Written by contributor Angela Stanford, MBA, RD, RYT of Vital Nutrition & Wellness
I serve this salad with my winter dinners. It was made from leaf and head lettuce greens I grew on my patio garden in pots and Earthboxes.
I planted these lettuce seeds back in late October when the sun was out long enough during the day (6+ hours) to keep the soil warm enough to germinate the seeds. When the frosts started late November, I easily moved the Earthboxes and pots under the arbor for protection because they are all on wheels.
These patio garden containers were placed just inside the south overhang of the arbor extension form my house to protect them from a hard frost, but still allow them access to plenty of midday and afternoon sunshine. They will continue to produce greens for me until my Spring lettuces, kale and Swiss chard are ready in my raised beds April/May on the other side of my garden.
My Simple Salad Dressing is great to toss with winter salad greens, beans, nuts, dried fruits and seeds. It’s simple to make from 3 clean ingredients – great for all those folks trying to make good on their New Year’s resolutions to eat cleaner and healthier.
Mix up a batch in a glass mason jar, screw on a lid, and give it a good shake. Store it in the refrigerator, and you will have enough to dress your salads for several days. Students of mine, learning to eat cleaner and mindfully, love this dressing because they can make it up in advance and change it up with different juices, vinegars or add dashes of dried herb blends to customize it to their liking.
Simple Salad Dressing with Olive Oil
3:1 ratio – 3 parts olive oil to 1 part lemon juice and salt.
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 tsp salt
Make and store in glass jar and use a couple of teaspoons on green salad or bean salad all week. Change it up by using lime juice, orange juice or balsamic vinegar.
Note: some people like more juice flavor to come through, so use 2:1 ratio.
Eat Healthier with a Winter Garden
Growing greens on your patio is a great way to continue to enjoy salads during winter in warmer states like where I live in Northern California. For those in colder climates with a sunny window, try your hand and growing a windowsill garden. It is just as simple to do, and you get to enjoy looking at and harvesting your plants inside your warm home in the comfort of your cozy house slippers. Start with herbs like thyme, parsley, chives, lemon balm and oregano and garlic. When you feel more adventurous, you can try lettuces, radishes, spinach, kale, fava beans, basil and more. Come
Get Ready for Spring Garden Seedlings
February, you can start your seedlings for your Spring patio or backyard garden with seeds like Swiss chard, peas, spinach, asparagus, bulb onions, and scallions. You can also plant edible flowers like nastursums, pansies and calendulas.
So even though it is cold outside, don’t let the drop in temperature deter you from exercising your green thumb and growing yourself some winter greens or herbs to enjoy in a salad alongside a bowl of nice warm soup.
Angela offers nutrition counseling, teaches workshops combining yoga and mindful eating, and helps people start edible backyard and patio gardens. To learn more about Angela, visit Vital Nutrition & Wellness.
Join the discussion!
What are your favorite leafy greens during the winter? Share in the comments below.