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TGIFwithKelmember since September 2009

January 5, 2012, 6:37 pm

TGIF with Kel 01/06/2012: Oh, It's Just a Salad

There it sat innocently on the corner of my desk.

Well, it was actually not quite so innocent.

Truly, it was a work of art; a masterpiece not only in presentation, but in taste and nutrition.

I brought a salad to lunch yesterday. Today too.

Now, I don't have coworkers that get together and make a salad bar at work.

They don't wax poetic about their latest salad creation and how good it would be with leftover chicken.

They are more of a go to the cafe, grab a sandwich from the grill, add some fries and include ketchup as a vegetable.

However, as they passed my desk, they all had to comment.

It was so pretty.

What was so pretty?

What is this? they would exclaim as they walked by.

It is my lunch.

Oh, it is just a salad.

Oh no. It is so NOT just a salad.

It was a salad in a jar of course!

Mama_Pea put this recipe together, and I was all over it. (I feel like I am advertising here, but I appreciate the Peas and Thank you blog for its originality and creativity. I am not a vegan, but if you strive for a vegan or even vegetarian lifestyle, this is an excellent resource for you. You know who You are! If you just want to eat better, this is a blog for everyone!

Now, I guess you could say I was sucked in by the fact that I would be bringing my lunch to work in a large ball jar. I purchased a dozen on Amazon; if anyone is in the moonshine business, please let me know!

Really, what could be more perfect?

You can read Mama_Pea's recipe but let me explain what I thought was perfection.

This:



In this 1 quart jar, I was able to meet a ton of the nutritional needs of my body!

I didn't have to stand in line to heat my lunch at the microwave along with everyone else. You know, New Year's resolutions to eat out less often, resulting in frozen sodium laden entrees.

If you are new to Nutrimirror, welcome!

One of the biggest challenges in the beginning is How do I get my logs green?

The advice I like to give, that I had to learn the hard way, is to focus on one item on your log at a time. The one item that can have the biggest impact on moving your logs to green is sodium.

It is everywhere.

Well, not everywhere.

It IS in the center aisles at the grocery store. If you focus your shopping, and therefore your food consumption, primarily on foods found on the outer perimeter of the store, you can conquer sodium. Surprisingly (to you, but not those of us that have been doing this for a long time) you find that the rest of your logs are green too! This salad uses those ingredients primarily from the perimeter. The vegetables my friends!

So, here were the ingredients I used to make this salad. They are the same as Mama_Pea, but I want you to see the weights I used.

For the dressing, prepare it exactly as Mama_Pea directs you too. I used olive oil not water. I have learned to not fear fats. You will too in time!

I used approximately 2 tablespoons of dressing in the bottom of the jar. Seriously, that is the brilliant part!

Then, I layered these ingredients in these quantities:

Garbanzo beans, canned, rinsed: 60 grams
Kalamata olives, drained and rinsed: 30 grams (there is a lot of sodium here; if you struggle with your sodium levels, you may want to reduce the volume of the olives.
Cherry tomatoes: 60 grams
Red bell pepper, chopped: 100 grams
Carrots, fresh: 100 grams
Baby Spinach: 60 grams
Almonds, raw: 10 grams

This salad is So.Freaking.Good.

I did not attempt to eat it out of the jar. The food is packed in there, and would not have been possible! I used a fork to work the salad out into a bowl I had brought to work, and as I did, I had a dressed salad, full of color, wonderful tastes, and terrific textures!

It may seem crazy to some of you that I am going on and on; after all, it is just a salad.

If you strive for green logs like I do, it is so much more.

It is vitamin A, vitamin C, a lot of fiber, and contributes to my calcium and iron.

Take one meal a day, and fit in a lot of nutrients. You can then easily decide to get home and have cereal for dinner. Really.

For this week, there was no experimenting with this salad. I wanted to try it as is. In the future, I can see adding a smattering of feta cheese. Or using a different dressing. Or using black beans, some corn, and cilantro on the bottom. Or. Or. Or.

The variations are limitless!

Part of finding joy in this journey is finding pleasure in your food choices. I learned a long time ago, and thank goodness I did that I can indeed live to eat. I am passionate about food. I love talking about it. I love preparing it. I mostly love eating it!

So, welcome to a New Year. Welcome to NM. Welcome to Salad in a Jar.

Oh is this going to be a great year!

Next week? Find out how to use those ball jar lids!

Thank Goodness It's Friday!




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