So this is not the first of the salads you’ve seen on here lately. And it will not be the last. Here’s a few reasons why:
1. It’s getting hotter. And when it gets hotter, I crave cooler, which means MORE SALADS.
2. I am still (even a week later) getting back into the swing of things after vacation. That means my body craves lots of veggies: salads fit the bill.
But, this first salad is a little different. It’s based on a Hungry Girl recipe from her first cookbook, but as usual, I tweaked it a bit and gave it my own spin. The salad I am about to present is, get this, a cheeseburger salad! Basically, it combines the cheese-y/pickle/mustard/ketchup flavour of a cheeseburger, with the nutritional benefits of a salad. Win win! And you know what’s even more winning? I ate this salad OUTSIDE! I love warmer weather! Wanna make it? Let’s get started!
So for the salad part, you can use your choice of lettuce/greens and vegetables. I went for spring mix, steamed asparagus, mushrooms, red pepper, onion and tomato (I wouldn’t skip those last 2 though, they really add to the all around “burger” experience). For more burger-y goodness, chop up a dill pickle and throw it in. And since I wanted to walk on the wild side, I added a few chopped pickled jalapenos (totally optional though).
For the dressing, I wanted to capture that essential ketchup and mustard combo that I love on burgers so much. I combined a good squirt each of ketchup and mustard (plain ol’ yellow stuff, nothing fancy!) with 1 tsp olive oil, a splash of red wine vinegar, fat-free Italian dressing, just a touch of tomato juice from a can of tomatoes (you could leave that out, I just had a partial can in the fridge) and a touch of Splenda. Shake it all up and toss with your salad.
The burger was a BOCA from Buffalo (but you could use any veggie burger, or even a meat one of your choice). I microwaved it to thaw, then cooked in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat. After flipping, I topped it with one Velveeta cheese slice (again, you could use another type of cheese, but it might not have the same authentic cheeseburger taste), and put on a lid to help the cheese melt better. When cooked through, chop up the booked burger and top your salad. Summer in a bowl (or on a plate, your choice)! Burger meets salad and they are oh-so-happy together!
The second salad is one that I ate, but not one that I made. Yesterday, I went out for lunch with my BFF to chat and catch up (I hadn’t seen her since before my vacation) at the Barrel, a local Italian restaurant that is one of my long-time favourites. It has a recently-opened patio, and since the weather was so nice, we wanted to check it out (it was quite lovely, except they had nothing to weigh down their umbrellas, and as it was very windy, one took off into the parking lot and Megan had to chase it). I ordered to go-to safe bet for healthy lunch when dining out: house salad with grilled chicken, dressing on the side. I know, I know, kind of boring, but the Barrel seasons the chicken really nicely, so it’s pretty satisfying. I had a couple of bites of one breadsticks, as well as a few of Megan’s fries and a bite of her sandwich. Perfect lunch for outdoors on a hot day, and good to catch up.
What foods do you crave in the summer?