Friday, July 29, 2011

Outside In Salad

I am always on the hunt for creative salad inspiration. I totally buy into what Dr. Fuhrman says, "The salad is the meal."

You see, like my friend Quinn likes to say, "I'm an easy keeper."

I really need to watch what I eat or the pounds pack on. It's that simple.

And it has been brought to my attention that based on what I photograph and write about here on my blog, it might seem that I often eat what I like to call "Vegan Specialties." Chef Aj calls it "plant indulgent" food. It's a vegan enchilada casserole, an oil free vegan lasagna that contains nuts, or vegan wraps. It's a huge and growing world of oil free vegan recipes out there, all begging for me to try them.

But I save that kind of eating for once or twice a week, if I'm ON MY PLAN. The rest of the week it's pretty much soup and salad for me. I guess I just didn't realize the importance of posting more about what I eat on a regular night. It just seemed so, well, boring.

Or is it?

I call this the Outside In Salad because I get the herbs from my little herb garden in my back yard. If you haven't tried a green salad yet with fresh herbs mixed in, I'm just going to tell you that you are in for a whole new culinary experience. It's magnificent!

Outside In Salad
Inspired by Heather G. and Chris-Anna S., who introduced me to herby salads.

Printable Recipe

washed and chopped romaine lettuce
washed and chopped kale
spring lettuce mix
sliced red onion
washed and chopped cilantro
washed and chopped mint
washed and chopped basil
shredded carrot
garbanzo beans or bean of your choice
mandarin oranges and some of their juice (not the syrup packed kind) or fresh mango
dressing of your choice

Place everything, except dressing, in a large salad bowl and toss well. Drizzle dressing over salad-you won't need much-you don't want to lose the flavor of the herbs.
What's your recipe preference? What inspires you to be your best self? Do you want to see more of what I prepare on a day-to-day basis or do you want me to stick with the more plant-indulgent specialities?


Bonnie said...

It's very helpful to get ideas for everyday meals. Things that are quick and don't require an extra trip to Whole Foods or a specialty food store.

maya said...

day-to-day stuff is good for me too, because that's what i'm trying to accomplish - making this a permanent thing without thinking that if i eat one more salad, there's going to be a maya-shaped hole in the wall as i run screaming from the house!

if i don't enjoy what i eat, i can't eat like this. right?

QZB said...

I agree with Bonnie, it's always interesting to see what people get up to on an average "boring" day. Consider it real world inspiration, especially with all the great fresh produce available right now.

Ruchi Koval said...

I agree! Especially for non foodies like me - the boring stuff is so doable and accessible!

KR said...

Like you I need less treat ideas and more encouragement in the soups and salads department so I would love ideas in that area!

Karena said...

I'm with the majority here - the specialty foods are great, and certainly inspire me in the kitchen, but I enjoy seeing the real day to day stuff. How to make today's salad a treat & slightly different from yesterday's, and the day before's -- that's reality.

Anonymous said...

Not everyone has easy access to -or can afford to shop in Whole Foods on a regular basis. the impression that some get is that eating healthy is expensive. the simple changes, like adding an herb, different spice, or new veggie to a simple dish can make the most amazing difference. some of my best successes came from using something to substitute for another thing I didn't have on hand.

MeganC said...

Wendy I would LOVE to see your everyday meals on here! I noticed if I don't eat at least one hugejass salad everyday the weight adds on. I'm so excited to see more salads and soups too! Thank you so much you are inspiring!

mainlinebooker said...

i am actually surprised that you eat only salads and soups most of the time. I do that for lunch but need something different for supper, I like seeing a mix of both.

chickpeafreak said...

I watched an episode of "the chef and the dietician" last night, and chef aj referred to the "shock and awe salad." =) How people are shocked that it is a single serving, and awed that you could finish it.
I will definitely try adding fresh herbs to my next salad, I love that idea! Perhaps next year I'll try growing some too! Love, love, love seeing salad pics. You're speaking to the choir here—salads are not boring! =) It's nice to be inspired to create more beautiful salads—thank you!

Anonymous said...

Hi Wendy! Please keep these simple, but informative blog posts coming. They truly resonate with me and I gain support with my own food addictions reading about about yours. Totally agree about enjoying salad with herbs - in fact, that is what I am eating for lunch too! From the bottom of my heart, thank you for your blog!!

Bill G said...

Since I was thinking about buying salad ingredients to use for supper tonight this was well timed for me. I think since you've been on the theme of getting back on track which was also well timed for me I think the simple day to day dishes would be really helpful. Toss in something special that you find especially cool but focus on the day to day for now.

Anonymous said...

I am just beginning this strange new way of eating. Actually I haven't really begun just reading!! But anything anyone posts about menu ideas is so helpful. Thank you!!

JL goes Vegan said...

Wendy, blogging about food is such a slippery slope. You could read me one month and think I'm a total health nut and the next month it looks like all I do is eat out (and eat french fries) Reality? Somewhere in between. But I am not a "here's what I ate today" blogger and I think most of my readers know that. I blog about a special recipe, sometimes-like today- a typical day of food, and other times about an over the top meal out.

Honestly, I have never had the impression that you were someone who ate indulgent meals all the time. I think your ethics and philosophy are crystal clear and I always feel like you're either providing great food for thought for eating healthy, or you're sharing something extra special that you've made. I don't take your blog posts as prescriptive as to how I (or anyone else) should eat. Geez, hope this made sense! LOL

The Collage Experience said...

I demo-ed a recipe last week with the title "Black Bean Salad with Avocado Lime Dressing." What I realized, after the fact, was it was almost identical to Chipotle's veggie bowl.

So next time I'll do a take on "the bowl": shredded romaine (just finely chopped), salsa(s), chopped tomato, lots of black beans, maybe saute (in water) some onions & peppers, brown rice, big dollop of guac on top. Yums!

wendy said...

Wendy, I have still been making amazing 'slaws' since your postings about slaws. I use whatever I have on hand. I julienne veggies and chiffinade leafy greens into ribbons. Last night I used kale, chard, red and green peppere, red onion, gold beets, gala apple.carrot, celery, pinenuts and dried cranberries. I used lime juice as the dressing. It is delicious. wendy (too)

Anonymous said...

Wendy, I have to say I love all your posts! My recent favorites were your Guest Blogger on August 1st and Plant Strong Pot Luck. What to serve at family get-togethers is one of my biggest challenges. I would love to serve all plant based dishes but always feel the need to include some meat dish. Breakfast for me is always oatmeal and lunch is always a salad, boring but easy. I always top my salad with the Whole Foods brand Low Sodium No Oil Pomegrante Vinaigrette dressing,a few walnuts and green olives. I prefer to eat smaller amounts and eat often so I am always looking for easy snacks to bring to work. Most of the time it is fruit and nuts but this I do get bored with. I have a sweet tooth so enjoy your dessert recipes and cannot wait to try the Double Chocolate Banana Soft Serve. Thank you for your wonderful blog! I love it!

Blogging tips