There’s a tendency, perhaps precipitated by cooking magazines, to move off of salads this time of year, and focus on warmer fare, like soups or stews. I know that this seems logical, but there are so many great veggies available now, that it seems a shame to only eat them cooked. Sure, local lettuce may be less available. What I’m suggesting is that if you have the privilege of accessing fresh fruit and veg in your local market, please do take advantage.
What I am not saying is that everyone is as fortunate as we are in Toronto. A head of hydroponic Canadian lettuce is out of reach for many families. Heck, there are some places (not in far-off lands, but here in our own country), where fresh produce of any sort is just not in the store, or it costs so much that you can’t possibly afford se it to feed your family. This is a travesty. Please speak out about this.
And while we are on the subject of hunger, if you do have enough, do support your local food bank or soup kitchen. You would be amazed how far they can make a dollar go. I learned from one of them that they can get wholesale prices, making better use of their money, although I’m a big advocate of having your kids choose foods from the store, so they learn about sharing and healthy choices). When our kids were small, we started emptying our coins into a jar at the end of the day. Once a month, we would use this money to buy food bank food. We still give regularly, even though the kids are grown.
If you have all these ingredients, make a great salad. If you don’t, I’m not giving a recipe. Try using whatever veg you can get. If you have frozen veg, give them a quick refresh under cold water rather than cooking. Or if you have “winter veg” (beets, carrots, turnips, cabbage), shred them. Use leftovers. They’re all good. Here is what I did today:
Chopped some hydroponic butter head lettuce onto a plate.
Diced celery and yellow pepper (both “ugly vegetables” ). Use whatever veg you have, truly. Serve in a bowl if necessary, and use a spoon instead of a fork.
Drizzled with this dressing:
2t/10ml Dijon – it emulsifies, thickens, adds flavour
2t/10ml canola oil (it’s Canadian!)
Next add some protein. I had cheddar. You might have hard-boiled egg, tofu, beans, nuts, seitan, or leftover pork chop. No matter. Protein builds muscle and helps your blood pressure stay regulated. Not too much! A couple of ounces. It’s lunch!
Here’s what it looked like, when it was done. Enjoy. Use stuff up. Appreciate what you have, and give someone else a hand.
Have an awesome day!