OK. Here we are, finally making it public that I do not eat salads. I know. How have I kept this a secret all of my life? Has no one ever noticed? How many thousands of meals have I eaten with friends and family? Has no one never noticed when coming to my home to eat one of my wonderfully prepared repasts, that I never offer salads?
Lettuce: green, crunchy, tasteless, messy (have you ever watched people trying to get it in their mouths gracefully without dripping the dressing all over their chins?) Does lettuce have any value to it at all?
Tomatoes: what is up with all that mucousey stuff with seeds that turn everything soggy. And if the tomatoes are not stored properly, they have no taste at all. I think most people put tomatoes in their salads because of the color.
Peppers: I like peppers. I like orange and yellow peppers. I don't know if I would eat them every day. But I like them.
Onions: I like onions but they are cut wrong for salads. They are usually too long and thick. They are over powering when they are part of any food. I think onions should be sliced very thin and delicate. There should always be just a hint of onion. I watch people stuff the things in their mouths and it is not always pretty.
Carrots: I saw a salad when I was out with my mother today that had carrots in it. They were grated instead of sliced. I thought that was good. It was a nice color. I might do that.
What is this about? I ate a salad this week. I don't eat salad. I went to lunch with my Mother last Sunday. She ordered a salad. What was the surprise? She always has soup. I was so surprised by this that I looked at the salad options on the menu and I don't know what came over me, but I ordered a salad too. I ordered the 'Asian Sesame Chicken Salad'. After I ordered it, I thought to myself, "what am I doing? I don't eat salad. God almighty. I'm going crazy. The beginning of senility.
It was very big. Very big. I ate a third of it and found that I didn't get the dry heaves. I rather liked it. It was simple. I even took the rest of it home and had it the next day. Something is wrong. I actually liked it. I then decided to start eating salad. I know. Contrary to a lifetime of never touching the green stuff. Never too late to change, eh!
So I went to the grocery store and bought the ingredients as described on the menu. I didn't make up my own salad. I liked the one I had at the restaurant. So it was a good place to start. Here it is.
I began with cooking chicken breasts. Hannafords puts out these seasoning packets that I absolutely love. I chose one and added a little olive oil and dredged the breasts in it then baked them in the oven for half an hour. You can over cook chicken. Half an hour is all it needed.
This rub turns any meat or fish quite tasty without being over-powered. I think they have maybe eight different flavors. "Taste of Inspiration" is actually a product of Hannaford's. It is one of their "fancy" name brands. It is not mentioned on the packaging. I found out by looking it up on the internet. I look for the brand when I am shopping. I am never disappointed when I get something that is "Taste of Inspiration".
How to cut the lettuce. I am not sure. I see people trying to stuff lettuce that is cut too big into their mouths and it is not always a pretty sight. Then they wonder how come they get their shirts and blouses stained with oil. So I cut my lettuce into one inch pieces. It ended up being too small. I found the salad very difficult to eat with the lettuce cut this small. I kept saying to myself "How do people eat this stuff? It's awful!! It is impossible to eat." I then decided that I need to work on what size to cut lettuce so it can be eaten without a bib.
The salad from the restaurant had cilantro which I barely chopped. Cilantro is a wonderful taste and when eaten raw, should never be chopped unless it is going into a sauce or a garnish. Here it is a sensitive taste in the scheme of the dish. I also added a little dried cranberries. I love a bit of fruit in things. And the brown things are Chinese wonton noodles that have been baked. A really good texture.
Then I sliced a bit of chicken really thin. You can see how the rub just coats the outside of the meat and adds just that tiny taste to it. The dressing is a Low Fat Asian sesame Ginger dressing put out by Newman's Own. Very good. I tossed the salad in it before adding the chicken. I only used a tiny bit of dressing. I didn't want the salad to taste just the dressing, nor drip the dressing.
It worked out quite well. There was no cheese, no other vegetables. It was simple.
Mom and I went out to a different restaurant today and I ordered another salad with salmon today but it was more difficult to eat. Too many tomatoes, onions, and way too much cheese. The dressing was wonderful. It was a Zinfandel vinaigrette and was low fat but you wouldn't know it. I decided today that I would not make a salad with tomatoes. I don't like tomatoes in a salad. And if I were to put onions in one, I would definitely slice them very thin. I would like corn in a salad though. I love corn. They say that frozen corn is good in a salad because it is frozen as soon as it is cut off the cob. I am not sure about cheese in a salad. It makes the dish rather heavy. I am going to forgo cheese for now.
Does a salad need lettuce? Really?