salute to the salad


ochie’s homemade vegetable salad

3/4 medium-sized carrot, grated, 1 small-to-medium-sized cucumber, sliced, 1/3 bell pepper cut-as-pleased,1 large tomato, sliced, with mrs dash’s italian seasoning and dressing of choice (italian is always safe, i used basil pesto today, i’ve also used extra virgin olive oil before)

I’ve been eating a lot of salads lately. All part of my grand scheme to kill my body with kindness and make it work in a way that it helps clear up my skin as quickly as  possible without making things worse. This started approximately three weeks ago, it’s approaching a month soon I believe. I’m trying to eat one bowl of vegetables as fresh as possible, as uncooked as possible, a day. It’s not that hard to find salads around, though they are sometimes the more expensive option, but while I’m at home, I find myself making this for myself, either in a smaller portion to act like an appetizer of sorts, or in one hearty full bowl as above when i’m hungrier and want a decent snack.

This worked wonderfully for two weeks when I was still on break and at home more often than not. With a lovely kitchen at your disposal, making things is sort of lovely. I enjoy making myself things to eat, and I tend to look at cooking like I look at crafting: it’s all about mixing things up and doing things differently every time. After making the exact same thing for myself for three days, I found myself cutting vegetables up in different ways, slicing the bell peppers length-wise instead of dicing them up, or slicing my carrot instead of grating it (though I’ll admit grating it adds a nice texture to the whole thing with it being stringy and all, but slicing them makes it crunchier!) and trying out different dressings, or going without dressing at all and just enjoying the seasoning (i love this seasoning. it’s been in the kitchen for a couple of months now, since I use it for my pastas, but you can really benefit from the 14 herbs and spices while eating raw salads. it is brilliant and smells heavenly.)

Once college term resumed, which was this past week, I didn’t eat lunch at home, I didn’t even eat dinner at home on some days, and that meant having to find substitutes around campus. In this way I think I’m lucky to be in a campus in town, because it gives me four different directions to head out toward if I want a certain kind of food, and it gives me multiple options.

I had a veggie-delite salad from Subway one day, which is great value for your money. In my line of killing my body with kindness, I also consume relatively large amounts of green tea by putting a teabag into my waterbottle, which has also saved me a lot of money I would have otherwise spent on drinks. If I want something comforting or calming, I fill my bottle with warm water and have hot green tea. If I need something refreshing, fill it up with cold water and it’s incredibly refreshing. And super healthy. So instead of buying a set meal with those cookies and a drink, I get myself the salad, enjoy my tea and spent lunch reading a bit of The Fry Chronicles (by Stephen Fry). I didn’t take a picture of my Subway salad, but I’m guessing you might know what it looks like.

I am a new convert to Sumo Salad’s ‘fussy’ make-your-own salads, after my sis told me they’re better than the premade ones and I tried one for myself. A little bit more than Subway’s salad will get you a whole lot more here, so Sumo Salad probably wins all the prizes when it comes to salads. I haven’t had a chance to try Salad Stop, but that sounds good too, but until then, Sumo is the best. While my sis enjoys getting something that can pretty much be called caesar salad, my picks for a salad are so strange that I can’t think of a name for it at all. It usually comes looking a huge mess, especially if I chose to add Feta Cheese, pumpkin and chose a cream-based dressing. Perhaps doesn’t look like the most gorgeous meal ever, but it tastes incredibly good and is phenomenally filling. I had something like this just yesterday for lunch, and I was so full I wasn’t really hungry for dinner. Let’s say it looks something like this:

So that’s Sumo Salad for you. The Soup Spoon also has great salads for about the same price, but they don’t have a lot of the vegetables I’m looking out for. Which are carrots, cucumbers and tomatoes. The Garden Green at The Soup Spoon is lovely and all, but doesn’t have much carrot or tomato in it, as far as I can recall. But their Soup is the bomb diggity. On Thursday, when I was craving coffee from Coffee Bean as it was outside the window when I was at the library, I remembered that they have all-day-breakfast sets, as I used to frequently eat there while working at the airport last year (goodness it’s been a whole year!) I got a breakfast set that included scrambled eggs (i figure a bit of eggs is good for me, adding some protein!), garden salad (cranberries, yay!) and some bread. You get either tea or coffee with the set, so I got a steaming hot cup of Coffee Bean’s Ginseng Peppermint tea, which is pretty potent stuff that will wake you up on even the sleepiest of afternoons or laziest of rainy days. Oh, and I don’t really know a lot about Ginseng, but it definitely is potent stuff that can make colds and bad throats disappear within days (as opposed to a week or so) just like Green Tea. To digress a little bit from salads, I strongly believe in the power of Green Tea to cure colds and bad throats. There’s a terrible, terrible flu bug going around and about half the people I’m interacting with on a daily basis have caught it, and I like to believe that I haven’t gotten it because I consume so much green tea. I think the antioxidants in it help. Going back to salads, here’s how wonderfully presented my lunch at The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf was presented.

I think at the end of the day, making salads yourself is probably the best because you can add how much of each ingredient you want, as opposed to always getting few very tomatoes or like, three olives or something. I like making it myself. I thought today would be a busy Saturday, but it turned out to be a pretty lazy one, and I made my salad for myself as an evening snack because I had a really light lunch ( hadn’t had breakfast, and ate a super light dinner the previous night). I was grooving to Bollywood music from the radio (that popular song from Desi Boyz, the one with the random hip-ass wiggling, if you’re interested) while cutting vegetables. I didn’t want my room to smell of basil pesto, so I grabbed a magazine and sat in the balcony while eating it. Something I haven’t quite done before, and it was lovely.

I also spent my evening on some crafty-time, which I haven’t dabbled in for quite some time now, and the result was having a nicer looking cover for my laptop, but i’ll go more into that another day, but as a teaser, here’s what it looks like now.

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