Monday, October 11, 2010

Eat your vegetables!

Fries or salad? More than once I have found myself in a restaurant, staring vacantly into the face of my server, stumped by this perplexing question. While my server and my dining partners wait patiently, I carefully consider this difficult decision. But the answer is obvious... 
Remember the four food groups? You know, those colored charts that have been around since the 1950s…  As retro as they are, they are anything but outdated. Strangely enough, even though we have been fed the information for decades, it isn’t always easy attainting the required 7-10 servings of vegetables a day.  
After my last entry (grilled salami sandwiches), it hit me that I had neglected to mention the ever so important addition of a side salad. The sandwich itself, tasty as it is, does not offer much in the way of vegetables. (A few slices of tomato and a handful of basil leaves are not, unfortunately, going to cut the mustard.)
The side salad is a staple with meals at my house. One might say it is one of the most predictable and boring aspects of my repertoire. (One might say that, but if one were foolish enough to utter these words, one would consequently end up cooking for oneself!) I always use spinach, (a more nutrient rich choice than lettuce), sliced cucumber and cherry tomatoes, all organic.

I don’t fuss much with the dressing, either, but homemade vinaigrette is a quick and easy way to make a light and very flavorful dressing without resorting to the store-bought varieties, which are often high in sugar and full of preservatives. I simply drizzle two ingredients, olive oil then balsamic vinegar, over the salad and mix. It’s  that easy!  
And for the record, after a long, audible “ummmm”, I choose the salad. 

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