Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Tossed Salad

Ok so there's nothing like a good, cold, fresh salad for lunch in the middle of summer. Something cool to help you chill and relax in the heat. Am I right? Besides it's a good way to get your veggies in too at the same time. Personally, if the salad is good enough? I don't even need any dressing on it, clouding the flavors and adding the calories....

For this salad all I have used is 4 ingredients. That's it. A head of lettuce, a red onion, half a head of red cabbage and a small bundle of carrots. I'm one of those people that likes to wash everything or at least rinse it good. So I rinse the cabbage and onion since they can be peeled back a layer before cutting it up. I slice the cabbage, lay the slices flat and quarter those. Then I peel the layers apart as I drop the pieces into the bowl. Rinse, peel a layer off the onion, slice, quarter and seperate as I drop the pieces in the bowl. Next I wash my carrots, scrubbing them a little with my hand. Once washed I grate them and dump that into the bowl.

The lettuce is next and I like to rinse it as I peel it. The first leaf or two on the outside get tossed. If you hold the head of lettuce under the faucet and let the water slowly fill each leaf, it almost peels each layer back on its own. As each leaf comes off tear it off at the base, let the water run off and set it aside on a towel to finish drying a little. As the base of the head becomes more apparent sticking out, you can break it off and toss it, using the hole inside to fill the remaining leaves and let them peel back.

Once the lettuce leaves are all rinsed and peeled off, you can start tearing them into smaller pieces for your salad. Now it would be much quicker and easier to get out a knife and start chopping, but lettuce is touchy that way. If you tear it, the edges don't turn brown like they seem to do right away when you cut it. Tearing the lettuce means it will keep in the fridge for about a week before the lettuce starts to lose its look.

After tearing up all the leaves from the whole head of lettuce and tossing them into the bowl, my bowl was pretty full and there wasn't much room for tossing anything without it going everywhere. What to do? What to do? Hahaha....

I reached under the counter and grabbed the big pot I use for making soup. These are good for cooking a lot of things, but now it will come in really handy and useful for tossing the salad. I dumped my big, full bowl of salad into the pot and since it only filled the pot about 2/3 of the way, there was plenty of room for things to mix around in there. Put the lid on the pot, grab the handles while holding the lid on with your thumbs and shake. Kids love to do things like this and why not let them. They have plenty of energy and mine like to help out, so they got to shake the pot, tossing the salad inside.

When its mixed up, just dump the salad back into the big bowl, cover with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge to chill for a while until you're ready to serve it. Since some of us like some things and others like other things, this is a good base to which we can each add what else we like later on. I love black olives and can sit and eat a whole can with a fork. The kids used to like them too, so they are a great adition to salad, as are radish slices, celery, cauliflower, broccoli, cucumber slices and tomatoes.

You can also add grated cheese and croutons as well as meats to your salad. Fresh cooked shrimp, cubed roasted chicken, chunks of ham, any of this left over from dinner the night before can turn your salad into more of a chef's salad and add protien to your meal. Some people like to add hard boiled eggs to their salad and if you like them, why not? Its your salad. Have fun with it and enjoy what you eat.