Salad for Craving

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Vegetarian who doesn’t like salad.  Right here.

How does that even work?

I often wonder that myself.  I eat a dinner plate sized salad every day.  Almost always it’s just plain lettuce with a little lemon juice and stevia on it.  It’s really quite sad for me.  One might think, “No wonder she doesn’t like salad, how mundane!”  And one may be right, except, the reason my salads are like this is because I just don’t enjoy plates full of crunchy green stuff enough to put any more effort into it than that.  It isn’t worth it to me.  Especially when I’m also cooking a meat dish for my husband, often with a grain or potato side, plus a veggie based dish for myself and the kids, and I’m buried under kid clutter and dog hair and the sink is full of dishes for the third time today and the boys are screaming and beating each other up –AGAIN- in the living room ((deep breath)).  Spend extra time to make a colorful dish that I have to force myself to choke down?  No thank you, ma’am.

Despite it all, I have found ONE salad that I love.  And I mean back-scratch-on-a-down-comforter-in-front of-a-fire-with-a-tummy-full-of-relished-dinner-LOVE.  ((Might I have been a black lab in a previous life?))  I found it by accident while trying to navigate a menu at a restaurant, Zitas- here in St. Louis, without losing my vitality.  I had it without the parmesan and, of course, had my own dressing stashed in my purse.  I hesitated when the waiter told me it had green olives, but I decided to go out on a limb and try something I hadn’t tried in a while.  Tastes change, you know?  It was so amazing; I didn’t even want the cooked food I’d order for after it (which normally is my incentive to eat the salad in the first place).

Here’s the breakdown:

A plate-full of your favorite greens (I like to cut them small so I get more without realizing it)

2-3 TBS  sliced green olives

1/8 cup  diced roasted red peppers (jarred or made at home)

2-3 diced canned artichoke hearts

The dressing:

1-2 tsp water

3-4 tsp lemon juice

12 drops stevia

½-1 tsp stone ground or Dijon mustard

Shake up the dressing and toss it all together.  I always rinse any olives or artichoke hearts I use.  I don’t use them often and I prefer not to get a full dose of all the salt and the several shady added preservatives.

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There are 2 other ways I like salad, both Natalia Rose inspired.

I eat both of them on mixed greens with diced tomato.

#1

Mash avocado with lemon juice and stevia, smash it into the salad with your hands.

#2

Finely shred an ounce or two of high-quality raw goat cheddar and toss with lemon juice and stevia with the salad.

The downside, yes, optimist though I am, there is a downside.  My body just doesn’t do well with much fat, like, preferably no overt fat what-so-ever, so these are salads to savor no more than once a week for me, assuming all else is kept very low fat throughout the week.  If I get too much I end up with crazed blood sugar and it takes several days of zero fat to recover.  It isn’t fun when it happens, so we like to avoid that.  In any event, I hope you enjoy these salads as much as I do, whether once a week or thrice daily, whatever feels right for you!  And, if you’ve got any ideas for dressings that follow these guidelines, I’d love to hear them:  no salt, no fat/oil, no vinegar, no grain/seed/nut, no sun dried tomato or blended tomato, no animal flesh.  I think that’s all my particularities.  Yes.  Feeding me is daunting business.

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