I used to never eat salads at home. It wasn’t that I didn’t like them because I would order them at restaurants all the time. But restaurant salads always seemed to taste far superior to anything I could whip up. Since I don’t like to lose, I decided not to compete and left salads to the fine dining establishments, where I thought they belonged.
Then I went and joined a CSA, where we’d get one to two bundles of lettuce every week, and to be clear, the term bundle doesn’t do them justice. The photo below is one from last year’s CSA, and you’ll notice, if you’re observant anyway, my head of lettuce is bigger than my watermelon. They sure know how to pack in the leafy goodness. Needless to say (but I’m still going to…shocker), this was more lettuce than I could stuff in the Hubby’s lunchtime wrap and call it day, so it was game on, and I had to get creative.
It wasn’t too long before I tackled salads out of sheer necessity and a refusal to waste great looking produce because no man is going down; not on my watch, not if I can help it. So I got busy with my greens (get your mind out of the gutter!).
I made spinach salads (Homie don’t play).
I made Vegetarian Cobb salads (Take that carnivores!).
I made simple salads with a lot of fruit and a little cheese (always the cheese). There is something intoxicating, and not in a Smoo-Mosa kind of way, about sweet succulent strawberries, sharp and salty blue cheese, all tossed in a light olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette. Throw in a few nuts for good measure, a little crunch, or just to say the word “nuts,” and you’ve got yourself a winner.
Somewhere along the way, homemade salads won me over and found a place in my stomach and subsequently my heart. Yes, I ❤ salads, and apparently I can be romantic, in a Strange But Good way.
So when my girl, Allie, first announced she didn’t like salads, and she actually hated them, it’s safe to say I was heartbroken. I shed a tear or two, and then I got good and angry. I was like, “What! Oh. Hell. No! You hate salads; those are some fighting words, and it’s about to do down.”
Or since I’m all bark, and no bite, I decided to opt for a gentler route and instead bring her over to the dark side, the salad side. The land of rabbit food, where we frolic in our fields of nutritional superiority. Just sayin’.
In an effort to show Allie just how amazing salads can be, I grabbed some lettuce at the Farmer’s Market, along with some green onions, and possibly the cutest carrots I’ve ever seen. I was about five seconds away from babbling at them in baby talk, when I realized the farmer was giving me the evil eye (or maybe he was just curious). Instead I gave him my green backs and took my lovelies home, where I could coo at them in peace.
Call me crazy (it’s just the tip of the iceberg and not the lettuce kind), but I get excited for fresh produce, especially the first snippets of the season. Using local produce is pretty much the best way to ensure you’ve got yourself a delicious and flavorful bowl of greens. You hear that, Allie! Fresh, local greens is your starting point, and I know you’ve got a garden, so toss some lettuce in the mix this year.
The next step is your toppings. We could stick with any of the examples above, or because Allie so voraciously damned salads, let’s kick it up a notch. So in addition to the regulars (your cheese of choice, hard-boiled eggs, some green onions, avocados), we’re going to mix in some winter/spring staples.
I scoped out my kitchen and came up with one sweet potato and half a head of cauliflower. Using my food processor, I gently pulverized both, separately of course, because to combine the two would insult my self-diagnosed OCD. Then I drizzled them in olive oil, seasoned them with salt, pepper and whatever else felt right and threw them, or really gentle set them, in a 350 degree oven for a good forty to fifty minutes, stirring every fifteen minutes or so. My reward was this, which I then stuck into Tupperware and used as a salad topping all week long.
Now I would be totally remiss if I were to display my goodies without showing them in their actual context, so here we go. On a bed of fresh local spring lettuce, we have (going clockwise) avocado, blue cheese, roasted sweet potato, roasted cauliflower, green onions and hard-boiled eggs.
Now that, my friend, is how you make a salad sexy. ♪ “I’m bringing sexy back
Them other boys don’t know how to act.” ♪
Not only is this salad out of this world delicious (yes, I’m still talking about rabbit food), but it also happens to be ridiculously nutritious and fabulous fuel for your mind and body. So I dare you. No, I double dog dare you to try this salad, and then tell me you still hate them or that healthy food is boring.
Today’s post is brought to you by my love of salads and my equally important desire to bring Allie over to the dark side. It’s also linked up with Gastronomical Sovereignty, In Her Chucks, and Sprint To The Table because I used fresh local greens to make this fabulousness happen and because I think salads are sexy.
Do you like salads? Do you make them at home or prefer to just order them in restaurants, and what are your favorite salad toppings?
I know I’ve rambled far too long now, but I’ve got one more thing. The Week In Review linkup party is going down next Tuesday, and I want YOU to be a part of it, so start jotting down accomplishments and get ready to feel particularly pleased with yourself.
The Week In Review Link Up Rules (Dun, Dun, Dun):
- Your post should be about all the things you accomplished in the last seven days. I share all my goings on starting on Monday and proceeding through Sunday, but you can pick your own date range because let’s be real, I’d have no way to know if you veered off course. Besides, veering off course can be fun, and far be it from me to stop the fun.
- Your post can be about food, social outings, workouts, home improvement projects, fun excursions, none of the above, or all of the above. The idea is to recognize all the things you accomplished in the past seven days. It’s an ode to yourself, a celebration of sorts, and a virtual pat on the back. Plus you get to write in list form, which rocks my socks. Although if you want to stick to prose go ahead; it’s your world.
- You’ll be able to link up starting on Monday morning, and the link up will stay open until Friday night.
- Add the Week in Review button to your post, link back to Clean Eats, Fast Feets and get your list on.
Come join the party!!