Monday, May 27, 2013

It's Okay...He Eats Salads now

I'd really rather ignore lunch. It's such an inconvenient meal for our schooling-at-home gang, BUT if salad's on the menu, I'm such a happy camper both in the preparing and in the eating of it.

It all began after a season of focusing on nutrition. My Man discovered that he loved salad as a meal, noting that he didn't suffer from that after-lunch-lull when he'd had a big manly salad for his midday meal. By big manly salad I mean this...
{Picture taken at our annual visit to The Cheesecake Factory 
where my guy choose a huge salad over his 
usual Mac n'Cheese burger...swoon!}

The day he left for work and said, "You know what would taste great for lunch? A big salad, would that be okay?" I would have done back handsprings down the hallway, I could have. This vegetable-averse Man-o-mine just might be turning a food corner and I'm way too excited about it. We've all heard it said that love covers a multitude of sins but I'm hear to tell you that these days, it is salad that eases domestic cares.

When I get a text that tells me he's gonna be late coming home for dinner, I think..."It's OK, he eats salad now."

When I don't get that text and he's late coming home for dinner, I think..."It's OK, he eats salad now."

When we are having an argument and I've figured out the perfect way to prove my point, I resist, thinking..."It's OK, he eats salad now."

Ok, that last one was completely untrue, I always try to make my case, but now, because he eats salad, I try to argue with a smile on my face instead of veins popping in my neck...nice, huh?

All because of salad...

This fella of mine who has been against most things green is attempting to turn over a new leaf in this fourth decade of his life and can I looks rather nice on him. I'd rather hear "Hey, can we have a great big salad for lunch today? I'm hungry for salad..." than just about anything else. {Honestly I might rather like to hear..."Hey, you wanna go out and get Mexican food tonight?" but "Let's eat salad." holds a very close second.}

And! When my Man has a lunch appointment these days, he always reports home about the salad he ate at this restaurant or that restaurant, suggesting things we might like to try in our salads at home***. Sometimes I just have to wonder what's come over him, I suspect it may be the extra vitamin A and beta-Carotene coursing through his system. Salad...what's not to love?

Salad and homemade salad dressing that tastes so good that my Man doesn't seem to mind the thirteen different kinds of lettuce and the wheat berries and a stray avocado or a radish or two that I might have hidden amongst the leafy greens.

Honey Mustard Dressing:

1 1/2 cups good quality mayonnaise (we like Hellmann's)
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup Dijon mustard

Mix all ingredients together well in a food processor or a blender or really, a fork and some elbow grease will suffice. Store left-over amount in the fridge where it will keep well for at least 2 weeks, unless you are serving it on a salad everyday at lunchtime.

***Our deluxe lunch salads usually contain:

  • lettuces - our favorite is red lettuce which has a mild tasting, soft, and slightly purplish leaf, we add to that romaine lettuce and a basic green leaf lettuce. When we're feeling fancy, I'll toss in some peppery tasting arugula which really takes the things over the top.

  • carrots - peeled and shredded 

  • apples - no need to peel, but core them and dice into bite-sized pieces
  • Craisins - cranberry raisins to add some sweet spots of flavor. Currents are also a nice addition.
  • Nuts - chopped almonds, walnuts, or pecans are always the ingredients that steal the show. They add wonderful flavor and crunch.

  • cheese - goat cheese or cheddar cheese or mozzarella or, or ... any kind you like. Goat cheese is a tangy cheese that comes in a soft form much like a block of cream cheese, it also comes in crumbles and is wonderful in salad. Sometimes we add shredded cheese and when we do we toss a handful on top of each serving so that the cheese in the leftover salad doesn't get soggy in the big bowl.
You can stop right there (or anytime after the lettuce and carrots really!) and have a super lunch. However, sometimes either because we are out of one ingredient or another or for variety, we'll add some of the following ingredients:
  • chicken - if we have leftover roasted chicken, or any other kind of chicken it usually finds it's way into our salad. If there is none left over, toss a frozen chicken breast into a skillet to cook while your are chopping lettuce. One breast is usually sufficient to do the job.
  • pears
  • Mandarin oranges - from the can, drained and halved
  • beans - black, Great Northern, pinto, kidney; drained well
  • berries - whatever is in season, blueberries, strawberries...
  • pasta - plain, cooked. I often boil extra macaroni noodles and set aside to toss into soup or salad.
  • corn - if frozen-thawed, if canned-drained
  • green peas - frozen, not canned, and thawed
  • wheat berries - these beauties have a great bite and a mild taste and are full of fiber, protein, and iron and add some heft to salads giving them staying power. Stay tuned for more about wheat berries who are often the base of a different kind of salad being served often at The Wright Place lately. {Click here to find out more about wheat berries.}

{Above: Wheat berries after they've been cooked.  Prepare them by 
simmering in salted water for about an hour. 
I usually fix a few cups of them on a Saturday morning
 and then put them in the fridge for the week.}

After all of this virtuous talk of green leafy salad and brown nutritious wheat berries, you may be concerned that the adults in this household have completely turned into health nuts...

Do NOT fear!!!
{The scene that followed my Man's beautiful salad meal at The Cheesecake Factory}

We ARE completely nuts, of course, but we try to keep the health thing well balanced!!


G'ma suz said...

I'm fixing a salad for sometime today. That looks scrumptious ! Mom

Mr R said...

You sure that's him?

Share button


Related Posts with Thumbnails