This post is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of ACME Markets. All opinions are 100% my own.
All summer I have been craving salads. All kinds. But let me tell you that the key to making a salad that everyone likes is flavor and texture.
1. Pick a great base. I love arugula because it has a peppery, interesting flavor. Also, the leaves take forever to go bad in the fridge. You might also love the crunch of romaine, or a half and halfsie of greens and rice.
2. Pick a good dressing. Dressings tend to be a pit of sugar, so if you can, make your own. Your blender can whip up a dressing for the entire week in about 5 mins. Including one I looooove below.
3. Include crunch. A single tortilla chip goes a long way when you crush it and sprinkle it on top (right!!!) You can also roast some almonds or pumpkin seeds for the week or toast up that leftover bread into homemade croutons. Vegetables like red and yellow peppers, cabbage, or cucumbers also add a nice bite!
4. Add fruit and/or fresh herbs for interest. Piles of dill or some nicely diced apple will make you swoon. This right here is what keeps you coming back bite after bite!
5. Pick something creamy to balance out the crunch. Here is where we typically add a cheese, but I am including a new version of that below. I created a dairy-free, vegan, gluten-free baked goat cheese reminiscent of those little balls you would find on top of an arugula salad with maui onion vinaigrette.
Let’s first talk about this cheesy goodness. I made this cheese using the below recipe, and I included ingredients you can find right at the grocery store. I am a big believer in keeping wellness and wellbeing approachable and attainable. You CAN eat healthy and make creative recipes without a specialty store or having to spend a lot of money. I enjoy the O Organics® and Open Nature® products found exclusively at my local ACME Markets. They are really great products if you are trying to source high quality, minimally processed ingredients and healthy alternatives for your family’s kitchen including plant based, protein rich, gluten free options along with compostable and biodegradable products based on lifestyle & wellness needs. ACME Markets believes in providing quality and value for every shopper, in every corner of the store.
1 1/4c Open Nature® Almond Flour
The juice of 3 lemons
3 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
1 ¼ tsp salt
A few grinds of fresh black pepper
2 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional, if you can’t find it)
Handful of O Organics® Kettle Chips to crumble (can also sub more almond flour here)
Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. You might have to stop and scrape down the sides from time to time.
Once blended – I like to let it sit for a few hours to really make the flavor deeper. This is optional and if your cheese is not super runny, you could just move into the baking part below. Line a small bowl with some cheesecloth and pour the cheese mixture into it. Pull up all of the sides of the cheesecloth so that the cheese is in a little ball inside and twist the top into a rubber band. Keep this in the bowl in the fridge overnight.
When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Unwrap the cheese and roll it into small balls. Roll the balls into crushed Open Nature® Kettle Chips or Open Nature® Almond Flour. If you use the chips, you’ll get an extra crunch!
Bake the faux goat cheese balls for about 20 minutes until browned lightly and then serve with your favorite salad! I love to enjoy these with arugula, tomatoes, olives, roasted veggies, O Organics® Roasted Cashews for crunch, and the below vinaigrette.
If you try this – let me know below what you think!
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp mustard
1/4 cup almond milk or water
2 tbsp olive oil
a few shakes of garlic powder and onion powder
1 tsp maple syrup
handful of fresh herbs if you have (basil, parsley, etc)
salt and pepper to taste
I buy my O Organics® and Open Nature® products at my local ACME, and you can also find them exclusively at the Albertsons Companies family of stores, including Albertsons, Safeway, Jewel-Osco, Vons, Pavilions, Randalls, Tom Thumb, Shaw’s, Star Market, United Supermarkets and Carrs/Safeway. Visit acmemarkets.com to find a store near you and discover more meal prep tips and recipe ideas.
ACME also offers Grocery Delivery and Drive Up & Go™ for convenient ways to shop, contactless delivery, and basically the best way to get groceries with kids! 😛