Several months back, I was zipping through channels as always and came across an advertisement on TV about Progresso Soups – this is how their voice script goes – ‘Nobody likes to diet, so why eat like you’re on one’. The visual, somewhat banal and outrageous, shows a woman passing over her salad bowl to a rabbit!
And then these people find faults with their kids’ eating habits, voice their concerns about their children not eating broccoli or liking greens – how ironic. Kids eat what we feed them and grasp from observing the way we eat, don’t they?
You put a baby in a crib with an apple and a rabbit. If it eats the rabbit and plays with the apple, I'll buy you a new car - Harvey Diamond
Au contraire, as much as the meat-loving population is high out here, salads are strangely a common and popular feature in course-meals. Weight watchers and animal lovers, you can be sure of finding some of the best vegetarian salads and salad-friendly ingredients out here.
There is no single recipe for tossing up a salad. Some people like it with ranch, some with vinaigrette, some with mayonnaise, and some with a simple mix of seasonings and olive oil and a drizzle of lemon juice. Kraft Foods make it easier with a wide choice of salad dressings too. It’s all out there, but the choice is ours to make. I’ve tried Kraft’s Low-fat Ranch, Balsamic Vinaigrette and Greek Dressing with Feta and Parmesan Cheese.
One of the key ingredients of any green salad is lettuce apart from arugula and baby spinach. Now, S has trouble with lettuce! As much as he would love to devour these negative-calorie greens, S’s digestive system doesn’t seem to quite agree. He promises that he chews them finely to pulp before swallowing, but his intestinal tract seems to stitch them back together … weird. S’s friend from work sent home a big and beautiful bunch of home-grown organic lettuce – he enjoyed it till the next morning. This seemed to be the case with any kind of lettuce – there is never any discomfort or pain, no illness… nothing! I always kid with him that he has not enough calories to digest lettuce. Recently, romaine salads have been a regular feature and S’s system seems have to gotten accustomed to it.
I would any day prefer a bowl of fresh green salads over junk food – I guess it’s a birth trait – Mum thrived on greens and salads throughout her second pregnancy, moi of course, due to anemic conditions. It’s surprising that I don’t have green blood. I had some leftover ricotta and parmesan from last week’s Lasagna, so I decided to toss up a salad.
Here’s what I used –
Fresh Vegetables – You can use just about anything that fancies your interest and palate. I also used one cup of whole wheat penne pasta. Some people prefer pomegranate seeds, sliced strawberries, and mandarin oranges too, for their special tangy and sweet tinge. I sometimes throw in olives too.
1. 1 and half a bunch of romaine lettuce – torn to shreds
2. Red radishes – halved and sliced
3. Carrots – 3 numbers, finely julienned
4. Yellow bell pepper – julienned
5. Tomatoes – 2 – coarsely chopped – I usually use halved cherry tomatoes, but I ran out of them
6. Celery – 4 sticks finely chopped (from the box)
7. Fresh red chili – 2 numbers, finelly chopped
8. Uncooked pasta – 1 cup – Ideally, elbows go well with salads, but I had to manage with whole wheat Barilla Penne.
1. 3 tablespoons shredded mozzarella cheese
2. 3 tablespoons shredded parmesan cheese
3. Italian Seasoning, Dried Basil, Lemon Herbs, Salt, Fresh Ground Pepper, Chili Vinegar
4. Extra virgin olive oil
5. Ricotta cheese mixed well with salt and garlic powder
6. 2 teaspoons fresh heavy cream (Mexican variety)
This was our evening snack and a box in reserve is in the refrigerator, for S’s lunch tomorrow. This is sumptuous and very filling too and there goes in your daily dose of raw fruit/vegetable and fiber. I’m hoping his system completely accepts lettuce someday. The human body is said to use up more calories in digesting such foods, and hence the term negative-calorie foods.
Apart from incorporating Spinach in our weekly diet, S and I make sure to eat some form of raw veggies – mostly, salads. Our salads don’t always have tinges of cheese. Sometimes, it’s just plain lemon juice drizzled over seasonings and a dash of olive oil. You could also do it the Indian way, with Chunky Chat masalas and Garam masalas… Yum! If you decide to use ranches and cheeses, make sure they’re all low fat or fat-free, and promise yourself to burn those calories off the next day.
While we’re on that note of following an eco-friendly and green diet, here’s a gut-wrenching video on animal slaughter that I’d like to share with all of you. I’m sure some of you have already seen this, but if you haven’t, beware. This was shared with me by a college friend and it really moved S and me to shreds. We aren’t preaching anything out here, but if this video moves you as much as it did us, that’s a score. Click here for the video. When you have the power to choose and the power to save a life-form, why don’t you make use of it?
Animals are my friends... and I don't eat my friends - George Bernard Shaw