Monday, June 7, 2010

How to make a salad (that you actually want to eat!)

Yummmm! You know when you go to a restaurant and have that AWESOME, AMAZING salad that makes you love salad. Then you go home to your plain-Jane salads and mope around until your next restaurant trip? Let's avoid that! I have several meal-salads in my repertoire: Spinach with berries and almonds, taco salad, beet salad with bleu cheese...and those are all fairly specific groups of ingredients. What I'm going to show you today is how I make a big salad that I want to eat for meals and side dishes until it runs out. Then I make more!

First, you need a big bowl. Chair included for scale. 
Then, you fill it with 2 romaine hearts and 1/2 a bag of spinach.
Add your hearty veggies: broccoli, onions, grape tomatoes
  Top with pickled veggies: olives, artichoke hearts, banana peppers. These add flavor without many calories. Olives give you some good fat!
Finally, some shredded carrot. I prefer the root veggies julienned or spiralized.
You need some dressing, right? I make my own using the following method. Ingredients are optional and you can really tailor it to what you like. Another good one is a citrus-sesame oil-soy sauce combo. 
Key ingredients: roasted garlic (I used the cloves from one bunch), 1 forkful of marinated artichokes, 2 forkfuls of roasted red pepper in water/vinegar. Looks like this...
 Add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the food processor. You don't need much, I estimate 1/3 cup.
 Add a large pinch of salt, a small pinch of pepper, 1/2 tbsp of 'the first green herb you find in the spice cabinet' - I think it was thyme this time.
Add enough balsamic to coat the top of the mixture and blend again. The final product looks like this and makes ~1 cup. 
I made a delicious salad and topped it with scallops, red peppers, and artichokes sauteed in 1 tsp olive oil, garlic, S&P

I made that salad Saturday night and with two people that salad was gone by dinner today. Here's a few pics of the damage: 

This weekend, we tried out the new water park in town. When we got back, we had some salad and made some english muffin pizzas with the Thomas Multigrain english muffins and some extra veggies, cheese, and an olive oil drizzle. 

Here is my plate:

I went back for one more and some pretzel goldfish at 5, then I went on a 7 mile run at 7. I came back starving. I have been so hungry this weekend. I had the rest of the shakshuka. Then, I had a FF, SF pudding, angel food cake, berry, and Lt Cool whip Parfait: It was goooooooood after being in the sun all day. 

The salad was also eaten tonight with some Morningstar black bean burgers, mixed SP and white potato baked fries, and some corn with salt and chili powder. 

Ok, I'm off to do my ab routine, fold laundry and go to bed. Tomorrow AM will be my first run in my new running shoes. Speaking of running shoes, other creatures in my household are equally excited about them.

Do you see the creature looking at you from her box house? 

Oh, it's Lyra! She found a box just her size. She's super cute when she fits her entire body AND her head in the box. It's a squeeze!

Finally, Bellatrix was jealous. So, here's my cross-eyed beauty: 

ERA: Fri 6 mile run, 16 mile bike; Sat off; Sun 30 min power yoga, bike to pool and back (4 mile total), 7.5 mile run; Mon 30 min elliptical intervals, 20 min weights, 15 min abs. 

I've already got my research for a post on sugars and sugar substitutes tomorrow. Any questions regarding sugars or carbohydrates while I'm preparing?

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