Breaking my mother’s salad rules

We are in the time of year when the majority of meals are served outside. They are quick and made so that the kids can return to their play without much fuss. But I’m discovering that as much as I love a good pb&j (on gluten free waffles of course!), I cannot eat like the kids every day of the week. I miss my veggies. So most days I eat a salad that I prep while the kids are eating and then eat while they play. This works because, let’s face it, it takes a lot longer to chew a salad than it does a sandwich.

When I first started looking into a gluten free or paleo diet, I was so overwhelmed by the loss of croutons, premade salad dressing (most of the ones *I* like are not GF) and how hungry I was. I’ve never been a big meat eater and so looking at diet protocols that are protein heavy sort of scared me. As I’d read through the paleo cookbooks, I noticed a lot of bacon (score!) and sausage (ewwww!). I decided that if my diet was going to have to shift focus, then I was going to have to try new things and see if I could find something I liked. I  tried sauteed (fried is probably more accurate, though) sausage at a MOPS brunch and decided that if I could eat that, then I’d better get to finding something to have on hand! I found this amazing chicken sausage at our Kroger and it’s in my cart almost every trip now. I just brown it in a saute pan and then slice it up before finishing cooking it.

I was just cooking up a whole package and then reheating some with steamed veggies and roasted potatoes, which was a very tasty option to be sure, but the more I ate it that way the more I wondered what else I could do with it! So here we go. Sausage and salad. And fruit. Growing up, my mother away said that fruit and vegetables are not to be mixed. And you certainly NEVER put animal protein on a salad! Whoops. Sorry mom, not only did I mix them, I think they taste even better like that!

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Sausage and Blueberry Salad with Fresh Vinaigrette

For each salad:

  • 2 cups salad greens
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup sliced cucumbers
  • 2 Tbsp. Feta cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. pumpkin or sunflower seeds
  • 1 sausage link, sliced

Toss all the ingredients together and pour salad dressing over.

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Fresh Vinaigrette

  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp. ketchup (I used homemade)
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • handful of chives, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic granules
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • cracked black pepper

Whisk all ingredients together well. Pour over Sausage and Blueberry salad. Store any leftovers in the fridge.

P.S. Most amazing bite? Stack in this order: Cucumber, Sausage, blueberry, feta. I promise. You. Will. EXPLODE!!!!!

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