Many of us own a contraption that looks like this. Does anybody recognize it? That’s right. If you are anything like me, the salad spinner sat for many years forgotten and forlorn in a cupboard somewhere, no doubt pushed to the back. I would see it and think about it only when it would get in my way when I was reaching for a tin to make a cake or maybe a meatloaf. No wonder something so old has managed to last this long. LOL!!
Years ago, when I bought the spinner, I had great plans for it. We would start every meal with salad. I planned to have freshly washed greens waiting for me and my family. We would be so healthy, we wouldn’t be able to stand ourselves. All we need now are the ingredients. I would stock up on spinach, Boston lettuce and the like-never iceberg though. I hate iceberg-it’s a childhood thing!
At the beginning, I would buy these items in bags and put them in my fridge for washing later-you know, once the groceries are put away. Well , it turns out that bagged greens are very handy because they are very easy to throw out once the salad fixings have become all slimy from the passage of time and the lack of attention. Then came the boxes of greens. Did I ever think those were handy. They stored well in the fridge and the greens lasted longer. but, unfortunately, they were a pain to throw out once the greens met the same fate as those in a bag.
So, I gave up-no more salads for us. It was just getting too expensive for no benefit. My husband was happy. He no longer had to work overtime to support my greens habit or eat what he affectionately called “rabbit food”. But then things changed for me. I became vegan and the idea of eating salads once again popped up. Could I get over my old lazy, disrespectful way of treating greens-for their sake and for mine? So back they came into the house-mostly in boxes. I would definitely use more than before, but, still, a lot would go to waste.
Then my daughter turned me on to adding them to my morning fruit smoothie. I tried this meal in a blender at her house. She will tell you that I made faces and complained (and I did), but I did get used to them and actually, have come to love them. Now, 2 or more large hands full of greens make their way into every smoothie that I make. My favorite is spinach.
But, back to the salads. I can’t give you the timeline, but I do know that learning to enjoy eating heart healthy salads more often was a gradual, worthwhile process. Actually, we had what I like to call a main meal salad for supper just last nite. It was delicious. My husband did not once call it “rabbit food”. He even helped put it together.
How did all of these fresh ingredients make their way into our salad?
The Red Oak Leaf Lettuce came from our fledgling and pathetic looking little garden. We have become veggie gardeners this summer.
I soaked the chickpeas on Thursday nite and cooked them on Friday morning.
The peppers came in our oh, so fresh and tasty bag of nature’s treats from Lufa.
The beets were purchased from the grocery store and steamed yesterday.
The Clementine Dressing with Wasabi and Ginger, which is dynamite by the way, comes from Susan Voisin at Fat Free Vegan. I have made a few of her recipes and they have all been delicious. Her website is well worth checking out.
I made the dressing in about ten minutes using items we keep on hand in our kitchen. I didn’t have clementines, so I used half a large orange. I don’t ever buy wasabi powder, so I used black pepper instead. I left out the sesame oil, also because I didn’t have any. Even though I am following a no added fat way of eating, I might have put a few drops in just to add that little ‘je ne sais quoi”.
Vegan Annie’s Handy Kitchen Tips
But that doesn’t mean you have to give up the salad.
Buy your lettuce (organic, if possible) and canned chickpeas and canned rosebud beets and add them to everything else and voila!, you are good to go.
Handmade salad dressings are not a lot of work. All you need is a good recipe, a blender and a few ingredients. Making your own dressing is a good way to avoid all the suspicious sounding ingredients in bottled dressing.
May all beings be happy and free.