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Monday, April 9, 2018

Swiss Chard and Strawberry Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe- Paleo, Vegan, and Easy


While, in the past, I've posted very complex recipes that take many steps, my life more recently has become more busy and I've been turning more and more to quick, easy, and delicious recipes. Fortunately, people have shown an interest in these simple but yummy recipes, so even though the part of me that likes to make fancy and impressive dishes is sometimes loathe to share such "easy" and "basic" things, here's a recipe that has been requested by readers- Swiss chard and strawberry salad with balsamic vinaigrette. 

While it's written as Swiss chard and strawberry salad, this recipe is so incredibly versatile and I just use this as a base. In the past I've shared my formula for making the perfect salad from just about anything, and this recipe is based on that. It has the leafy chewy texture from the Swiss chard, has sweet and sour and a soft texture from strawberries, the crunch from the nuts and from the Swiss chard stems, etc... 

Based on that formula for making salads, you can see that you can just as easily replace the strawberries in this recipe with other fruit and it'll still come out amazingly. 

Recently I've been making this with pomegranate arils instead of strawberries; it works terrifically with mangos and peaches and apricots, clementine segments, etc... Essentially whatever sweet (and sour but not essential) fruit you have in season can replace the strawberries here, preferably if it's a soft fruit. 

Similarly, the Swiss chard (honestly, I don't even use real Swiss chard in mine; I use sea beet, the foraged wild ancestor) can be replaced with a variety of non bitter salad greens, such as spinach, lettuce, beet leaves, chickweed, lambsquarters, milk thistle (with the thorns removed), etc...
And while I used sliced almonds in mine most of the time, that's simply what I purchased on sale and have a lot of. You can use pecans or walnuts in yours, or sunflower seeds, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, etc... or even leave it out entirely- it'll just be without that extra crunch element that I find makes a salad great. However, if you include red onion slices, that'll also add that crunchy element, so the nuts may be superfluous.

If you want to make this suitable for the auto-immune paleo diet, simply leave out the nuts/seeds and the black pepper and you're good to go.

Swiss Chard and Strawberry Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe- Paleo, Vegan, and Easy

Ingredients:
Swiss chard or other salad greens of choice
Strawberries or other seasonal sweet fruit of choice
Scallions, onion greens, or red onions (optional but preferable)
Almonds, pecans, or other nut or seed or choice (optional but preferable)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper (optional)

Instructions:
1. Chop your salad greens. Slice your strawberries or whatever other fruit you're using. Dice or cut your onions into rings or small pieces. Chop your nuts small if not already small.

2. Mix the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper in a container/jar/bottle.

3. Mix your salad ingredients together in whatever proportion you like. I like having approximately 3 parts greens to one part fruit, and then topping it with a smattering of nuts and onion.

4. Add your balsamic vinaigrette to your salad, shaking/mixing well before adding. Don't put too much on, and if the amount you made wasn't enough for the amount of salad, simply make more.

Enjoy!

Are you a fan of salads with fruit? Ever make salads with balsamic vinaigrette? What do you usually put in it? Does this look like a recipe you'd try? What variation would you use, or would you stick to the original recipe?

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