Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Strawberry Salad with Feta

strawberry salad2“Mom, do you want some of this pizza? Oh, wait. I forgot you’re on a diet,” Amaya said.

At this point, I’ve been on some eating restriction or another for so long, the fact that she doesn’t remember my constant complaining tells me she’s just trying to torture me. .

“I’m tired of your diet,” Jake said to me yesterday. “I want you to make some real cookies, not this kind of stuff.”

Oh yeah? Has it been hard for you? Really? Has it? Oh, here, let me console you while you eat your store bought Oreos which you did not bother hiding very well in the cupboard.

This is your thinking when you’re deprived. Suspicious, resentful, and hungry. You want to swipe your 6-year-old’s spoon out of her hand and scoop up the rest of her macaroni and cheese because orange powdered cheese seems like a total food group.

I’m sure everyone in the world is over hearing about my dieting, or whatever you want to call it, “Lifestyle eating”, if the word diet offends your ears. I’ll still be whispering the “d” word over here, because I’m not into eating lifestyles. I’m into eating food.

I like kale salad. I also like croissants and bacon. I like vegan banana ice cream. And Momofuku cookies. I like Lebanese chickpeas in olive oil and spices almost as much as I like natto with a raw egg. I don’t think there’s a well-made food out there that you can keep me away from.

Don’t put me in a box, is what I’m saying. So maybe it’s even more surprising that I would willingly choose to go through with Whole 30 for, namely, 30 days. I’ve been seeing the hashtag signs on the wall for a while now from fellow instagrammers and twitterers. Everyone says it’s a great thing to go through and you learn so much about yourself. Maybe I thought I would prove them wrong, but I needed a little challenge to get myself out of my box. I wanted to look at food from another angle.

What I learned:

A lot of store-bought food has ingredients you don’t actually want to eat. That’s why I’m now regularly making my own almond milk and loving it.

Coconut butter and sun butter are so under appreciated.

Paleo isn’t so much about eating meat, as it is about eating vegetables. You have to stuff your fridge so completely full of vegetables that you think, there is no way I will finish these, and then you do. You might die a little inside if you look at your grocery bill, but you are addicted to vegetables, and you’re not going to stop until you find a way to inject kale juice directly into your veins. Because it’s that good.

I liked how I felt after 30 days. I was able to stick to it even though I was working twelve hours at a time and stayed up way too late most nights, which usually floors me. I wasn’t too tired and I exercised every day and 200 squats seem easy now. Two “take everything and run” colds that came through my house just barely jostled me on their way out.

I won’t be eating this way as strictly the rest of my life, but I’m keeping the breakfasts, the vegetables, and the eating real food.

I’m on to some more fitness oriented goals, namely, doing a pull up. ONE.

I didn’t get tired of the food. I kept experimenting, as I always do. Mix it up. Put strawberries and chia seeds in your salad for goodness sakes. Buy some Meyer lemons. Crack that tropical pepper sea salt over it. Buy 5 kinds of salad greens and don’t blink an eye. Realize that everything in your salad sounds like poetry. Give yourself something to look forward to, like Feta, when you’re done with this ridiculous diet.

Feta, I’ve missed you. Stinky and all.

strawberry salad

Strawberry and Feta Salad

  • Baby Arugula
  • Kale and perhaps, Cabbage, thinly sliced
  • Radish Sprouts
  • Strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • Grape Tomatoes, halved
  • Slivered Almonds
  • Feta, the real stuff, because you deserve it
  • Chia Seeds

For the Salad Dressing

  • Dijon Mustard, the grainy expensive kind you could eat with a spoon
  • Meyer Lemon, halved
  • EVOO
  • Salt and pepper, freshly ground, flavors optional

Put the salad ingredients in a bowl, use less of the descending ingredients, but you decide. It’s your salad. Maybe you want to eat the entire block of feta. I won’t judge you. Sprinkle on just a tablespoon or two of those chia seeds, unless you're trying to see what you can sprout out of the human body. Go ahead.

With your serving spoon dip into the mustard and splatter it onto your salad like a person who doesn’t recognize Jackson Pollock’s genius. Use your eating fork and stab your lemon like the civilized caveman you are, squeeze, and get that juice everywhere. Either try to find the seeds that fall out of it or don’t. You probably won’t notice. Try to pour a teensy bit of olive oil from the jar directly on your salad, without bothering to use a spoon, because you can control it, oh but too bad, you probably poured too much. Who cares. That’s what you were trying to do anyway. Crack that salt and pepper over everything like you’re a waiter at a fancy restaurant. Toss it together, flipping turning folding until you have a mess. A beautiful, edible mess.

Eat it directly out of the serving bowl, because that’s how much salad you need to eat to feel full for at least fifteen minutes, and you’re not sharing.



Leanne Smith said...

Your salad looks great!! You crack me up all the time too! :-)

Unknown said...

Love what you are doing here and love your sense of humor! I'm trying to do the same with my kids with a little science edge.
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Nippon Nin said...

Hey! I have some feta cheese in my fridge! I have to get strawberry though. This look very nice!

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