Most people are catching on to the idea that a healthier diet should include much less processed grains and starchy foods, but that presents a problem. What are we supposed to eat for dinner if we can’t have mash potatoes or a side of rice with our grilled chicken? Having a solid list of “go to” side items makes healthy meal preparation much easier. With that in mind, you must master this salad recipe.

Mixed Green SaladThis is the classic mixed green salad with balsamic vinaigrette and it is a very versatile salad. It’s just as good with a steak or burger as it is with a breakfast quiche. It’s the perfect quick and easy side to all meals. This salad can also be used as a base for an entrée salad, just add chopped fruits, nuts, vegetables, a little gorgonzola and dinner is served.

Ready to serve mixed baby greens are available at all grocery stores. One bag of greens easily makes 4 serving. Put a piece of paper towel in the bag before you store unused green in the fridge. This way the leaves will stay crisp for at least a week if not longer. Grab a big ol’ handful and put it in a large bowl. Drizzle with some olive oil, a couple glugs. Give it a long spin of the pepper grinder and a sprinkle of kosher salt. Mix a little then add one or two glugs of balsamic vinegar, the darker kind. It’s thicker and sweeter and looks like dark red wine in the bottle. Mix once more and that’s it. It’s a classic fresh salad to round out any meal. The peppery mixed greens and balsamic vinegar gives this salad a flavor that is refreshing and full of palate cleansing goodness.