Summer Veggie and Herb Salad

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OMG guys! Dinner tonight was so delicious, I can’t wait to share it with you! This is a spin on one of my recipe fails from last week…its funny how a few simple tweaks can turn a so-so recipe into a WOW recipe. In the past month or so my husband and I have been making a diligent effort to eat more veggies. With my background in nutrition and love of food I always thought my diet was fairly good. But, like everyone, I am human and slide into reaching for processed food, salty snacks, and, my personal favorite, sweet treats. Chocolate chip cookies…brownies…I’m really not picky.

My self reflection began after watching several documentaries on Netflix. We recently subscribed on a whim and I am completely obsessed! I am a self proclaimed food nerd with a particular weakness for books about food politics, organic foods, and anything written by Michael Pollan. So, to have a complete section on Netflix devoted to documentaries on health…I’m in nerdy heaven! Who knew there were so many out there?! How will I ever find enough time to watch them all? Man, I miss summer vacation…

Anyway, more veggies is the goal. I have managed to add 1-2 additional servings of veggies in the lunch I pack for work. I like to mix up the combinations and pair them with hummus or greek yogurt dip to keep things interesting. I have also increased the veggies served with dinner. This salad is vegetarian and has tons of fresh flavor and texture. Don’t be intimidated by the long ingredient list; investing a bit of time chopping and stirring will produce a satisfying one dish meal. Perfect for “Meatless Monday”, or anyone looking for some “feel-good” food.

Ingredients

Salad

  • 1 1/2 c. frozen corn
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 seedless cucumber, peeled and sliced into bite size pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut in a large dice
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and cut in large dice
  • 16 oz. grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1/2 small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 15 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 c. herb mix (I used basil, tarragon, and parsley from my garden)
  • 1 avocado, pit removed and diced
  • 7 oz. bag baby arugula
  • 4 oz. goat cheese crumbles

Dressing

  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. grainy dijon mustard (or regular dijon)
  • 6 tbsp. olive oil
  • salt/pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Toss frozen corn (straight from the freezer) with 1 tbsp. olive oil and a little salt/pepper. Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes, stirring halfway through, until the corn is thawed and begins to brown slightly. Remove from oven and let cool.

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Meanwhile, combine the cucumber, bell peppers, tomatoes, red onion, and chickpeas in a large bowl.

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Add chopped herbs and stir well to combine.

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To make the dressing combine garlic, oregano, red wine vinegar, and dijon mustard. Add olive oil in a slow, steady stream whisking constantly. Season with salt/pepper to taste and add 1/2 of the dressing to the veggie mixture.

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Toss until each vegetable is coated with the salad dressing. Add more if needed; I like to start out on the conservative side to prevent overdressing which can make the salad soggy. Not good. Finally add the avocado and the roasted corn and give one last stir to combine.

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Place a heaping handful of arugula (about 2 c. per serving) in a shallow bowl. Top with a few spoonfuls of the veggie mixture and sprinkle with 1-2 tsp. crumbled goat cheese.

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The dressing from the veggies will begin to sink down into the arugula and perfectly dress the greens. I love the contrast of the spicy arugula and the fresh vegetable mixture. Dinners full of veggies are not only beautiful; they also give you energy. This is true feel-good food. Enjoy!

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