The Recipe Redux is a group of like-minded food bloggers whose mission is to inspire the food lover in every healthy eater and inspire the healthy eater in every food lover. Each month members post recipes to their blogs following a theme set by the group moderators. Click the Recipe Redux link at the bottom of this page to see links to all the posts for this month’s challenge.
I’ve made Mix & Match Salad in countless variations for as long as I can remember. The recipe consists of four ingredients I always include – avocado, hard-boiled eggs, trail mix (one with dried fruit, nuts, and seeds), and tomatoes – along with other ingredients that vary depending on what I have on hand, what leftovers I need to use up, and what I, and my family, are in the mood for. Below are some of the variable ingredients I like to use in this salad. The key is to pick ingredients (one from each category) that complement one another and then make a vinaigrette that pulls all the flavors together. The possible combinations are endless!
The greens/lettuce you choose for this salad, as well as the four consistent ingredients (avocado, trail mix, hard-boiled egg, and tomatoes), all work well together no matter what else you add, but when choosing the protein, cheese, and vinaigrette go for flavor synergy. Some pairings that I like are: steak and blue cheese with red wine vinaigrette; chicken and goat cheese with white balsamic vinaigrette; and seafood and parmesan cheese with white wine vinaigrette. There are so many ingredient choices for a salad like this. Add to the categories above by experimenting with different greens, cheeses, meat/seafood, and specialty vinegars to come up with tasty combinations, and then create your own favorite salads using the basic Mix & Match Salad recipe as a guide.
Making this salad on a regular basis is a great way to reduce food waste because a wide variety of foods can be tossed into/on top of it. The small quantities of food we frequently have left over from the previous night’s dinner are a perfect addition to salads. The day I photographed this salad I had leftover green beans in my fridge so I threw them on top. And you know those broken cracker pieces at the bottom of the bag/box? Instead of throwing them away, use them in place of salad croutons. Stale bread can also be turned into croutons and is another great way to reduce food waste. To make, simply cut stale bread into cubes, toss with a little bit of olive oil salt and pepper, and bake in a 400-degree oven for 30 minutes or until golden and crispy.
Mix & Match Salad is a perfect fit for this month’s Recipe Redux theme – reducing food waste. Reduxers were challenged with providing tips on how to use up food that would normally be thrown away. Mix & Match Salad rose to the challenge easily. Half used cans and jars of things like artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, beans, sun-dried tomatoes, and even pickles have been known to find their way into these salads at my house. Other foods I have thrown on top include leftover rice, pasta, potatoes, corn, quinoa, and all kinds of vegetables. As I said, the possibilities are endless! Needless to say, if you’re someone who doesn’t like your food all mixed together then you probably won’t be a big fan of this salad. If, on the other hand, you’re the type of person who likes a wide variety of nutritious foods and loves commingled flavors, then some variation of Mix & Match Salad is likely to become your new favorite salad!
- 6 tablespoons (3 fluid ounces) olive oil or avocado oil
- 2 tablespoons (1 fluid ounce) vinegar
- Pinch of salt and pepper
- 4 cups loosely packed (2 ounces) greens/lettuce
- 1 cup (3 ounces) cooked meat or seafood, cubed, shredded or cut into bite size pieces
- ½ cup (2 ounces) trail mix (dried fruit, nuts, and seeds)
- ¼ cup (½ ounce) crumbled or shredded cheese
- 6 grape tomatoes, halved or 1 small tomato diced
- ½ avocado, peeled and diced
- 2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and quartered
- OPTIONAL ADDITIONS
- Broken crackers (in place of croutons)
- Leftover grains, pasta, vegetables, beans
- Whisk together the oil and vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Assemble the remaining ingredients, in the order listed, in 4 shallow salad bowls. Dress with the vinaigrette. Serve 4.
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