For the Love of Salad
May 31, 2012 § 4 Comments
At work in Facilities Management this summer, I share a cubicle space with two other female students. I used to have my own office, but with the reorganizational changes, I got moved. I like both of my cube-mates, and we get along well, so it will be bittersweet to leave them at the end of June (bitter because I enjoy their company, sweet because it means “real” vacation has begun!).
Anyway, last week, I brought salad for lunch the three days I worked there. It was delicious: spinach, red peppers, avocado, quinoa, black beans, lite Italian dressing. At the end of the week, I had a funny thought. “These women think I love salads, and for all they know, I’ve always loved salads.” What is funny about this is that most people who know me from other areas of my life (CA, MN) would laugh if one of my cube-mates said I love salad. “Megan!?!?!” they’d say, “You must be thinking of someone else. The Megan I know wrote an essay in ninth grade about how much she dislikes salads!”
It’s been an interesting evolution. I hated salads. Detested them. In my essay I said I might as well eat grass. However, I came to a realization a couple years ago that I should probably try to like salad, as it’s a much easier way to get in my veggies. So, I made my New Year’s Resolution to choose and eat salad each time it was offered (“Soup or salad?” Salad.). When I ended that year and still didn’t like salads, I renewed my resolution for another year. Little did I know that this past fall, I’d discover I have a gluten intolerance, making my number one, favorite food group of bread off-limits. Good thing I’d learned to tolerate, and almost enjoy, salads.
Since then, salads have really grown on me. I no longer longingly look at the sandwich section of restaurant menus, but get pretty excited about the salad offerings. And, I’m learning to make different types of salads—fruit, veggie, quinoa. It’s pretty fun. Recently, one of my friends made a delicious summer salad (here is her post). I liked it a lot, and decided to make my own version of it, replacing the spinach with arugula (it was the green on hand), adding diced red peppers, and omitting the cilantro. It’s pretty good, and the garbanzo beans make it more filling, which is a plus. So, here’s to many more delicious salads. If you have any recipe suggestions, I’m open to them (preferably if the ingredients are easy to get and relatively affordable).
For the Salad:
1/2 C. cooked quinoa
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 c. cherry tomatoes, quartered
2 avocados, diced
2 C. spinach, finely chopped
1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
1/4 C. onion, chopped
2 small cloves garlic, diced
For the dressing:
juice of 2 lemons
zest of 1 lemon
2 tsp. dijon mustard (I used 1 tsp regular mustard)
2 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. agave nectar (I used honey)
1/2 tsp. cumin chopped finely
dash of salt and pepper