Salad Fun!

Being a vegetarian in the diverse locales of Oklahoma, Montana, and now semi-rural Oregon, I’ve learned that if I want to eat something at a party/social gathering, I should bring it.  It’s just a lot easier than explaining, “No, I don’t eat fish.”  “Chicken stock isn’t exactly vegetarian.”  Further, being active and healthy, I cannot subsist on starches alone.  That is, even though I can eat white rice doesn’t mean that’s all I want to eat or that a cup of white rice constitutes a full meal.

Further, I don’t have to endure the added bonus of surprise! ingredients added by people who don’t necessarily agree or understand why I choose not to eat meat, hiding meat into dishes just to “prove me wrong.”   For example, “hiding” anchioves into the pasta sauce or a piece of chicken in the tofu stir-fry.  It’s not that I have a moral objection to people eating meat.  It’s not that simple, while I admit trying to explain or describe it can be unnecessarily complicated and illogical.

That said, I typically bring some kind of hearty salad to events that everyone is likely to enjoy but that I’m able to eat unilaterally without being devoid of nutrients.

Last Sunday, I chose a couscous salad that included blanched vegetables, couscous, and a dill dressing.  I found it in the Moosewood’s Low-Fat Favorites cookbook.

It was fairly easy:  Cook up one box of plain couscous, “rehydrate” 1/2 cup of sun-dried tomatoes, blanche 2 zucchinis, 2 carrots, and 2 red/yellow peppers, combine these with chopped celery, red onions, and tomatoes, and top with a dressing made of fresh dill, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and a dash of olive oil.  Voila!  Next time I might add some garbanzo beans to up the protein, but for the time being, it’s pretty tasty and a great leftover.

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And, I also supply a spinach salad.  Call me Popeye, but I’ve strangely always loved spinach.  At age 8 I would only eat it cooked and drowned in melted butter, but these days, I prefer it fresh in a salad with onions, a bit of feta cheese, tomatoes, and candied walnuts.

For a dressing, I use my own:  a combination of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, crushed garlic, lemon juice, brown sugar, and a drop of mustard.

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One thought on “Salad Fun!

  1. These salads were the hit of the party…even more so than the ribs and wings for those with a carniverous palate. I also promise never to ambush you with non-vegetarian ingredients!

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