Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Salads! Salads! Salads!

There is one meal I have more than any other meal, and that would be a salad.  I love different combinations of vegetables and beans.  The more chopped veggies, the better.  Some staples in my salad are romaine and/or a spring mix and/or spinach (usually a combination of all three), cucumber, green pepper, grape tomatoes, chickpeas, and either sunflower seeds or chopped pecans.  I add in other ingredients as they are available.

Today, my lunch was a huge salad including a three lettuce blend (romaine and two others), grape tomatoes, cucumbers, red bell peppers, red onion, chickpeas, artichoke hearts, cauliflower, black olives, and sunflower seeds.  It was heavenly.  I love the crunch and different combination of flavors that I get in each bite.  Yesterday, my salad had all of that plus some dried mixed fruit (cranberry/raisin blend) and some type of edamame/red kidney/chickpea blend.  It was yummy!

Some people say they hate eating salad and don't like to chew that much.  Many of them prefer to drink smoothies.  I'm not one of those people.  While I'm not adverse to getting more greens through drinking green smoothies, I MUCH prefer to get my main supply of greens through eating a tasty salad.  I have been eating salads for lunch for years.  Before I became a vegetarian and then vegan, I had them with cheese (always) and a hard boiled egg or meat (usually the egg).  I don't miss any of that and in fact, think that dairy in a salad in the form of cheese actually weighs the entire thing down.  It's funny how far my tastes have evolved away from the strictly SAD eater I used to be.  I stopped eating any dairy/meat/eggs in salads last December after I first started reading Eat To Live.  I think that was actually the beginning of my evolution. 

If you think that a salad can't be filling and stick with you for the rest of the afternoon until dinner, think again.  Try a salad with different types of ingredients and add your favorite bean.  Usually I add chickpeas or black beans.  I make them from dry without salt and then freeze them on a cookie sheet for 30 to 45 minutes.  Then I transfer them to a ziplock bag and I have frozen beans to throw in my salad before I leave for work.  Much healthier than canned.  

This month, along with experimenting in my Vitamix with green smoothies, I'll be venturing into the homemade salad dressing realm, too.  I'll post the combinations I try.  Hopefully, I'll hit a couple that I can't live without.

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