Tuesday, July 21, 2015

How Vegetarians Do Salad

Vegetarians get a bad rap because some meat-eaters think all they eat is salad. And salad gets a bad rap because unimaginative people think a salad is just lettuce with heaps of ranch dressing on it.

False on both accounts.

Some years ago, when I first started cooking real meals, a woman I was friends with would make the best salads with every ingredient imaginable. I had no idea salads could be so full of colorful, tasty ingredients. She also liked to serve pasta on a bed of greens, which isn't so much a salad at that point, but I thought it was an easy way to add some leafy greens to a meal and create an interesting mix of flavors and textures at the same time. 

Today, even though I don't eat salad very often, it is nice for summertime, and it's a good way to use up a lot of vegetables (and fruit sometimes) all at once. My salads almost always feature some kind of grain, seed, or legume. Usually, it's quinoa, couscous, or beans, but lately corn has gotten my attention. I've even been known to add some boiled potatoes on a salad. Why not? By adding a starchy food, it makes a salad a more complete meal, but it still keeps the cooking pretty minimal. I also like the combination of soft and warm mixed with cold and crunchy.

Now, all I need to do is learn how to make some great dressings at home, and I'll be set.


Bearette said...

That's a good looking salad :) My husband has been vegetarian since he was 16 and avoids salad like the plague :( I like it though I agree with you..something interesting/starchy/cheesy needs to be added.

Domestic Kate said...

I can easily go months without a salad--even fancy salads like mine!

Bearette said...

I tend not to make it when I cook at home, but frequently get them at restaurants - beet/goat cheese/walnut is one my faves :)