable and sometimes unexpected combinations?     

Whole Foods offers several great salads packaged up and ready to go. A favorite is the Sonoma Chicken Salad. You can even try making it at home from this recipe

I have a feeling this is a New Year's resolution that will be easy to stick to. Let me know if you have other favorite salads--I'd love to try some new ones too!

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