gettin critical, restaurants, snacks

Salad is Lame: How to make it slightly less so.

The strangest thing happened to me the other night. I was out to dinner with friends and just as our food arrived, two women sitting nearby stopped their conversation and (in all sincerity) complimented my salad. Not the chef. Not the farmers who grew the produce. But me…as if ordering that salad for dinner was some kind of noble act worthy of public praise.

While I laughed it off in the moment to be honest the whole thing made me feel downright icky. Fortunately they then proceeded to compliment me on my dress, which was a thrifted find that I was more than happy to take credit for! 😉

Still, this scenario got me thinking…perhaps it is time to dedicate a post to one of my all time favourite meals: The Salad.

In my experience no matter who you’re talking to ordering a salad is lame. If you’re with a girl: its lame because it looks like diet food and she feels judged so she’s judging you. If you’re with a guy: its lame cause its green and…I dunno I guess dudes hate fibre. BUT I accepted long ago that sometimes the stuff that makes me feel good and happy also happens to be super lame and nerdy. And the things that make me feel like crap (crapst?) like drinking, blowing my money, eating trashy food, not participating in sports/physical activity/anything new or different etc. are always gonna be cooler.

So when I finally made peace with that and put all the criticism/judgement aside I realized that I don’t order salad because I want to “limit my this” or “control my that”….I still want to eat a full and satisfying meal. When it comes right down to it I order a salad because

    I love vegetables

And salads are a very efficient delivery system. Simple as that.

SO after that long winded intro here’s a few tips on how to I make the perfect salad order to keep myself full & fueled while mowing down on rabbit food.

20111203-203919.jpgHarvest salad from The Beet Cafe: mixed greens, shredded beets end carrots, grape tomatoes, roasted organic chicken, seeds and nuts, avocado slices and quinoa topped with citrus cilantro and flax oil dressing

The key is to use the veggies as a base but I always try to include
a protein source (from eggs, chicken, tofu, tempeh, fish, etc.)
healthy fats (from avocado, seeds and nuts, cheese if you enjoy dairy as well as the olive/flax/nut oil in my dressing)
a complex carbohydrate (potato, squash, whole grain bread, cooked grain, chickpeas or other beans)

20111203-204028.jpg
Nicoise Salad from Boom Breakfast: Mixed greens with tuna, grilled asparagus, sweet potato, olives, topped with a poached egg and balsamic dressing.

Trust me. Keep your veggie quotient high but don’t skimp on these additions and you’ll never be left feeling like you “just” ordered a salad again!

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