On Stage and Screen… Let’s Make a Salad
For those of us with diabetes, salads are a staple of life. Salads DON’T have to be those boring sides that too many restaurants serve. My thought is to have some fun with it. You can, you know. Salad doesn’t have to be boring, and like soups, can be a great way of using up odd and ends in the fridge.
Not all salads are perfect. For those of you old enough to have seen “To Sir, with Love” (1967), Sidney Portier plays a teacher in a “bad” section of London. His salad:
“The English, if they are good about it will clean the lettuce to get rid of the slugs, and add a bit of mayonnaise and call it salad.”
His solution is NOT that much better as he adds some pineapple to the mix. Hey, he is an actor, not a chef and his character was a teacher.
Better yet is a character from “Boys in the Band”:
“I was keeping my grass (marijuana) in the oregano jar in the spice rack. I kept forgetting and accidentally turning my hateful mother on with a salad. No matter what meal she comes over for, even if it breakfast; she says ‘LETS HAVE A SALAD.’”
To be clear, I am not suggesting either of these approaches to making a salad more important, I have never tried either one.
How To Make a Scene-Stealing Salad
Start with the lettuce. Just stop for a minute in front of the lettuce displays. It is almost like a painting. There are now so many colors, textures, and varieties available to us, we don’t HAVE to settle for the old stand-by. Venture in with both forks. If you have never tried frisee or radicchio, give it a shot. Go slow if you rather and start with red leaf or romaine. The change will do you good.
Now that you have been brave enough to try a new lettuce, you don’t HAVE to go crazy. You can still use cucumbers and tomato. Think about trying a Hothouse (English) cucumber. They have less seeds than what we usually use AND less burp factor. For an easy and interesting change, rather than slicing them, cut them into chunks. Why the different cut changes the flavor and interest factor is a mystery. Instead of tomato wedges, try a few grape tomatoes, or if you can find them cocktail tomatoes. They have much more old fashioned, real tomato flavor than most of the tomatoes you find in the “stupidmarket”.
Got any celery in the bottom of the fridge? Celery adds a great crunch to the most boring lettuce platter. A few shreds of carrot for sweetness? How about some leftover broccoli or cauliflower to add another texture? I like a little zing in my concoctions. I think that radishes are just the ticket.
A very easy change from lettuce is a salad using spinach. If you can find a low carbohydrate Caesar dressing or make your own (see Saturday morning’s recipe) it will really enhance the flavor of the spinach. Pop-eye will be pleased.
I love to add a lot of things to my salads. It can be as simple as egg or cheese. If I have some turkey leftover or chicken, they both make a great addition to the salad. So does sliced steak and rotisserie chicken. If you got too big a portion of salmon for your dinner, don’t throw the extra out. It is really great cold in a salad. For a treat try a few blanched snap or snow peas in mix. Toasted nuts and seeds add yet another layer of flavor and texture without a lot of carbohydrates BUT with a car-load of fiber.
The sky is the limit, only limited by what you like and have on hand or what you planned for in advance.
ENJOY!!! Be happy, be healthy, and BE DECADENT! –w