Thursday, October 23, 2014

the best salad of your whole life

This October is weird. It's like 80-degrees one day and 50 the next. All of the leaves have turned but it's still so toasty warm mid-day that it doesn't quite feel like fall on some of these warm afternoons. I have been searching my Pinterest boards for cheap and yummy dishes to make my boys and I and I remembered this delicious salad I made earlier in the year. I know it's kind of past "salad season" but I just don't know what to do with myself on these warm fall days! When I made this recipe before I didn't use most of her ingredients. Sometimes I make these recipes and I don't use 1/2 of the ingredients and I'm like, "Well, I didn't really make that at all." I like to use other people's recipes as a jumping off point so I know that it would be good to put all of those things on some lettuce. I came up with my own version of this salad and let me tell you: I could eat this every day for the rest of my life. That's probably not true. I would probably get sick of it because I am one of those people who eats something until I despise, hate, loathe entirely that thing. [Unless, of course, it is those Keebler Elf pretend girl scout Samoa cookies. One thing for the rest of my life? THOSE. Hands down.]

I was going to take pictures of making it and putting it all together and then I was like, "'s a salad. They're not stupid."

Unless of course you don't make this for yourself.

Kidding! I know this will make it onto your menu. And soon. ;]

What I Add: 
Chopped celery
Garbonzo beans
Sweet corn (I toast this in a pan a tiny bit before throwing it in)
Tri-colored quinoa
Shredded chicken

What I Do:
I prepare all of these ingredients first. The quinoa takes the longest at 20 minutes. I chop my veggies and cook my edamame and chicken and throw everything into a giant bowl. Because these ingredients are going to be warm (I don't worry about cooling anything down because at this point I'm starving), I keep these together and use it as a topping for my lettuce. I shred some romaine and throw a couple of scoops of my topping in a bowl and mix! I top with tomato and cashews because Evan thinks croutons are the devil and splash it with the smallest amount of Italian dressing.

I made this for dinner last night and had the brilliant idea to make a topping instead of a chopped salad because we always have leftovers and what does leftover lettuce do? Get soggy. No one will eat gross leftovers in this house and we all pretend that someone else is going to eat it and no one else ever does. Using it as a topping ensures that no lettuce will get soggy and this salad stays delicious AND gets eaten. And if you want to eat just the quinoa and veggies, you can! (Which I do and it's equally as delicious.)

This salad might sound kind of basic but I always feel like I'm in a rut with my salads. My parents always made chef salad with lots of proteins like turkey and ham and chicken and as good as those were, this protein-rich salad with beans and chicken and quinoa instead of processed lunch meat is just so much more filling. Even Maddox gave us his usual, "mmm!" after every single bite. Mama, daddy and baby approved!

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