When I was growing up, my dad used to get us to eat our vegetables (usually canned green beans) by using trickery and reverse psychology. "I bet you can't eat just one more bite" and "You can't eat all of those-can you?" As I got a little older my idea of vegetables was whatever else was on the plate besides the protein; corn, macaroni & cheese, or the stray pea that I hadn't managed to pick out of my pasta salad. My rare encounters with fresh vegetables usually occurred at friend's houses or restaurants. I didn't even like avocados. I wouldn't give guacamole a second thought. The salad bar was there so that I could eat iceberg lettuce with cheese and sickly sweet honey-mustard dressing, with lots of croutons piled on top.
So imagine my surprise when I went to cooking school and discovered an entire new world of fresh vegetables (that didn't come from a can or the freezer section). I knew they existed but had no idea that I loved broccoli, carrots, peppers, and cauliflower. Then when I began cooking in restaurants I truly started to appreciate vegetables as more than a side dish. I craved slow-roasted beets, sautéed Brussels Sprouts, squash & zucchini. I know it comes from age and experience, but I also have to credit my sister for urging me towards a heavier plant-based diet. We make stir-fry with tofu, roasted sweet potatoes, and I can say now that I thoroughly enjoy spaghetti sauce even if it doesn't contain meat! We also eat a lot of salads, and I'm always trying to think of new ways to make them different and interesting for my job.
Here are some of the salads that I've made lately........
Beet & Avocado Salad with bleu cheese and champagne vinaigrette
I'm alway looking for inspiration elsewhere. Sometimes I don't have to look very far. During Christmas I had a whole case of grapefruits to use up and so I made a salad that included fresh grapefruit vinaigrette, grapefruit segments, toasted almonds, avocado, red onion and feta cheese. So fresh and clean! It turned out to be one of my favorites. I also recently made this salad with almond butter dressing, which I thought was genius, and a much healthier version of my old favorite honey mustard dressing. I made a few tweaks though and may post it later after make it again. Did I leave out your favorite? I'd love to hear your ideas! Happy Cooking! #tastetherainbow