Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Tasty, light salad

This weekend I was having one of my times of anxiety that come up occasionally as I eat healthfully without trying to count anything in the process. I was back to the Can I really actually do this? train of thought for a couple of days there. I went a bit overboard last week/over the weekend with what I ate, because we ate out a lot. It's okay to eat out and choose whatever you feel like occasionally--to eat what sounds tasty to you without any regard for how it will affect your healthfulness. But if you want to lose weight, it's not okay to do that three or four nights in a week!

But that was a different week, and I'm back in the zone this week with a variety of tasty, healthy meals planned.

I had had a rather rich, high-calorie lunch today, and I knew I was going to make a late dinner because I was going to do my second day of Week 3 on C25k, and I need to wait at least three hours after eating anything for me to do the running parts. I felt very worn out today, as it's the first day of my period. I spent the morning at work with cramps; by the afternoon, I was just tired. My husband (bless his heart--he's pretty clueless about grocery shopping) went to the store for me to buy our weekly groceries, and I geared up to do my C25k outing even though I was tired. I knew if I could go out and do it today, it was making a statement about me progressing towards a goal even when it's not easy. And I did it! I even realized I could have (if I'd had to) run a bit farther than I did. As it is, I'm up to over 1/4 mi on my 3-minute runs. To some of you, I'm sure that sounds like nothing, but for me, it's huge! Huge and not even horrendously hard.

In any case, I decided to make us a light dinner of a salad. If you're eating dinner at 8:30 at night and tend to go to bed around 10 p.m., you don't need a heavy meal. Here's what I made.

First, I made our dressing so that the flavors had time to meld a bit. As I believe I've mentioned on here, I'm recovering from a really bad case of interstitial cystitis, and while I have healed a good bit, I am still not able to eat normal vinaigrettes and may never be. Fortunately, I've actually discovered that you can make great dressings with no vinegar, so if you are someone who has a stomach or bladder or other body part that doesn't agree with highly acidic foods, you may want to try some of my dressings. They are acidic, but much more mildly so than normal dressings (especially 'light' dressings, which usually means they've cut the amount of oil and jacked up the acid). I couldn't have eaten even this dressing six months ago without a lot of pain, but I am happy to say I can now.

So--the dressing: we have a thyme plant in our tiny little interior herb garden (no sense in paying lots of money for small amounts of herbs that are easy to grow indoors), so I pulled off maybe a teaspoon of leaves, washed them, and sauteed them for about a minute with a few tablespoons of olive and canola oil. Then I turned off the burner and let that sit for a while to let the thyme release its flavor into the oil. I took a break to wash the salad leaves and prepare the other salad parts. Then I combined a handful of raspberries, 1 heaping tsp. of dijon mustard (with seeds in it), 1 tsp. honey, and the thyme-y oil in the blender. I threw in a little bit of red grapefruit juice fresh from the grapefruit I was tearing up. I blended it all together until the ingredients were well-mixed and foamy. My husband commented that the color reminded him of a milkshake or smoothy, but the taste, as he agreed with an "Mmmmm," was all dressing. When I make it again, I'll add just a dash of salt to the mix. I poured that into an old, washed-out jar I'd saved; I keep dressing in the fridge, with a lid on it, for up to a week after I make it.

I pulled sections out of a grapefruit we'd gotten from our CSA. I toasted walnut pieces in a dry pan with a small bit of brown sugar tossed in to stick to the nuts right at the end. I tossed together two types of lettuce from our CSA with the grapefruit, the toasted walnuts, the raspberries I hadn't used in the dressing, and a bit of feta cheese.

I put the dressing on it at the end and tossed it together as I served it into our individual bowls. We had exactly two servings of it (go me), though my husband loved it so much he said he would have liked another helping. The sweet/salty/tangy combination of flavors was really wonderful together.


Kellie said...

I just wanted to say thank you for the supportive comment you left me. I haven't gotten a real chance to get to know you through your blog and yet you still had the heart to help someone you don't know!! What a wonderful rarety you are!! Thanks again.

Sonya said...

Great work on your run! That's not an easy thing to do, esp. the first day of TOM.

That salad looks amazing!!! There's another great dressing on this site: dgmgv.blogspot.com - it's called "liquid gold", I think, if you do a search. Oh, the url is short for "don't get mad, get vegan".

Sonya said...

Here's the recipe, except it does have vinegar in it - sorry. But it's extraordinarily good for you!

Liquid Gold Salad Dressing

1/2 c. flax seed oil
1/2 c. water
1/3 c. lemon juice
2 T balsamic or raspberry vinegar
1/4 c. Bragg liquid Aminos or tamari
1/4 to 1/2 c. Red Star Nutritional Yeast Support Formula Nutritional Yeast
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. ground cumin

Salma Gundi said...

The salad looks like summer in a bowl. And I am ready for summer!

Sarah said...

Your meals always look so yummy!

Andrea said...

I totally thought that was a smoothie in the picture! The dressing sounds DIVINE. I'll try it soon.


the veggie paparazzo said...

Kellie, you're welcome. You'll pull through this awful time, and you'll look back and, I hope, realize what a strong person you are.

Sonya, thanks for the dressing info. That looks like a very tangy dressing.

Salma, I usually try to shop in-season, but the raspberries just sounded so good to me.

Sarah, thanks! I hope you had a great trip; I'm going to try to catch up on blogs in the next couple of days.

Andrea, let me know how the dressing goes if you try it. I haven't had 'normal' dressing for two years, but my husband and friends' at least say they love my attempts at less acidic dressings.