It has been busy around here. I may have already mentioned that. I am trying to be present and mindful, but for the past two weeks or so I’ve been saying life will be easier for me after next week is over. Now that next week is (gulp) almost here… I’m not all that concerned. I have a presentation I need to complete, and present, and I’ve procrastinated for the better part of 3 months. But that’s ok. I put in some serious work on it this morning and I feel much better about it. I still have some work to do on it, but it is more manageable now.
In the meantime, I’ve made friends with salad. You may remember the Simpson’s episode, where Lisa goes vegetarian (yeah Lisa!) but is taunted by her family with the “you don’t win friends with sa-LAD!” cha-cha number. Don’t remember it? Don’t say I never done nuttin for you.
My small one is now asking me to keep playing the don’t make friends with salad song. It will be in your head all night. You’re welcome.
But back to my point. I’ve made friends with salad. Salad is easy when you’re busy. The key is to be prepared. Get all your ingredients washed, prepped, and ready to go in the fridge. Then making a salad is not a big event involving salad spinners and vegetable peelers. I have a shallow plastic basket in the fridge (dollar tree!) that fits nicely on one of the shelves. It is loaded up with salad stuff bagged or tupper-wared up and ready to use. I can pull out the whole basket, make my salad, and throw the whole thing back in the fridge. I have thought it would be a good idea to throw a small cutting board and knife in the basket as well, but I’m not quite that prepared. If you are, go for it. Again, you’re welcome.
I will share a great salad greens prepping tip. I got this from the book The Fresh Green Table by Susie Middleton (is she related to Kate and Pippa? Maybe she was one of the chicks wearing a funky hat at the royal to-do. But I digress.) My lovely husband brought this book home from the library cause he knew it would be full of veggie-goodness. He is a peach. I found a great salad green storage suggestion. Take your head of lettuce–romaine, red leaf, butter, what-ev-ah– and pull the leaves off from the base, keeping the leaves as whole as possible. Put them in a bowl of tepid water to soak for a little bit (I think she says 5 minutes, I probably only do one or two b/c I’m impatient). Drain. Now rinse in cold water and let them soak a bit again, swish them around, and spin them dry. Since you are keeping the leaves whole, you may need to do a couple of spin cycles to get through the whole batch. Now take a large zipper storage bag and line it with a cotton dish towel (not a terry cloth one, but a cotton or linen tea towel. You know, the ones that really, well, suck at absorbing water (pun not intended). You’ve been holding on to them not knowing what to do with them, since they don’t function the way a towel should function, but now you know. Salad.) Line the zipper bag with your cotton pseudo-towel, and then place the whole leaves inside of the towel. The towel will absorb the little moisture from the leaves (I know, weird, it won’t soak up water on the counter, but it works for lettuce. The mysteries of the universe are not ours to know, grasshopper.). Seal up the bag. Put it in the fridge. This will keep the lettuce fresh for quite a while. I used to chop it all up ahead of time, but this way it works better and lasts longer. The lettuce stays crisp without brown edges. It only takes a minute or two to rip up a couple of leaves for your salad.
The other thing that got me back into salads was trying more homemade oil free dressings. I’ve shared a link already with a lot of recipes, and I’ve tweaked a few to make my own. I’ll share those later. In the meantime, go win some friends with salad.