When I first met my hubs, the only vegetables he ate were potatoes… ok fries, tomatoes on BLTs or pizza sauce and the occasional guacamole. 3 years later, we regularly eat salads for dinner 😲 You read that right, SALADS. The kind with veggies and no meat … enter my Veggie Cobb Salad with Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing.
I love fresh raw veggies. And this love started a long time ago. I don’t really know where or why it started. I think maybe because my mom tries to eat lots of fruits and veggies so I picked it up as a kid. Then as a teenager playing competitive tennis, nutrition was a topic regularly discussed by coaches. They were constantly trying to get us, sugar loving monsters, to eat more veggies. And somewhere along the way I developed this adoration for vegetables.
There is something about a perfectly ripe fresh raw vegetable that can be so life changing and memorable. I remember the first time I had a tomato at my aunt’s house in Italy. These tomatoes were the size of a softball. Completely irregular in shape and varying in colors, these guys looked like an alien vegetable. Sliced up fresh from the garden with olive oil, salt and a little balsamic. Man was that good! And the fact that even remember it (with my horrible memory) says something.
Eating fresh asparagus from one of my friend’s parents’ home garden for the first time. That was so eye-opening to me because I had no idea fresh raw asparagus could taste so good! Eating crisp snap peas from our little garden at our old house. Each of these memories ties back to a humble vegetable grown naturally and eaten simply. Each of these moments and taste have stuck in my mind. That is pretty special.
And this is the kind of experience I have always sought to share with the hubs. Veggies do not need to be boring or “health food.” They can be absolutely delicious, made simply, cooked up or with a glorious dressing.
So to ease him into the world of raw veggies, I tried making a manlier salad with a dressing he loves a few years ago. And lo and behold, he loved it! Yes, the man who would always skip the salad being passed around the table liked a meatless salad for dinner! So much so, that he started asking for this salad once a week. I would call this a success! Woohoo!
What is particularly awesome about this salad?
- Homemade blue cheese dressing! Need I say more. Also it is pretty healthy, made with greek yogurt.
- Avocado gives it a creamy yumminess and some healthy fat.
- Hard-boil eggs add lots of manly protein and great flavor.
- Homemade croutons are heavenly! Hard to not eat them all before adding them to the salad.
Now do not be fooled, this is not a delicate light salad. Yes it has the words Veggies in it and it is meatless, but it is definitely a dinner size bad boy loaded with vitamins, protein, healthy fat and carbs. All good things. Plus that dressing. Creamy, blue cheesy (it’s a thing), tangy… pretty much the best way to coat a salad.
So the next time you want to convince someone that you can truly enjoy a dinner salad, this Veggie Cobb Salad with Homemade Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing is the one and only recipe to try!
Veggie Cobb Salad with Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing
*Notes: these croutons can be made ahead of time. Store them in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- 1/2 head of romaine, roughly chopped
- 10 oz of spinach, rinsed, dried and roughly chopped
- 1 large ripe avocado (or 2 small ones), seed removed, peeled, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, sliced in half
- 3 hard-boiled large eggs
- 1 cucumber, sliced and quartered
Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing
- 1/3 cup blue cheese finely chopped or in crumbles
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
- Juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1-2 teaspoons of milk to achieve desired consistency
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Sprinkle garlic powder
- 1/2 old stale baguette, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
In a small bowl, whisk together the Greek yogurt, salt, garlic powder, pepper and vinegar. Mix in the blue cheese and a teaspoon of milk. If it is too thick, add another teaspoon or so of milk until you reach the desired consistency.
Toss bread cubes, 2 tablespoons olive oil and salt/pepper together in a bowl until bread cubes are well coated.
Heat a skillet over medium heat. Drizzle about a tablespoon of oil in the pan. Add seasoned bread cubes to pan and cook, turning occasionally, until golden all over (5 to 7 minutes).
In a large salad bowl, toss together the romaine lettuce and spinach. Then add the cucumbers. Arrange the eggs, tomatoes, avocado and croutons in rows. Then drizzle the creamy blue cheese dressing over the top.
Enjoy this yummy meatless Monday meal 😉