What to Eat Wednesday: Super Salad

What to Eat Wednesday is a new Wait . . . Dad? Recipe Series . . . cause . . . you know . . . why not? There will be no rhyme or reason other than whatever tasted exceptionally good the previous week, but you may notice I'm a huge fan of quick easy cheap meals that are high in protein, minerals, and fiber, and relatively low on carbs. I say that with the full knowledge that I will be sharing a cast iron lasagna recipe very soon which meets none of the previously mentioned criteria. Since it's new, please send along feedback about either the format or the recipes themselves or share with me your meals that you want me to try. Thanks . . . 

Super Salad:

Purple Cabbage
Leafy Stuff

Good Olive Oil
Good Balsamic Vinegar
Red Pepper Flakes

Okay . . . so salads are pretty basic. Cut stuff up, put stuff in bowl. Grab a bottle of something from your refrigerator door, don't look at the expiration date, toss and serve. No big whoop.

You can get one in the drive-thru at Mickey Dees.

However . . . most of those salads . . . and I hate to break the news to you . . . well that's not true . . . I love droppin' the knowledge bomb . . . however, none of those "salads" are very tasty, and they aren't all that good for you. In fact, they're kinda terrible for you.

On top of which, if your idea of a salad is some ice-burg lettuce and ranch dressing (which is delicious BTW) you might as well serve chocolate chip ice cream as your vegetable course because cacao comes from trees.

Okay . . . so what makes a great salad? Flavor, texture, color, and healthfulness. You can put those in any order and gravity you wish. You can also add cost. I make about eight of these salads a week for myself and my wife at right around $1.25 per serving. You can't even buy a cup of coffee for that.

Alright . . . lettuce begin:

Purple Cabbage and Kale:
Now . . . you may be thinking I'm gonna dive into all the healthy reasons to eat these . . . well pfffffth. Yeah they have fibre, vitamins, minerals, are low in calories, high in antioxidants, whatever. But I'm all about the CRUNCH. I wanna meal I can masticate. It soothes my inner caveman. Half the reason the whole middle-east is so cranky is because they eat nothing but curry flavored mush. Blechk. Purple Cabbage (Red Cabbage) and Kale are super crunchy, don't wilt before lunch time, and the deep purple and vibrant greens are not only perfect for you Instagram people, they also make you feel like you're chewing up Seattle's defensive line.

Go Patriots.

The two I like best here are kidney beans (for their sweetness) and/or black beans (for their meatiness). Garbonzos and Pinto are okay, I guess. Why beans at all, you ask? Cause . . . well . . . the problem most people have with salads (other than rejecting health food like it was a bowl of malaria) is that they're not filling. Beans fix that problem. A half a cup of legumes hits your gut like a quarter pounder. Feel super fat and poo it out quickly . . . that's my new motto. And they also add in a fair amount of vegetable protein for all my vegetarian readers. (Of which there is one).

For everyone else . . .

Skip this if you're just looking for a good side dish, but for the lunchenours, anything goes here. My hierarchy goes like this: Leftovers (Chicken, steak, salmon, pork chop, whatever). My next go-to is about a half a can of tuna. Try to find the stuff that has dolphin parts in it so that Greenpeace has something to protest. Without cute animal conservation, they might put their energies in campaign finance reform and I like my gas prices low and my corporations evil. Next is any kind of deli meat that you're using for your son's sandwiches (Sliced Turkey) and if you want to throw caution to the wind, dry salami will make you feel like a man and not some sissy dieter.

Now for fashion . . .

The Dressing:
First . . . throw out all of the dressings in your fridge. Not the Ranch. That's a sauce. But everything else must go. And it must go for several reasons. First, they're all expired anyway. You know it, I know it, Santa Clause knows it. Second, with all the sugar and salt and preservatives, they are downright terrible for you. Terrible. Lastly, they really don't taste very good. Especially not when compared with a simple splash of olive oil and vinegar and a pinch of table salt. Anyone who has ever fallen in love with Rachel Ray (guilty) knows that. Drizzle the oil, splash the vinegar, sprinkle the salt as gently as if it were Peter Pan's fairy dust. Be conservative cause you can always add. Tilt your bowl away from you, and with your fork, stir the bottom up and towards you until all the ingredients glisten. Take a big bite and check for flavor. If you haven't over done it, it should be easy to tell if it needs more vinegar or salt.

Carrots, broccoli, bacon bits, handfuls of parmesan cheese, (as you can see in the picture) salads are cool in that you can add to 'em whatever you want. So go ahead . . . add whatever you want. However, the more you complicate it, the longer it's going to take to make. More flavors mushed together to actually produce less flavor overall and if you're a household instead of just a loner, you might end up putting in something that someone doesn't like and then you're screwed before cocktail hour begins. Keep it simple. Keep it crunchy. Keep it real.

Keep it real.

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