Colorful Mixed Salad

I have eaten a lot of dishes from the Apple headquarter's cafeteria in Cupertino, California.  From their pizzas to pastas, from their healthy juices to mango lassis, from their Indian food to Mexican quesadillas.  But of all their foods, my favorite is their mixed salad.  You can choose the ingredients and dressings to build your salad, and if you choose it well - you can enjoy a crunch-a crisp-a soft-a sweet-a tangy and a lot of flavors and textures in each bite.

Mixed Salad Recipe

I do not try to recreate their salads when I make salads at home now, but the way I make salads has changed.

There is no recipe in this post.  You can choose as much or as little of each ingredient.  There is no set ratio you need to follow.  I will just share the basic concept for the salad that I observed from two years of eating their healthy and satiating salads!

What their mixed salads consist of:
- diced fruits (not fruits like plums or bananas, but more salad-friendly fruits like watermelon, cantaloupe, berries, grapes, sweet pineapple, avocado, orange, etc)
- vegetables (broccoli florets, boiled beetroot julienne or diced, cherry tomatoes, artichoke hearts, boiled green peas, boiled corn)
- lentils and beans (like boiled brown masoor dal, tender chickpeas, soft red kidney beans, edamame)
- leafy greens (choice of spinach, lettuce, kale, etc---we mostly choose spinach)
- nuts (whole almonds, whole roasted cashew nuts, raisins, craisins, dried currants)
- cheese (mozzarella, mostly)
- croutons
- salad dressing

mixed salad recipe with lentils beans fruits vegetables nuts

Their salad dressings don't overpower the salad ingredients.  So with each bite, you don't taste the overly sweet and mildly tangy Thousand Island dressing - just a subtle hint of the dressing.  Which is perfect, in my opinion.  And that's one major difference in how I used to do things previously--I used to load and coat my salad heavily with a lot of salad dressing!  They also have a simple yet classic salt-pepper-olive oil-vinegar salad dressing but I am not a fan of that all the time.  But a Ranch or a Thousand Island - sure, anytime!

My colorful mixed salad that you see in the photos here has: strawberry, grapes, mango, pressure-cooked kidney beans, finely chopped red onion, baby spinach, sliced string cheese, raisins, chopped almonds, croutons (made with a slice of bread toasted well over the pan without oil or butter and cut in pieces)...all those 10 components tossed with a salt-black pepper-olive oil-apple cider vinegar salad dressing because that is easily made at home and I don't always have delicious Ranch and Thousand Island handy.

mixed salad recipe with lentils beans fruits vegetables nuts

Most of the ingredients of my colorful mixed salad as you can tell are store-bought that do not need much prep: just kidney beans needed pressure-cooking, which was done a day before since I used half of them to make Rajma--the gravy dish...and bread needed toasting to make croutons...and the dressing needed to be tossed well along with the ingredients.  Apart from that everything was just slicing and dicing.  So if the number of ingredients in this salad makes you wonder how long it's going to take to make - it's actually pretty easy to assemble one!

Just as a side note - I added mangoes in the end for a pop of color when I felt like my salad was looking too reddish with the red strawberries and red kidney beans and red onions.  So build your colorful mixed salad however you wish, it's still going to be great and pretty filling!

mixed salad recipe with lentils beans fruits vegetables nuts

Enjoy.
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