Home alone. Ahhh. I love the hubs, but playing bachelorette is kind of nice sometimes.
And let me tell you, it’s a party up in here. The excitement du jour? Eating a salad for dinner.
Seriously, I could eat a big-ass salad for dinner every single night. And while the hubs likes them okay, he doesn’t share my salad passion. Personally, I just don’t think he appreciates the deliciousness that a big-ass salad can be. A full plate of greens topped with all sorts of goodies? Hell yes, please.
So while he is away on a work trip? I shall eat salad. And drink wine. While talking to my cats.
(Um, yeah….it’s a good thing I’m not actually single, right? Because that might be pretty crazy-cat-lady?)
Today’s EAT: Big-ass salad components: baby spinach, spring mix, pea shoots, sliced plum, goat cheese, chicken, candied pecans. Topped with homemade balsamic. Perfection on a salad plate.
A big-ass salad is really fun to make, and totally healthy too. I always make sure my big-ass salads include at least one of each:
- A salty. In this case, goat cheese. Also good: salty nuts, bacon bits, crushed tortilla chips, edamame.
- A meat. Or a substantial protein at least. This is what gives your salad its substance and makes it a meal instead of a side dish. I prefer roasted beast (grilled chicken or thinly sliced steak) but shrimp, tofu, tempeh, beans, etc work well too.
- A sweet. I love fresh fruit on my salad! Pretty much any fruit works. Diced apple and balsamic-marinated strawberries are a couple of my favorites. And fresh berries of any kind in the summer. Yum.
- A treat. For me tonight, this was the candied pecans. Your treat can be whatever you want – something candy-ish like sugared nuts, something savory like crispy bacon, even something ridiculous like crumbled potato chips. With any of these things, a small sprinkling adds a ton of fun and flavor. And since you’re eating a salad loaded with greens, fruits, veggies and lean protein for a meal, you can indulge a bit on one of the toppings!
A couple of other tips:
- Dress lightly. Sure, you can pour ranch all over your big-ass salad if you want to. I love ranch. But that kind of defeats the purpose of having a light and healthy dinner. Stick to tangy vinegar-based dressings which pack a lot of flavor punch with just a drizzle.
- Think dark green. Skip the iceberg and romaine and go for something super duper green. Baby spinach, arugula, spring lettuce mixes…the greener the greens, the more good stuff they’ve got in them. And herby greens give such a nice spicy flavor to a big-ass salad.
- Heat your meat. There is nothing worse than icky-looking, pale-white, cold-ass chicken. I cook mine over relatively high heat so that it gets a nice golden-brown sear on the outside and serve it warm. This goes for tofu too! Somehow a salad with warm meat feels more like a real meal to me.
Big-ass salad, I love you. You are such a satisfying dinner. We shall meet again, the next time the hubs goes out of town!
Today’s DRINK: I have a new career idea. I am going to be the person on whom wine distributors test clever packaging, to see if consumers will be suckered in to buying the bottle based on aww-factor alone.
This Jam Jar “Sweet Shiraz” was in my shopping cart today within seconds of spotting its cuteness on the shelf. Seriously, I didn’t even look at what kind of wine it was. Kitchy name? Check. Adorable label and bottle, complete with Smuckers-esque checkered top? Check. Appealing type of wine? Umm, what?
I probably would never buy something called “Sweet Shiraz” if it weren’t for the clever name and packaging. Well played, Jam Jar people.
I’m sipping it after dinner, though, and it’s surprisingly enjoyable! Yes, it’s rather sweet and…well, jammy, in the most literal sense. It’s good, though! This would be an excellent choice for introducing someone who is not a red wine drinker to red wine. Or a good choice for a dessert red, when you don’t want to go as heavy as a Port.
Today’s RUN: I knew I was taking today off of running, but had sort of planned to go to Pilates or Spinning or something at the gym. But…it was raining. So it became a day totally off. 🙂
Today’s QUESTION: What do you put on your big-ass salad?