Thoughtful Eating: What I Eat

This isn't the only thing I eat, of course. But my active social life has me cooking at home less. I do have a mandatory stay-at home-night which is always Monday and sometimes Sunday too. Either way I usually make one huge bowl of salad and then I keep it in the fridge and eat from it all week. I change up the salad ingredients each time but the formula is always the same.

a grain + a green + a bean + a veggie + a herb

The grain could be anything, recently I've used quinoa, bulgur, wheat berries and faro. The green should be something thick and leafy that can hold up to sitting in dressing for a few days. I usually go with kale, chard or collards. I like to add a bean for a protein kick. Lentils, chick peas and white beans are my favorites but any bean will do. Then I like to add (at least) one fresh veggie. Usually I add more and I just pick up whatever looks good at the greenmarket or grocery store. Lastly, the fresh herb which is important. I didn't always use fresh herbs in my cooking because they're expensive and usually sold in such huge batches. But the addition or at least one (and sometimes I'll do two) fresh herb to a salad like this really does wonders. I find I mostly toss in flat leaf parsley because it tastes so fresh and garden-y. But cilantro is fantastic and I love to throw in some fresh scallion or chive as well.

I mix all my ingredients together in on of my big bowls and always top it with pretty much the exact same thing as far as a dressing goes. It couldn't be any simpler but it's always tasty. Olive oil + vinegar (any kind) + lemon (or lime) zest and juice + salt & pepper. Stir it up, let it sit for a bit in the fridge and enjoy.

The important thing to remember about making a big fridge salad like this, and why I happen to love this style of cooking, is that it is endlessly adaptable. You can keep changing how you make it. If I'm feeling particularly saucy I'll grate some fresh garlic in there also. If you're concerned about protein toss in some chopped up hard boiled eggs, or throw a poached egg on top. Add some toasted nuts or dried fruit. You get the idea... It's the perfect way to use up whatever you have left in the fridge and, on the other hand, if you don't have one particular ingredient it's no big deal.

This is what I eat and here's the version I made this week.

Here's some suggestions to start with: -brown rice, kale, black beans, bell peppers/fresh corn, cilantro. (fresh lime for dressing. fresh jalapeño would be a nice addition). -wheat berries, chard, lentils, beets/carrots, mint. (fresh orange for dressing. toss some almond and/or dried cherries in). -bulgur, collards, shelled edamame, cucumber/tomato, mint/parsley/scallion. (this tabouleh is one of my faves).