Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Good salad: Random Tuesday Thoughts


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Ok, the family's new favorite salad (and when I say family, I mean me and Mr. Wild, because you know the kids ain't having none of this crunchy lettuce thing) is one of Jamie Oliver's recipes.  Yes, I know, surprise, surprise.  You know I've been totally into Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution of late.  But, it is really good salad.

4 scallions
• ½ a cucumber
• A handful of fresh basil leaves
• 2 small, just ripe avocados
• 1 butterhead lettuce
• Large handful sprouted cress or alfafa
• Optional 2 ounces Cheddar cheese
• Extra virgin oil
• Red wine vinegar
• English Mustard
• Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Get yourself a big chopping board and large sharp knife. It’s best to start by chopping the harder, crunchier veggies first, so trim and chop your scallions and slice your cucumber. Slice your basil. Bring it all into the center of the board and continue chopping and mixing together. Halve your avocados around the big pit. Carefully remove the pit and peel the skin off. Add the avocado flesh, lettuce leaves, and cress or alfafa to the board. Crumble over the cheese, if using and continue chopping. When everything is well chopped, you’ll have a big mound of salad on the board. Make a well in the middle and drizzle in 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar. Add a teaspoon of English mustard and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Mix up so everything gets well coater and serve on the board or in a bowl.

I haven't made it with fresh basil yet.  I can't find any! I will have to beg off of friends. And we go MUCH lighter on the oil.  Mr. Wild and I like vinegary flavors, so we cut the oil way back, about 2-1 oil to vinegar.  Even that seems a little heavy on the oil.  We also used dijon mustard, instead, because that was in my frig. I'm now desperate to try it with the fresh lettuce that will probably come in our community supported agriculture pack.  I cannot wait for green things out of the earth!

Also, this salad helped open a new world of foods to Mr. Wild.  He was leery about the avocado I put in it, but raved about it when we had it.  Then, yesterday, we made fresh guacamole.  He was mad I wasn't going to let him taste it and I said I thought he didn't like avocado.  He said, well, he wanted to try it.  Ok, so he did.  Then he said he was wrong, he did like guacamole.  Ha ha!  And he was sad I was taking it away to a gathering.  They (media, experts, I don't know who they are) always say you should have your kids cook with you, they are more likely to eat the food.  What about husbands?

More randomness.  This was passed on to me by a friend of mine:

Last night I was in a discussion about how it is important that parents not only state their beliefs and how they want to live, whether it is for health, or caring for the earth, or caring for others.  It is important that we help the generations that follow by really taking a look at how we live and start to make small changes in our own lives, encouraging our children to do so, showing them how you can make these changes a habit.  It is a joint effort, husbands need to be in on it, too.

So, I took a bike ride with my daughter.  I use reusable grocery bags and ask my kids to help me remember to take them.  I have made the decision to get vegetables from a local farmer for the summer.  (It didn't hurt that my health insurance had an incentive for it as well, via a reimbursement.)  I talk about high fructose corn syrup with my kids, then have them watch me read labels and make decisions.  I should have them help me cook our food and get into making yummy veggies.

They are such little steps, but I feel that we're making better choices.  At one time, I thought doing so little couldn't make a difference, but, if my kids grow up with those choices, and they teach their children similar things and add more good choices, we should see it grown exponentially, eventually.  Already, choices like having dessert only a few nights a week instead of wanting it after every meal, I think, has helped put sweets in a better perspective for the kids and for us grown ups.

Now, I haven't dropped my aspartame laden Diet Coke.  That's one habit I just can't quite kick yet.  I should drink more tea and coffee for a caffeine fix.  I'm not sure that aspartame is totally bad, but I'm sure it's not good either.  But in some ways, it might be a smidge better than straight Coke.

If you were to be on your deathbed tomorrow and you looked back on your life, what do you think you would call your greatest accomplishments?  Mine is not my career.  I know at one point, my young self thought career was important.  As I get older--happiness, raising great children, loving my family--these are important. (And maybe good grammar.)  My greatest accomplishment, in partnership with my husband, would be the two kids I turned out and that I tried to be kind and fair to everyone I met.  And that's all I need to know to be at peace.

Peace for all of you.  Go Random.


Aliceson said...

I love salads with lots of stuff in them. Broccoli, avocado, cucumber, tomatoes... now I'm getting hungry!

My husband's family claims they don't like avocados and complain about them when I put them in a salad but they always eat them. I think they just like to complain...

Anonymous said...

IS VERY GOOD..............................

Laura in IA said...

So true Wild Child. Exactly what I've always wanted. I think you've reached it. Keep up the good work and try to relax and enjoy it!