My friend’s parents recently came to town. They rented a beautiful house out in Wilson, invited my friend and any of his wanted parties to come join them on their vacation, bought and consumed way too much food and wine, drank, were merry, and then went home.
Before they left for the airport, they bequeathed all of their remaining food and liquor goods to my friend, and among the spoils were three boxes of mixed spring greens.
My ski bum friend apparently prefers meat and potatoes to leafy greens, so he passed on his surplus of salad mix to me. I gladly accepted (because everyone knows you can never begin swimsuit-season diet preparations too early), and for the past four days, I’ve been eating salad for almost every meal.
Despite the seeming monotony that a single meal base of baby greens entails, I’ve been able to spice up my diet with creative solutions to my single-food-source status. Here’s a walk-through of how you can eat the same thing all day — salad — without feeling like you’re going to throw up.
Breakfast: salad with egg, avocado and olive oil. Garnish with lime, ground pepper, siracha (optional), and sea salt.
For an energy-boosting start to the day, there’s nothing easier and faster than throwing a bunch of healthy protein over a bed of greens. Be sure to buy quality eggs (the value delivered by spending a little more on this animal product is worth the expense). I fried my breakfast egg sunny side up so that the runny yolk would act as a part of my salad dressing. Half an avocado provides you ample fiber, omega 3 and 6 fatty acids and a plethora of vitamins and minerals. Raw olive oil is a great source of energy-boosting calories coming from healthy fats, and it’s full of vitamins E and K. A squeeze of lime gives you a vitamin C boost and makes the whole thing pop with a little acidity.
Lunch: salad with avocado, salsa, tortilla chips and salsa. Garnish with lime, sea salt, pepper.
I used the other half of my breakfast avocado to make my lunch salad. A little salsa can go a long way in flavor and nutritional value (I used a canned salsa, but fresh salsa can pack the nutritional punch if you’re making it with raw garlic, bunches of lime juice, fresh tomatoes, jalapenos, olive oil and cilantro). Tortilla chips add a little crunch (if you’d like to avoid the fried thing, bake your own tortilla chips in the oven using quartered corn tortillas). Garnish with lime, salt, and pepper to taste.
Dinner: salad with fresh spring rolls (cucumber, carrot, bean thread noodles, rice paper or lettuce leaves and chicken) and peanut dipping sauce (teriyaki, peanut butter, honey, orange juice, stone ground mustard, siracha).
Salad with spring rolls was a surprisingly filling end to my day. The spring rolls I made were easy. To start, I bought shredded carrots and shredded a cucumber. I boiled water, took it off the heat and then added the bean thread noodles, let them soak for 5 minutes and removed them from the water. I used pulled rotisserie chicken. After you’ve lined up your ingredients, take out the rice paper and, one at a time, dip the papers into some water for a few seconds to wet them before laying them onto a plate, loading each paper up with your various ingredients and rolling each roll (in the way you might roll a burrito). Roll a bunch of rolls. You’d be surprised how many you cat eat after a day of eating salad. The dipping sauce was easy — a couple spoonfuls of peanut butter (I used chunky), a spoonful of honey, half of a fresh squeezed orange, a little squeeze of mustard and Sriracha to taste, all blended together over a little stovetop heat (so the honey melts).
Boom! There you go, a whole day of salad eating, but without the baby carrots and store-bought ranch, and full of healthy fats, proteins, delicious flavors, and ample spice.