Sunday, April 15, 2012

Lettuce Pisses Me Off...

Don't get me wrong, I really like vegetables. I even like the lesser appreciated veggies like brussels sprouts, beets and collard greens. The funny thing is, I really like salads at other people's houses and out at restaurants (I'm not including the taco salad in the fried taco shell here as a salad!), but as soon as it comes to home? Nope. Not happening. It bugs me to have it in my fridge. It annoys me because it never fits in any of my normal bowls. Lettuce pisses me off, and I'm not really sure why.

For the next six weeks our CrossFit box is running a Paleo Challenge (ie teams of eleven people support each other as they all eat strict clean Paleo for 6 weeks to see how their bodies and performance changes). I'm not technically in the Challenge as I'm one of the team leaders but I'm taking this opportunity to eat clean again. Eating clean for me really means just removing cheese and wine, so I've set myself some separate goals all involving salad greens.

My goals for the next 6 weeks:
1) Eat raw salad greens with at least one meal per day, five days a week
2) One day a week eat all raw vegetables and fruits.
3) Each week try a new leafy green/source. Ie I can't eat Foxy Lettuce for all 6 weeks...puke.

So to get started? RECIPE TIME!!!!!!!!! The following recipe is for a salad dressing. The bacon and shiitakes give it substance and the balsamic vinegar's usual tang gets mellowed out a little by heating it up. You end up with this lovely caramel colored, sweet, smokey and salty dressing that is magic on tomatoes. Hope y'all like it!

(Disclaimer: I did not make this up, I wrote it down out of some garden veggie magazine at B&N and can't remember which one, nor can I find it. If you know, let me know so I can give credit where its due!)

Warm Bacon-Shiitake Salad Dressing
(serves 2ish so the recipe said)

2 Tbspn Bacon grease (drained from baked bacon)
2 Tbspn Olive oil
8oz (about 8 mushrooms) Shiitake mushrooms, sliced
6 Green onions, chopped (or 4 Tbspn chopped onion)
1 Garlic clove, minced
8 Tbspn Balsamic vinegar
4 slices Bacon, chopped/crumbled

In a sautee pan, put the grease and oil, heat over medium heat. Saute mushrooms for 1-2 minutes, add onions and garlic and continue to sautee until onions are cooked. Not so long though that garlic browns. Turn burner to lowest setting and stir in vinegar and the crumbled bacon. Warm through and pour over salad.

I poured this over a whole head of Boston lettuce with sliced tomatoes and it was fantastically good. Sadly, the picture I took didn't do it ANY justice. Just trust me, this will make your kitchen smell fantastic and will make your mouth happy.

Cheers to Paleo and Salad Greens!!

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