Chef K shakes up some tasty salad tips with Health Nut Dressing, interview

Health Nut Dressing, available in four flavors
Health Nut Dressing, available in four flavors / Health Nut Dressing

While many people appreciate that they should eat more greens, that bowl of leafy goodness may not be as tempting as the bag of chips. Chef K, Chef Khristianne Uy, the Kardashian's Private Chef, joined with Health Nut Dressing to shake up summer salads. Ready to eat that forkful?

Healthy eating might be the goal, but it might not be as exciting as other fun food options. Hearty burgers, gooey cheese, and sweet desserts tempt at every turn. That sometimes indulgence is always permissible, but the food scales should make balanced eating a priority.

Summer and salads often go hand in hand. Warm temperatures have many people preferring a lighter food option. The bounty of seasonal produce brings the freshest flavors. It is a combination that makes that salad bowl even more desirable.

Even though the food might be at its freshness peak, people want a little excitement served on the plate. Creating a buzz about a dish or a food choice can be the boost to get people eating.

Health Nut Dressing appreciates that a little shake can change the food conversation. While many people have seen that celebrity salad shake, everyone can get a taste of those favorite salad dressings without having to drive to the Valley.

Available in stores now, Health Nut Dressing has launched four options, Original House, Spicy Asian, Sesame, and Ranch. Whether home cooks shake, drizzle or even dip, those salads are full of flavor.

As part of the Health Nut Dressing launch, Chef Khristianne Uy, aka Chef K, shared some expert tips on making salads super. From proper dressing techniques to ingredient pairings, it is time to shake up summer salad season.

Chef K for Health Nut Dressing
Chef K for Health Nut Dressing / Health Nut Dressing

Cristine Struble: Some people think that eating a salad is a sacrifice or a chore. What are some creative, engaging ways to get people excited about eating salads?

Chef K: Some of the engaging ways that I do this for my clients is to introduce them to the crunch profile, which is important now, because protein doesn't fall into the ‘exciting parts’, so you’ve got to get them excited. It's my job to get the salad in an elevated form – amazing salads are not supposed to be boring. For example, even chopping your walnuts to, you know, not whole walnuts -- who wants to have a bite of one thick walnut? So when I do my walnuts, I put them in a plastic bag and pound them to where it's almost so small like powder that it coats all the lettuces.

CS: Sometimes home cooks over-dress their salads. Is there a way to ensure that those delicate greens are not drowning in dressing?

Chef K: When it comes to dressing, I have this rule that you can always add and not subtract. I think by adding, you know, just little increments at a time can ensure a less soggy salad and just wait (until) the last minute to actually dress it. The Health Nut dressings are really light so they're great to pour on and combine well into the final dish!”

Types of lettuce are also a factor. There's really good darker greens that could withstand being marinated overnight. As an example, I prepare my kale salad in the Health Nut Original House dressing and it lasts overnight. It holds it. That's a good meal prep; it lasts for like three days.

CS: Recently, you partnered with Health Nut to promote their salad dressings now available at grocery stores nationwide. Could you share why you were drawn to this partnership?

Chef K: Health Nut has always been a fan favorite here in Los Angeles and I’m excited cooks and consumers can finally give the dressing a try. These flavors are beloved in Health Nut restaurants and I’m excited to help Health Nut launch these nationally for others to use at home. The inspiration behind the Health Nut salad dressings partnership is my clients, the family that I cook for every day. I'm invested in what my clients love. I mean, that's what keeps me in their home and the longevity of my services to them. But also, you want to keep your clients happy. And so when you really zone in on what they want, flavor profiles or anything like that, you keep the smiles going. You're part of the home, you know?

CS: Some people want to eat salads, but it can be time consuming or difficult to eat on the go. Do you have any suggestions to bring convenience to enjoying salads? 

Chef K: Absolutely. The Health Nut salad dressings are an easy answer and the most convenient. Throw that in the cooler. Get your shaker -- the green bowl. If you don't have it yet, then a big old Tupperware. Just pour the salad dressing and shake, shake, shake. It's literally any toppings, nuts, grains and herbs.

The Health Nut dressings also make great marinades. Take a brussels sprouts salad. I would toss the brussels sprouts with the Health Nut Spicy Asian dressing, marinate some shrimp in the Spicy Asian dressing too and grill that or sauté that. (Then) cool that off and put that with your marinating brussels sprouts and then add toasted almonds on top. And that salad will keep because brussels sprouts--it's not a sensitive lettuce where it wilts quickly. Now you’ve got yourself a Spicy Asian brussels sprout salad with delicious toppings.

CS: Summer dining often needs a salad to cut through the heavier, more robust flavors. Any suggestions on some recipes or pairing ideas?

Chef K: The four salad dressings in the Health Nut product lineup are so versatile.  A lot of people feel intimidated by a salad. But the versatility of these salad dressings -- try it with a simple lettuce and then build in a crunch. Literally go in a pantry and get corn nuts, walnuts, almonds or even tortilla chips and crumple, you know, start off with that. And I think that's a good base because you’re not like, ‘Oh my God, this is completely foreign to me. This is completely intimidating,’ You know, it adds a nostalgic factor.

CS: Summer heat can make salads wilt quickly. Any suggestions to keep that salad looking great throughout the whole event?

Chef K: Yes, the basis of a salad is always your lettuce, which makes up 50, 60, 70% of the salad before the protein and anything, so make sure that your salad greens are always dried well. I would line up paper towels if you don't have a salad spinner, but I like to shock the lettuce in ice water first. It keeps it crispy and crunchy, and you get more shelf life to it. Here's another trick - if you pare your salad as opposed to using a knife with a more sensitive salad, like butter lettuce, you get a longer shelf life. It's a chef trick.

Health Nut Dressing can be found at Walmart stores nationwide as well as regionally at Target, Albertsons, Jewel, Bristol Farms, Gelsens, Stater Bro’s, Wakefern, Smart and Final. A complete list of retailers can be found at