Ensaladas Frescas

Lately, I’ve had this thing for salads. It started when I purchased this awesome container. Okay, so it’s not that exact container, but it’s pretty much the same thing. It’s got a top section for dressing and “add-ins” and a bottom section for leafy greens. I got it a couple of weeks ago and have used it for lunch almost every day since then. Getting this has challenged me to be creative with my salad compositions, which in turn led me to check out Super Salads from the library after glancing through the stacks when I was supposed to be organizing shelves. Oops.

It really is an inspiring book, which is largely what I’m looking for right now. There are salads that are purely veggies, some with fruit, some that are mainly fruit, and others with grains and meats mixed in. The authors talk about some of the main ingredients as well as how to make different vinaigrette and other dressings. I love this book so much, I might actually buy it after I return my current copy to the library.

Salads are, obviously, a great way to get vegetables into a day’s worth of eating, and surprisingly enough, there’s an almost endless variety of ways to make them. Some of you may not be surprised by this fact, and others, much more so. As I’ve mentioned, before three or four years ago, I was averse to many vegetables, as well as beans and those mysterious things called “whole grains”,  and had almost no sense of adventure when it came to trying new food. Things are almost completely different now. I don’t know if it is a reflection of me growing more adventurous in general, having a more traditional work schedule (9-5:30ish, with a 30 minute commute), or if it is simply a reflection of me getting older, but I’m a lot more open and creative with my food choices. This has resulted in me making healthier dishes most of the time and keeps my meals interesting. They’ve got to be interesting; I’m almost always eating them by myself and I’ve got to have something to enjoy after work gets out.

Anyway, inspired by this book and others that I’ve been reading about food, I bought a bunch of foods and am trying more Mediterranean foods this week –I got pita, olives, basil, feta, and chickpeas at the grocery store this week while in the mindset of thinking Greek. For dinner last night I tried pulling most of those items in a salad together: lettuce, chickpeas, bell peppers, olive slices, and shreds from a rotisserie chicken. It was filling and pretty tasty. Time to turn my attention to concocting some dressings now for all of these wonderful salads I’m making instead of stocking up on the pre-made varieties.