Despite the gray and rainy weather this week, I made myself a salad. Generally when the weather is like this, I like soups and foods that warm the cockles of my soul. Between Soup and Soul…hmmmm…there’s only a single letter difference. Maybe it’s not so ridiculous that soup is generally soul-warming.
This week, though, I’ve been all about the green. Trying to eat more delicious greens and salads and really *thinking* about what the heck I’m putting in my body and asking the question “is it good for me?”. It’s really quite amazing-when you start looking at things from a nutritional point of view, food starts to look miiiiiiighty different miiiiiighty quickly. I’ve recently enrolled in a Health Coaching certification program, so, much to the chagrin and possible annoyance of my family members, I’m becoming a wealth of food-nutrition information. I love it though, and there certainly is a need for this type of work these days. One trip to any amusement park in America and you can see why.
My family, thankfully, has not been annoyed or horrified or bothered by my daily food revelations. They’ve been hearing this kind of thing for a while now, as I’m a person who enjoys cooking and certainly cooking for health as well as enjoyment. “Let food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food”, said that ol’ smarty-pants Hippocrates. He was spot-on with this morsel (I can only hope, though, that at some point, he had a divinely buttery and rich birthday cake to make him realize that sometimes food heals the soul, too).
I digress. Back to my salad. It was culinary kismet in my kitchen yesterday. I went to make a salad and actually had a great assortment of things to throw into it-for a moment, I thought I was on one of those cooking shows where they have a zillion pantry items. When does this ever happen??! Invariably, you watch those shows and think “all I have is ketchup”. But some pantry fairies apparently stocked my cupboards and this salad is the happy result. As I ate it, I seriously was thinking “I don’t want this salad to end.”. That’s when you know it’s good. When you don’t want to say goodbye.
Here’s the recipe for, what I am calling, my Kismet Salad. May your pantries (ha! hand just slipped and I typed “panties”. Whoops.) be full and your bellies be happy. Bon Appetit!
Recipe for one serving. Note: This makes a BIG (a la Elaine from Seinfeld) salad. And pay attention to the ingredients. Make sure they are good quality, great tasting. Don’t waste your time with un-peppery arugula. Life should be more fun than that.
2 heaping cups arugula. The more peppery, the better.
1/2 of an avocado
1-2 Tb. unsalted, roasted sunflower seeds
about 8 marinated mushrooms-cut them in halves in you want them with more bites
a good handful of pencil-thin, just-grilled asparagus
“Just grilled” is the key here…assemble the salad and then grill up your asparagus in a grill pan. They are so skinny that it won’t take long. Remember to give them a slight coating of good quality olive oil before you throw them in the pan and give those babies a great sear. Once grilled (will only take about 5-7 minutes. Don’t grill them into oblivion), chop them into 1-inch pieces and plop them on top of your assembled salad…the heat will slightly wilt the greens and mellow the arugula. Give the salad a *little*drizzle of good quality olive oil (I like California Olive Ranch) and a sprinkle of kosher salt. There is a ton of flavor from these ingredients, so you don’t want them drowning under the oil, no matter how stinking good it is. Let the ingredients strut their stuff. Let them put on their show. You’ll love that you got a ticket.
Oh, one other thing that I’ve been learning about. It sounds quite silly: chew. Chew your food. Taste the flavors. Chew, chew, chew. Don’t inhale these greens. Don’t gobble. Chew. Enjoy. Savor.
Ok. Now go eat 🙂