I don’t know about you, but I have had about enough of the COVID-19 weight gain. While eating at home more has been fun, I realized that I had gotten into some bad splurge habits, eating carbs and comfort foods that I wouldn’t normally eat in a non-covid routine. So I decided to transition back to healthy heating, making meals a little more visually pleasing to trick myself out of the carbs. It’s my attempt to reframe dieting as spa dining at home rather than ‘taking one for the team’. One of my current favorites for inspiration is Donna Hay. She has a natural instinct for healthy recipes beautifully presented. This is her take on on the Waldorf Salad. I remember eating the retro version as a child, but even then feeling like it was extremely dated- all diced, mayonnaisy and tired, often with marshmallows and usually in the company of a congealed salad of some sort. Hay’s version of Waldorf breathes new life into the old classic with healthy substitutions and omissions (<—Im talking to you, marshmallows~).
- 4 Granny Smith (green) apples, thinly sliced
- 1 stalk of celery, thinly sliced
- 1 cup walnuts, chopped
- 2 cups of watercress sprigs, large stems removed
- 1/4 cup of whole-egg mayonnaise (can be substituted with full fat plain yogurt)
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp water
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup soft blue cheese, chopped
While this salad, even with the updated healthier ingredients could have taken on the expected yesteryear look, there’s something to be said for how knife skills- and experimenting with presentation can transform a dish. But first you have to have the right equipment.
I discovered a new knife brand that is FANTASTIC: Cutluxe. For this salad I used the Cutluxe Artisan Series Utility knife. It is a nice size, 5.5″, with a very comfortable weight and ergonomic pakkawood handle. Reasonably priced at $37.99 (I will link you to a discounted price below), this knife is better quality than some of my much more expensive knives- and very well made with full tang for maximum robustness, and hand-sharpened high carbon stainless steel. Consistent super-thin slices are a breeze with this knife.
These knives make a surprising difference – I recommend a knife upgrade if you are open to it.
Be sure to look into their entire selection because all of the Cutluxe collections are beautiful and extremely well made.
If you want to see more of Donna Hay’s healthy, beautiful recipes, I recommend this book:
Another favorite salad update is this Salmon Caesar Salad.