The purpose of our trip to Paris was simple: Two days at the French Open, where we’d sit in the sun and cheer the athletic prowess of our favorite players, Rafa Nadal (mine) and Gabine Mugaruza (my husband’s). Of course, it would be dumb to travel from New York to Paris for only two days, right? So, my husband and I attached a few extra days to the journey, with no plans for those days except to eat very, very well.
With little knowledge about restaurants in our immediate area, we went online, and quickly discovered that, unlike Americans, the French are not obsessed about posting photos and opinions of everything they eat on Yelp or Trip Advisor. So, rather than surf the web in search of true gastronomic experiences, we walked the streets of the 7th arrondissement, stopping on each block to read menus posted on ancient walls.
When it comes to dining and shopping, my French is pretty decent. At each stop, I soaked up every line of Les Entrées, Les Plats, and Les Desserts. I wasn’t just seeking information about the local fare. I was also looking for signs of the veggie-centric movement so evident in the U.S. Would “Les Salades” have a more prominent place on menus in Paris then they did a few years ago? I wondered.
Classic cuisine, only better
What we discovered were modernized versions of the same, classic cuisine. This was no problem, believe me. Who can complain about sautéed shiitake mushrooms with fresh herbs and a splash of sauterne, topped with a perfectly spherical soft boiled egg? Pumpkin mouse soup served in a bell pepper? I had to try it. In fact, I had to try everything, including sea bass with saffron and whipped potatoes, caramel soufflé, and of course, the baba au limoncello (not to be confused with baba au rhum).
It was all very indulgent, and at some point, it had to end. Finally, back in New York, confronted with severe jet lag and a desperate need to detox, I came up with this high protein salad, bursting with antioxidants, complex carbs, and natural fiber. The dressing has a velvety consistency and rich, spicy flavor, but measures only 30 calories a tablespoon. So whether it’s time for a cleanse or time for your own tennis match under the hot summer sun, Après Paris Salad is a super scrumptious solution.
Après Paris Salad – Spicy Detox Dressing
| 2 main course salads |
357 calories per serving
- 3 ounces baby kale, spinach, or a mix
- 6 cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 avocado
- 3 eggs, hardboiled
- 1 ounce English peas
- Salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
Spicy Detox Dressing
- 1/3 cup nonfat kefir
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
Make the dressing: In a small bowl or blender, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients until thoroughly emulsified. Set aside the dressing for a few minutes so that the spices meld with the liquid ingredients.
Prepare the salad ingredients: In a small saucepan, bring 2 cups of lightly salted water to a full boil. Transfer the peas to the pan and cook until bright green and tender, about one minute. Drain in colander and set aside to cool. Slice the avocado, tomatoes and hardboiled eggs into salad size pieces.
Assemble the salad: Toss the greens with a light but thorough coating of the dressing. Sprinkle with salt to taste and toss again. Arrange the remaining ingredients over the salad. Drizzle with additional dressing. Add fresh ground pepper to taste. Serve, and enjoy!