"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be."
~ Douglas Adams
Wednesday, July 06, 2011
Summer is for Salad
I'm not a sandwich kind of girl when it comes to lunch. Growing up, the only option we had at my house for lunch was sandwiches. Peanut butter and jelly or cold-cuts and cheese. Sometimes we had tuna, but more often than not, it was the above choices. Sometimes for dinner we'd have grilled cheese, or a Steak-Um (remember that?) sandwich, but those were a rare treat. Don't get me wrong, I like a good sandwich. There is nothing like a grilled portobello cap sandwiched between the top and bottom of a fresh roll with roasted red pepper, lettuce leaves and fresh sliced tomato served with grilled sweet potato fries. Bring it on.. but not for lunch. I much prefer a pasta salad, rice and vegetables, soup, leftover dinner (sometimes), and salad. If I'm going to have tuna, I have it over baby spinach with kalamata olives and goat cheese. So much better than a boring sandwich.
One of my favorite things to have for lunch is a simple salad that I concocted over the winter. I know it goes against a body's desire for hearty, warming foods to eat salad in the winter, but I don't care. I start out with a base of either mixed greens, or spinach depending on what I have on hand. Sometimes I mix the two together if I have both in the fridge. I use at least 2 if not 3 cups of greens and no I don't measure. On top of that, I add an entire granny smith apple. I use a paring knife and cut around the core, then cut the 4 sections into large chunks. I don't peel it beforehand, but I do wash it and I only use organic apples. I react badly to the oil or wax they use on stored apples, so I avoid them. If I'm having this at work, I assemble the whole thing, but bring the apple and a paring knife so it doesn't go brown. Next up is about a quarter cup of dried cranberries. I use Ocean Spray Craisins, because they have simple ingredients and are local-ish to me. Next comes an ounce (about 15) of whole, dry roasted almonds (not salted) and about half an ounce of soft goat cheese, crumbled. I should mention that I buy my goat cheese in a log, and crumble it myself with a knife. I should also mention that I don't measure anything except for counting the almonds. I don't know why I do it, I just do. This salad it perfect just like that. You can also add a drizzle of real maple syrup for an indulgent dressing, but really, the flavors melt together beautiful when left alone. When it's really hot out, I crave this salad and could eat it every day. Every day. It's that good.