Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Monday, 9 June 2008

Super Salad

Taking Control 
Dinner today was a delicious salad - made at break neck speed and with very little thought required.
After coming home exhausted from work I switched the 'Telly box' on and fell onto a couch. “A taste of my life” was on BBC2 with Sue Johnston who's comfort food of choice is a fish finger sandwich, the thought of this childhood favourite (doused liberally in mayo and tomato ketchup) really got me hungry. I knew then that if I wasn't quickly inspired by something else the chances were that I would be having fish fingers for my tea - not something I would usually advocate. No, I'm not against the occasional drop in standards in favour of an 'easier options' or in this case a 'comfort food' or treat but I don't like the idea of this becoming the norm.
Yes, little self control goes a long way, but when lacking and hungry I'm saved by the fact that I know that I can have something equally as tasty easily on hand in a matter of minutes.
I don't know if too many other people share my sentiment on this matter and in fact I am now forewarned by some of my work colleagues to "turn away now, Ballal" when discussing their dinner plans; "Chips AGAIN!??!?".
Ah yes, there are a few people that I would love to make a good salad for - A save from yet another ready meal/takeaway/general stodge - I could wear a green cape with the Letter S on my chest - but I'm beginning to think that if I acted on this nutritional mission I would probably be feeding half the office and lots of my friends. That's a lot of lettuce.
But you don't need super powers to make a 'super salad'; so do it yourself (you know who you are).

I cooked a small chicken (breast) on a griddle pan after brushing it with a little olive oil and rubbing on a Moroccan herb mix  (go which ever way you like with flavour - but try and be consistent - unlike me).
The meat is very quickly done this way. I chopped it up and dropped it into a big bowl where your other ingredients will follow.
Your protein element could be prawns (ready cooked so even quicker) or squid or any other fish or meat.
I griddled some pepper strips and they too went in. Now all the 'cooking' part is over, anything remotely salad like can be thrown in. I used a can of mixed beans, pickled beetroot, sweetcorn, handful of cress leaves and stalk, cubed feta and bread croutons (instead of bread try grilling Pitta bread that has been slit in half (to get two full sized thin pieces) and when crisp, breaking into shards and adding to your salad). You could also use boiled baby potatoes for your 'carbs' .
Because my salad looked moist I didn't go to the effort of making a vinaigrette and instead just gave it a good glug of garlic olive oil over the top, a squeeze of lemon, a teaspoon of Harissa paste as well as a good sprinkle of coarsely ground salt and pepper.
This is about the most effort needed for a winning work day salad. So next time you're doing your weekly shop plan for a couple of salads and finally rid your world of those villainous cravings and bad eating habits.

If you do just love fish finger sandwiches join the Facebook group :) http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=44884550346&v=info
This draw needs emptying...
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