Apr 12, 2010

wanna know a secret?

there's a big part of my life i thought it was high time to fill you guys in on:
the ritual of the kitchen sink salad.
yeah, you heard me. all those blobs of veggies i take pictures of and try to pass off as food porn? those are my pride and joy.

but first, some background info.
you see, just about every day of my life since i moved home from school, i've embarked on a lunch mission - veggies. that's when i started trying to eat something else other than turkey for every meal of every day (you think i'm kidding!) i mean, breakfast is pretty simply meat-free (hello, oats?). dinner is, too; even though my family always has a meat-based dinner, mom and i make sure to include a good side dish and veggies, so i was set... but lunch on the other hand is an elusive little meal. my old faithful? sandwiches... filled with turkey. daily, unfortunately. houston, we have a problem.

true confessions: growing up, i hated salads. despised. they literally made me gag. i mean, other mixed vegetables and i were like the math kids and the band kids in high school... they coexisted, but didn't really have much in common.
but salads were a different story. eating lettuce was like chewing paper to me, and carrots and i FOR SURE didn't get along. top if off with croutons that tasted like dirt, and i wasn't pleased. at all. we were kinda like the band kids and the cheerleaders... less peaceful, more girl fights (sidenote: this is said in love. i was a total DORK in school, and am even more-so now).

so daily salads were foreign territory. and insane.
but i challenged myself to something i HAD to conquer. i was determined to make a salad for lunch that not only would not invoke nausea, but actually might... you know... taste good?

enter: the kitchen sink salad saga.

it all started out simply enough. for the first time in many years (thank you, henrico county public schools), i was home at lunch-time. i could pick anything i wanted for lunch! and since i was trying desperately to eat more veggies, i thought it would be a good time to ease into salads. when i got hungry enough, i started just grabbing the usual suspects: spinach, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, etc., and i realized it wasn't that i didn't like vegetables... i just didn't like how other people ate them!
          for instance: i hated the skin on cucumbers; thus, you guys will ALWAYS see peeled cukes. same goes for carrots. if i used a vegetable peeler on them to make thin strips, i actually liked them. shocking, really.
          and newsflash: i discovered that you can, in fact, put more on salads than croutons. it seemed INSANE to me at first to put... i don't know... a STRAWBERRY on a salad? ludicrous! (is it sad that i had to spell-check that because i wanted to type ludacris?!?)

so yes America, this nutrition major and healthy-living blogger used to be a hardcore hater of bunny food. but i came around. and since then, i've developed quite the knack for making said meal. observe.

how to make your very own kitchen sink salad.
because clearly, you have NO idea how to make a salad on your own.

1. grab tons of crap from the fridge. hell, grab the fridge. you're gonna need it.

how insane is all this!?!? i had to show you guys.

2. get your bowls, cutting board, knife, and a towel.
because trust me, your hands will need a towel making this.

i can't get over it.

3. fill your bowls with a little of your base greens (i use spinach for iron!)
this is a great place to use home-grown veggies from the garden, y'all!

4. chop your veggies, and toss place atop greens.
zeee veggies:
- bell pepper
- tomato
- carrot
- jalapeno
- scallions
- red onion
- grilled veggies
- cukes
- celery
- mushrooms
- avocado
- sundried tomatoes

5. add your toppings (this is sounding more like an oats post...)
my toppings usually include:
- strawberries (ludacris? ludicrous!)
- dried cherries
- crushed FSTG multigrain crackers
- feta cheese crumbles
- nutritional yeast
- hemp seeds (slivered almonds for la mama)
- cracked black pepper
- Sriracha insanity
- peach/mango salsa (or my flavor of the week... i'm addicted to salsa)
- chili and lime hot sauce (again, or the new flavor i snuck into the cart)
- trader joe's grainy mustard

just today's. yeah, that's right.

6. sit back and realize how absolutely insane you are. i mean, most people manage to eat a salad even though it's from wendy's.
i'm a spoiled brat, and spend 30 minutes daily on salads.
and those toppings? enough to make my new buddy jessica proud (have you seen her daily oats? holy crap!). speaking of, i literally danced today when i saw her mention me on her blog! she was one of the first blogs i ever read, and definitely my favorite! to see my little baby blog on her site? bliss. if you are crazy enough to not know who i'm talking about, hop on over there now! it's ok, i'll wait.

salsa volcano...

with a crumbled black bean burger from last night.

voila, she is finished.
hey lookie, i got a text :)

so there you go!
now young grasshoppers, indulge your creative sides.
p.s. - sugar addicts? i'm bloggin' for you tomorrow!
- r


  1. Aw - you're too kind! Makin' me blush over here. And don't you sell yourself short, either! I am an avid fan of your blog, too. Wish you hadn't kept quiet so long! :P
    And - most certainly proud of the toppings - you've definitely got me beat!! You can come make me a salad anytime. Jus' sayin' :)

  2. Oh yes, Jess's oats are the BOMB!!!! Love her blog!

    And I love kitchen sink salads! I was like you, I used to just throw in the old lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and call it a day but now... i've branched out.
    I love fruit on a salad with some poppyseed dressing! and I've recently become obsessed with mustard and nooch on salads..yum!

  3. Hahaha, I love this post!
    Growing up I knew salad to be iceburg lettuce, tomato, cucumber, celery and golden italian dressing. That's it that's all. Cheese cubes if we got really lucky!
    This new word of nuts and fruit and KITCHEN SINK salads is still amazing to me, and even has my mom posting on my facebook about how she read my blog and NEEDS to try some of my salads. ha.

    Avocado. Nothing better on a salad than avocado!

  4. jess: well anytime you breeze through va it's on... if you make oats.
    jessica: POPPYSEED DRESSING!?!?!? sounds amazing!!! tell me about this!
    Sarah-mae: that's too cute your mom posts :)

  5. Man, that's what kept me from being a vegetarian for the longest time! I could never figure out what to bring to school for lunch that was fast and easy. My go-to sandwich had been turkey, Swiss, mustard, sometimes with tomatoes or spinach if I had time. But I figured out that problem! I'm so glad.

    Man, I love salads. Congratulations on your kitchen-sink salad!!


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