Salad: Is it Worth it?

The short answer of course is yes, salad is always worth it. Here are a collection of stories and experiences that I have endured for the endearing “salad.”

While backpacking in a foreign country I PROMISE you that you will miss food from home. Even if you LOVE THE Italian pasta, or the Mexican fajitas, you will miss your food from home eventually. While in Germany I had been enjoying heavy beers, sausages, SourKraut, and a handful of other delicacies when it just became too much and I craved, yes you guessed it, a salad. We were hvaving dinner in Colognes and I ordered a Caesar salad. I thought this would be a safe bet, I mean there was a slight chance it would come with an anchovy sitting like a king on top but those were removeable and I couldn’t handle another deep-fried, greasy meal. So when teh salad arrived (sans anchovy, thankfully) I was too excited to eat it. After one bite however something was off. The leaves were…warm. There was melted butter covering my precious salad. Leave it to Germany to somehow manage to weigh down a salad.

While on a family trip in Florida post a very invasive eye surgery my family and I were at a fancy restaurant that had a rooftop view of the Magic Kingdom in Disneyworld. I remember it well, my brother ordered Mickey Mouse Macaroni which had Mickey Eared-pasta shells, and I ordered a caesar salad (I do order other salads these two stories are particularly caesar-dressed) so naturally when the salad appeared before me I picked up a leaf and put it into my mouth. Remember when I mentioned that some fancy caesars come with anchovies? Well, this one did, and since I had just had my eye surgery I hadn’t noticed much of anything, and to my distaste (literally) an anchovy was now sitting on my tongue, half chewed. Needless to say, that fancy dinner may have been on the salty side, and I have been skeptical of salads ever since.

For the most part in recent years however most salads that I have ordered out or made in with friends and family have been magnificent. Just yesterday afternoon a good friend and I made a spinach salad with plain leaves, grape tomatoes and cucumber with the tastiest dressing that just filled us up and encouraged us to not only have a small plate of nachos for dinner but feel good about eating leaves! Salads are great for that, the leaf eating, the vegetable intake.

My dad and I actually enjoy making salads without leaves lately. Just putting zucchini, cucumber, tomato, cellery, feta cheese, sun-dried tomatos, olives, anything that can be chopped into small, bite-sizes and covered in olive oil and balsamic vinegar gets put into a bowl and devoured. Salads in this regard have changed summer meals for us, as we spend a lot of time making these salads and in a flash they are gone. A great companion for any meal, really.

During the winter last year we tried to make one of these leaf-less salads that was big enough for our extended family, and so naturally it went into a larger bowl than usual, and since we were having company the fridge was full of various other supplies and we had nowhere to chill the salad (it is best chilled, we say) and so out on the back porch it went to cool, it sat in a small divet in the snow. Oh the Canadian winters, we always find use for the snow when it comes to hosting dinner parties. Let it be the salad, or even the beer.

You may wonder why I bother with these stories of salads. Well, as it turns out, lots of people don’t actually like salad. I like to think its delicious and a good way to get your veggies, but also there are so many different ways to think about them. I have had good and bad relationships with salads but for the most part, the bigger part, the part that stays with me, keeps motivating me to try new things and keep going. Who cares if no one else likes them? I’ll order a salad-or make one-any day.

xx Jess

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