Thursday, June 21, 2012

Summery Salad

I got this in the mail:

It's my new Starbucks gold card with my name on it and everything!  It's amazing and sad at the same time.  Amazing because now I can get lots of Starbucks perks.  Sad because I didn't realize how often I was actually going to Starbucks.  Oh point in stopping now that I'm being rewarded for going!

Yesterday was the official first day of summer and I am definitely feeling it!  It is hot! I seriously do not remember it being this hot last summer.  No one wants to be standing over the stove and turning the oven on during those hot days.  When the summer heat starts, I crave fresh and light dinners.  I love having salads and try to mix up what I put in it to add more variety to what can otherwise be a boring dinner.

This salad combines fresh fruit and vegetables to make a delicious and refreshing salad.  The salad includes blueberries, corn, cucumber, red onion, jalapeno, and cilantro.  I found the recipe here.

When I first saw this recipe, I noticed that it made 6 serving.  I was hesitant to make it because that's a lot of food when living on your own!  When cooking for 1, leftovers are always an issue.  Who wants to eat the same meal every night for a week.  For me, there are five key things I do to solve this problem:
1. Halve it.  Most recipes are easy to halve.  Sometimes it's a pain when buying certain items (like canned items) but I'd rather throw out some leftover corn than eat the same thing all week.
2. Freeze leftovers.  This is especially good for soup and casserole type of dishes.
3. Variation.  Change one or two things each night while using the same recipe/ingredients.
4. Skip a night.  Just because you have leftovers from one night doesn't mean you have to eat them right away. Wait a night or two before having your leftovers so that you don't get bored of the same thing two nights in a row.
5. Bag it. Take leftovers for lunch.

For this salad, I halved the original recipe.  I then tried to do something different with the salad each night I ate it.  One thing I kept consistent is that with each variation I put the salad over lettuce and added a protein to make it a more complete and filling meal.

Variation 1: I used the dressing from the recipe and added jalapeno chicken sausage from Trader Joe's for protein.  To cook it, just cut it into pieces and cook in a skillet over medium heat.

The dressing from the recipe was really good!  I love anything with a lime flavor and the honey helped to offset the spicy flavor from the jalapeno.

Variation 2: I changed the dressing to a balsamic glaze. It added a sweetness to off set the jalapeno flavor.  For protein, I used the shrimp.

Variation 3: I actually brought it to work for lunch instead of eating it for dinner. I used the dressing from the recipe and added the jalapeno sausage for protein.

Overall, I thought the salad was great!  Sometimes, cooking for one can be difficult.  But with some variations and creative thinking the same meal and ingredients can become something different.

No comments:

Post a Comment