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Salad for Dinner

Updated on December 14, 2011

I admit it. I've put on a bit of winter pudge. For the past three months, the weather has been wintry, and my desire for comfort food has caused me to run afoul of my usual brilliant dietary selections. With a day off in my front pocket, and a bit of blue sky outside, I decided to forge into culinary Spring a bit early, and test the cold waters with a selection of salads. I am hoping that a couple of weeks crunching away on these will put the pudge into purgatory where it can rest with its' soul mates', cellulite and muffin top.

My lunch selection today was inspired by a coworker eating a sliced cucumber for lunch yesterday. My mouth watered, and like Rapunzel's mother, I was prepared to go to desperate lengths to obtain a cucumber. I was able to succumb to that desire today and made the following fresh salad:

½ lb. Fresh Bay Shrimp

Selection of Italian lettuces

½ Cucumber

Tomato

½ Avocado

3 Scallions

Garlic Ginger Wonton Strips

Lite Parmesan Ranch Dressing

I used a 'bag' of lettuce because it happened to be the most economical way to go, chose an organic tomato because any other would have tasted like water, and went the very low fat route on the dressing, because, after all, I am trying to lose a few winter pounds. This particular salad served two, was delicious, and two postprandial hours later, my appetite is still sated.

While a cold salad may be great for lunch, winter nights beg a slightly warmer salad. The following Greek Roasted Chicken Salad could be served in summer or winter. The difference is the temperature of the chicken and the salad dressing, and the addition of a hot cup of tomato soup or a cold cup of gazpacho. Adding seasonally available fresh herbs to this salad would be great, as would adding roasted corn kernels.

Italian or Romain lettuces

Thinly sliced red onion

Greek Olives

Tomato

Cucumber

Crumbled Feta Cheese

Roasted Deli Chicken

Balsamic Vinegar & Olive Oil Dressing

My favorite vegetable of all is the oft pilloried brussel sprout. Now, I ask, what did the brussel sprout ever do to earn this bad reputation? Well, in all likelihood, it was cooked senseless and served looking like a pale green pile of mush. That's not the brussel sprout I know and love. I believe that Roasting brings out the nutty savory quality of this fine vegetable, and pairing it with pancetta or proscuitto, radicchio, and toasted nuts (the fine filbert ranks high, as does the walnut), then drizzling it with warm balsamic and olive oil, makes for the perfect winter evening salad. Cherry tomatoes grilled under the broiler and sprinkled with sea salt would be a lovely accompaniment. Served chilled, this Roasted Brussel Sprout Salad is great as well.

I hope you enjoy a salad for dinner tonight!


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    • trooper22 profile image

      trooper22 

      8 years ago from Chicago

      Nothing like a great story to intertwine with the recipes. I do not usually surf the recipes due to my adventurous culinary nature (I like to wing it in the kitchen, sometimes it works out, sometimes not so much). I loved your presentation and follow through. Once again, well done! Perhaps I'll even take a shot at the recipes :)

    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 

      8 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      These are all great salads. Isn't it wonderful how a salad can...make you so happy! We have a blizzard in NYC today but I am looking forward to all the fresh greens that will show up soon in the Farmer's Market. Looking forward to some of your healthy salad dressings!

    • J Burgraff profile imageAUTHOR

      J Burgraff 

      8 years ago

      You are right about the "lite" dressings. I am not a huge dressing person, so I go lightly on even the low-cal ones, but my next project will be to come up with some easy homemade options that are light on fat and calories and high on taste and nutrients. Buttermilk and low fat organic cottage cheese are great bases for the creamier dressings and you can't beat olive oil when paired with lemon or balsamic for the rest.

    • profile image

      criticcritic 

      8 years ago

      Watch out for the light dressings, they have a lot of sugar in them and fake stuff.

    • carolina muscle profile image

      carolina muscle 

      8 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      I like your choice of proteins - they make the difference!

      Great post.

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