Thursday, March 29, 2012

Salad of the Moment

I did not grow up liking salad. At All. My dad's cooking is pretty good, so I think we were all so focused on the yummy food in front of us that no one really paid much attention to the bowl of literal rabbit food next to our plates. I remember my sisters and I were forced to eat it with what I am sure were awful expressions on our faces. Sorry, Mom and Dad. Iceberg, carrots and celery does not a yummy salad make. And I'm sorry for probably telling you when I was young that those three things DID indeed constitute a tasty salad. I have learned the way of the greens.

I'm still not a very fancy salad person. I don't really like fruit in salads. I don't like vinaigrettes. I like sustenance.

Sustenance tastes delicious! And this particular sustenance is my current favorite salad of the moment. I like to mix it up every now and then so this baby can't be a favorite forever, mind you, but for right now, it's perfect.

I want to feel like I am eating something other than what one would pick on a gathering mission in the woods. For me, this salad covers it all- dark leafy greens with spinach, crunch with romaine, cucumbers, carrots and a few crushed pita chips, substance with beans and chicken, tangy flavor with a mere 1.5 tablespoons of parmesan dressing. No drowned greens here! It's glorious, and you can easily take out the chicken for a meatless meal, or add a piece or two of crumbled bacon for a smoky flavor.

Crunchy Salad

makes enough for 2 dinner size salads
a Butter Than Toast original

6 leaves romaine lettuce, washed and chopped into bite sized pieces
2 cups spinach, woody stems removed, washed and chopped into bite sized pieces
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
10 baby carrots (about 2 large regular carrots) chopped
1/2 cup kidney beans, rinsed
1 cucumber, sliced
1/2 cup cooked, diced chicken
1/2 cup pita chips, crumbled
1.5 tablespoons parmesan, ranch, or caesar dressing
ground black pepper, to taste
parmesan cheese for sprinkling

Wash greens and dry with paper towels or in a salad spinner. Cut as small as you like- I like small pieces of salad. Combine with other ingredients, toss to coat with dressing. Sprinkle a little cheese on top for extra flavor. Serve and enjoy.

*To pack this for lunch at work, don't toss with the dressing just yet. Do that right before you eat to avoid soggy ingredients, otherwise it'll be mushy, not crunchy!

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