Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Salad I Get Excited About

I've always thought of salad as boring. Lettuce, tomato, cucumber, etc. Blah, blah, blah!!! And don't get me started on the dinner side salads in those restaurants that consider a baked potato a vegetable. Ok, it is a vegetable but it's not green or even orange.

Lately I've come around on salad eating on my own terms. My terms involve flavor, texture and nutrition. I like lots of good stuff on my greens - they're filling but don't make feel bogged down, especially with this summer heat. Sourdough bread has a relatively low glycemic index. Nuts and seeds are beneficial and of course veggies are the bomb! Here's what I'm doing:

Gently heat up a good quality nonstick pan over medium heat after spraying lightly with olive oil (NOT cooking spray). See if you can find a bottle with a pump that works well - it is a challenge, I know. Slice up some onion and add to pan. Cube up some sourdough bread (I used 1/2 a large slice per serving) and add to pan, along with 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds. Spray olive oil over ingredients and saute until toasted - 5 to 10 minutes. Use your eyeballs and your judgment. You want some nice caramelization.

Meanwhile, cut up some red pepper, slice some carrot, green onion, thaw out some frozen petite peas. Take some oil cured olives, like Moroccan, and smash with the flat side of your good quality chef knife. Remove pits. Open a can of garbanzo beans (reduced sodium!?), break out the salad greens. Add feta - and I'm talking about the good stuff, made from goat or sheep's milk. Trader Joe's, if you're lucky enough to have one nearby, has the good stuff. I'm partial to organic spring mix and most currently machĂȘ (lamb's lettuce). So, here are the amounts - ok so I'm not writing in normal recipe format. This isn't a normal recipe!

1/2 cup sliced onion
1/2 slice sourdough bread
1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
extra virgin olive oil spray
Saute as above

1/4 cup coarsely chopped red pepper
2 tablespoons sliced carrot
1 sliced green onion
1 tablespoon frozen petite peas, thawed
6 oil cured olives
2 tablespoons garbanzos
2 cups greens of your choice
1 oz crumbled feta - only the good stuff!
anything else you want

Dress with more extra virgin olive oil spray and balsamic vinegar or lemon juice or whatever else tickles your fancy. This is often my dinner and I like a big, filling salad. If you're on weight watchers, I count 7 points. This is just a guideline, do whatever you want. Using good ingredients will make this a satisfying experience. I just hope I got you inspired!

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