Mind: "So stomach, whattcha thinking about for dinner, hmmm?"
Stomach: "Mmm, how about some pizza. Ooeey, gooey, extra cheesy piping hot pizza. Yeah..No wait! Pasta. Yes, that's it. A giant bowl of pasta with soft creamy fresh mozzarella cheese baked on top just until it starts to brown and.."
Mind: "Um, dude, we're on a treadmill. Let's think this through. Maybe we should cool it a little and grab something a little healthier but still satisfying? Isn't there a fresh box of organic spinach in the fridge?"
Stomach: "That is SO lame. Really Mind, you're such a drag sometimes."
Mind: "No, no, no! Wait, hear me out. What about a giant salad with all kinds of vibrant flavors and contrasting textures going on?"
Stomach: "I'm listening.."
Mind: "So we have leftover chicken, right? And we put that on top of that nice fresh green spinach and then make a nice dressing and add some of those crunchy chow mein noodles and tart cranberries.."
Stomach: "That does sound kind of good actually, and it won't undo any of this running. I like where your head's at. Now can we please stop running? I'm getting a cramp."
I used to think that salads were such a lame dinner selection. It seemed anytime I'd go out to eat it was the same thing. Usually consisting of iceberg lettuce, a mushy tomato, coated in an oily dressing and and topped with stale croutons, I didn't get the appeal. But then I discovered the art of making a delicious salad and I actually crave them now. The key is to surprise yourself with new textures and flavors and keep it interesting. You might even find yourself wanting a second helping...
Another factor in creating that perfect crave-worthy salad is the dressing. Fresh off of reading some Michael Pollan books (In Defence of Food, An Eater's manifesto changed my life) I got totally turned off by store bought salad dressings with their encyclopedic list of scientifically engineered ingredients and sugars, I craved something more natural to adorn my spinach leaves of green. Below is the basic breakdown but it leaves lots of room for some creativity. I love the use of dried rosemary here but I encourage you to experiment with herbs and tweak this to your liking. I'd also like to point out that I don't use a lot of olive oil in my dressing. I hate a salad that gets dragged down by oil. I also used a rice vinegar (I like its clean crisp quality) but I've also made this with apple cider vinegar, champagne vinegar and raspberry vinegar. Get creative!Basic Salad Dressing
- 1 part Dijon mustard
- 1/2 part dried or fresh herbs
- 3 parts vinegar of choice
- 1 part honey (this balances the acidity of the mustard and vinegar)
- Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
I like to put all of my dressing ingredients into a jar with a tightly sealed lid so I can shake it all up!