An Ode to Salad

Salad, how do I love thee?

 Let me count the ways.

I’m finally in full salad mode–it takes me a while to move from the cooked veggies of winter to the ‘its too hot to cook’ salads of summer.  And I do love my salads!  Here  are just a few of the reasons why:

  • Instant gratification–Quick and easy to fix.
  • No cooking/less cleanup.
  • At least three servings of veggies!
  • Other food groups can be easily added –beans, meat, nuts, fruit, grains, even dairy!
  • Low cal to decadent–your choice!
  • Crunchability.
  • Take a long time to eat.
  • Inexpensive!

Some of my favorite salads are:

Barbecue chicken salad  (thanks, Lori!)–chopped chicken breast and chopped onions mixed with my favorite barbecue sauce, and served on top of chopped romaine lettuce, pepitos, carrots, and a wedge of laughing cow cheese cut into bite size pieces.  The bbq sauce replaces the salad dressing.

Salsa salad–chopped romaine and whatever veggies you want, along with some avocado, and usually chopped chicken.  The salsa is a very low calorie replacement for salad dressing.  I usually forego the cheese or chips.

Taco salad–see above, but add ground beef cooked in taco seasonings.  Mmmm.

The ‘everything salad’–I had this salad at Strings, and loved it.  Just chopped romaine (can you tell this is my current favorite) and whatever veggies you want, add in about 100 calories total of sunflower seeds and raisins.  Italian dressing or my favorite homemade combo of honey/mustard/balsamic vinaigrette/olive oil.

BEET SALAD!!  The poor beet.  You either love him or you hate him it seems.  I love beets so much I have a really hard time understanding anyone’s hatred of them, and feel an almost evangelistic fervor to try to convert some of you to the humble beet.  I like to roast my own beets (cut into large bite-size chunks, spray cooking sheet and beets with pam and sprinkle with sea salt, and roast for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees, turning once halfway through.)  Serve over baby greens or spinach, along with goat cheese and walnuts.  Dressing of choice.  DIVINE!

Froyo news–

I continue to work on my home froyo creations.  This latest was my best batch ever, and was the result of “leaving town, must not waste yogurt.”  I took the last of my strained homemade yogurt, mixed with a bit of agave nectar, unsweetened shredded coconut, and some coconut extract, and just poured the mixture into an ice cube tray.  When I use my ice cream maker and then freeze the majority of what I have made, I noticed I had to “reprocess” it anyway to make it more like frozen yogurt.  So I thought, why not skip the middle step.

I put 5 cubes into my mini-processor, and honestly, it looked and tasted like real ice cream, only yogurty.  It had that mildly tart taste that I love about the commercial frozen yogurts.

Homemade coconut frozen yogurt!

The other thing I like about making my froyo at home is that I am much better able to control myself with the serving size and the amount of toppings.  Its like I pretend I don’t know how many calories those toppings have when I’m away from home.  Don’t quite know what’s up with that.

I tried a new recipe this morning.   Since I am in love with making my own granola now (thanks, Shelley,) I decided to make this recipe that I had on file.  I think its from Bob Green’s Best Life diet.  I made it exactly as directed, except for using my homemade granola.  Very delicious, and quite a reasonable calorie count of 127 calories per serving.  I’ll post this recipe later.

For breakfast I topped it with 1/3 cup of yogurt.  That was just right.

Project updates:

Here’s my doodle.  I think its starting to look like a painted crazy quilt block.

Not sure what else I am going to do with this.  I have some beads to try, but I’m a little scared to start with the beads.  Who knows where that might lead??

Close-up of this cross-hatching stitch.  I am quite enamored of this stitch and the possibilities for its use.

I just keep plodding along, filling in the sky background on the rug.  Its getting very pretty.  There is still a lot of sheep and foreground and borders to work on.

Lots more to say, but I’m going to break it up into several posts, so as not to get a reputation for the longest-winded blogger in the world!

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16 thoughts on “An Ode to Salad

  1. This post was right up my alley. 🙂 First, I wish I could be a converted beet lover. When I was a kid, it seems they always had mashed potatoes at the same meal as the pickled beets. For some reason, the purple juice from the beets getting onto my potatoes was kind of horrifying. There is almost nothing I don’t like except beets and anchovies. I’ll admit I have never had fresh beets though. Also, I love, love, love frozen yogurt and have spent a small fortune buying it. Thanks for posting the pictures of your art. I love seeing that.

    • That cracked me up about the beet juice getting on your potatoes and being horrifying.

      I’ll have to post some of my froyo recipes. They are getting good enough to share.

  2. Ooh, your doodle quilt piece is looking so attractive! I’m really partial to color gradations, texture, and intricate design. Oh, and french knots. This has it all! I’d love to see the added whimsy of beads on this. Have you seen Robins beadwork at Beadlust? Here is one:
    http://beadlust.blogspot.com/2011/06/march-bjp-finished-difficult-to-write.html
    And another:
    http://www.robinatkins.com/gallery.html
    And this:
    Valentine for Little Robin
    And this:
    http://beadlust.blogspot.com/2006/06/puget-sound-bead-festival-if-you-cant.html
    There is so much on her blog, I can get lost in the beauty! Hope you enjoy it, too.

  3. I think most of us have an aversion to beets because we grew up on the nastiest canned beets in the world! A few years ago our local hospital did a free evening program with their nutritionist and the head chef at the hospital. They made a roasted beet salad that changed my mind about beets completely. But fresh beets roasted are the only way I like them!

    • That’s the thing I forget to insert. I grew up eating canned beets, and they were a staple of my weight loss diet until just recently when I learned the joys of roasting my own. Maybe I had better canned beets than most people???

  4. I love the retired Debby! Posts are longer and I can sense the relaxed writing even though I’m thousands of miles away. Only thing missing from this post were pics of the “children.”

    • A lot of people say I am more relaxed now. One girl applied for retirement after seeing me two weeks after I retired!

      That’s funny. When I was hitting the categories at the end of writing the post, I realized I hadn’t taken any pics of the dogs for a few days. Probably because they need their post-vacation baths!

  5. You asked me about beets the other day, and I don’t think I answered you, so here’s my answer – I’ve never had beets. Never tried them, so I have no idea if I like them or not. But since I love all things roasted, I might have to try roasted beets this week. I’ll let you know the outcome. 🙂

    That doodle is screaming for some beads!! It’s already pretty, but some sparkly beads would really make it pop. Maybe you could make a little pillow out of it or something?

    I’m going to have to make my own granola now. It looks really good!

    • Hmmm–no beets. Is that a midwest thing? LIke all my friends in Texas who had never had artichokes?

      Okay, between you and Loretta, I am going to try the beads today!

  6. Beets are the BEST!!! Especially in salad with orange and fresh mint. YUM! Love this ode, and the fro yo!! And your quilt is amazing. You are VERY VERY talented!!! Have a good Monday.

    • Hmmm, orange and fresh mint? You always have the most interesting (and delicious sounding) food combinations. I will have to try this one.

  7. I love watching your projects grow – they are gorgeous! I’m not a beets girl myself. I’ve even tried them several times as an adult to see if they’ve grown on me. They never have, although I will say that the yellow beets are less offensive to me than the red ones.

  8. This post had almost all of my favorite things – salads, coconut frozen yogurt (OMG YUM!!!) and your beautiful artwork…now, what was missing? Hint: the Queen is quite displeased at being left out. 😉

    I am down to eating salads just once or twice a week now that Jeff is gone all the time. I don’t bother with making them for just me, and now I’m shamed because you take the time to do it! I had a roasted beet and feta cheese salad several months ago and I didn’t hate the beets. I think they are an acquired taste for a lot of people, and hey, maybe I’m slowly acquiring it? Do you know, I’ve never tried the BBQ chicken salad? I should, as both you and Lori make it sound delicious!

    And the homemade coconut froyo? I bow in awe. It looks amazing. A-MAZING. 🙂

    Your quilt doodle is fabulous. Absolutely gorgeous, all the intricate detail. Are you going to frame it? It’s really beautiful – once again, I’m blown away by your talent.

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