I have a confession to make…vegetables are something I can do without. I’m all about eating healthy, but that doesn’t mean I can just pull a carrot out of the fridge, start munching on it and declare that that was the best thing I’ve eaten all day. Quite the contrary. I have to force mysef to eat them uncooked, with no seasoning.
Fruits, on the other hand, I will eat and eat with great relish. Same with sweets, but I won’t go there. I’m trying to forget about sweets. I was doing good until I got a text telling me my white chocolate raspberry cheesecake was ready to be picked up. It’s been taunting me from the freezer; calling me to indulge.
But back to vegetables. The only two things I can think of as to why I don’t relish veggies are that, well, it’s obvious I have quite a sweet tooth, but there’s another reason that I believe makes more sense; I was raised on homegrown vegetables.
Robust tomatoes bursting with flavor and juice; sweet corn-on-the-cob that’s so delicious, you can eat it raw; yummy okra that’s so tender and flavorful you can’t help but grab a handful and much on it right in the garden. And on I can go.
Supermarket veggies just don’t cut it. Pale, almost juice-less tomatoes are nowhere near the flavor of the ones I remember. It is with steely determination that I eat a slice, chewing it as quickly as possible so that I can get the torment over and be able to declare I ate some fresh veggies for that day. The same for cucumbers. They’re usually tasteless or there is a bitterness that leaves an aftertaste in the mouth.
But this leaves me with a quandary because I know I should eat fresh veggies everyday.
Thank goodness for smoothies and salads, oh, and wraps. But today, I’m going to focus on salads and share four of my favorite I’ve recently discovered. Well, one I’ve known about for a while, thanks to Olive Garden.
The first salad is one I randomly created. If it’s a replica of an actual salad idea floating around out there, it was purely unintentional.
I was thinking one day, about how to incorporate more fresh into my diet that would also not be time consuming. Various ideas came to mind, including a mixed greens salad with dried cranberries, raw pecans or walnuts, feta cheese and topped with a raspberry vinaigrette dressing. The final result? Well, let’s just say; I’ve been eating it almost everyday.
This next salad is one that my daughter told me about. I was bit skeptical at first, but discovered it really is as good as she said it was. The greens base is baby spinach, then top with sliced strawberries and drizzled with Brianna’s Home style Poppy Seed dressing. I added some feta cheese and raw, chopped pecans and, wow, it is amazing!
The next one is an inspiration from Olive Garden, the classic Caesar salad. We had iceberg lettuce as the base, sliced red onions, feta cheese, banana pepper slices and croutons, topped with Olive Garden’s signature Caesar salad dressing that you can find at any grocery store. We didn’t do this, though I probably will the next time, but you can add tomatoes as well. This is my son’s favorite salad out of all that I prepare.
The last salad that I’m going to share is one I discovered in a cookbook. This cookbook has lots of healthy, vegan recipes. I highly recommend it.
The salad is another spinach salad, only with mandarin oranges. Following is a picture of the salad and the recipe.
Oftentimes, I will prepare a standard salad with mixed greens, tomatoes, red onions, cucumber slices, and croutons, all topped with a homemade ranch dressing. To be vegan, this ranch dressing tastes pretty close to the real thing, especially if you use Vegenaise as the base, which you can find at health food stores.
And there you go; my go-to for healthy, delicious ways to eat my veggies.
I also love how much salads save me time, which is quite limited. Just a little chopping and it’s ready.
Drop a line or two in the comments and share what your favorite salads are. I’d love to try something new!