I hate salad. And, for some reason, salad hates me back. Countless times I have had both simple and complex salads that left me quite sick afterwards. In some cases, the salad was so livid with me that it wouldn’t even stick around post-consumption, and would instead proceed to flee from me with alarming alacrity. I won’t go into details.
So salad is not something I generally make. Nor do I always hate it so. My stepmom always makes great salads that I enjoy. But if I were to eat them on a daily basis, I’d have the same salad-fleeing issue as mentioned above.
So what to do? I stopped eating most salads. Out for lunch and craving something lighter? Too bad! Have a heavy burger. Or sandwich or wrap. And fries on the side. And while I know that having a burger and fries doesn’t sound terrible, I think anyone can admit that sometimes you just feel like some lighter fare. Other times, I’d like to at least pretend that I have some inclinations towards healthiness.
So my restaurant orders, bereft of most salads, started to include a lot of caesar salads, but I’m not convinced they are much better than fries. It’s that creamy sauce. And ironically, I prefer the healthier caesars with less creamy dressing, but not enough restaurants make a really good caesar salad. Which, those bastards. It’s not that hard! More garlic, less cream. I am lucky that The Captain makes THE BEST caesar salad at home, which is wonderful. But also terrible. Because that is what ruined me for those other, horrid caesar salads. After a lengthy (restaurant) caesar salad break, I’m back at least tolerating them. Although I stand by the fact that I much prefer the authentic, less creamy ones. But still, I’ll at least now have a side caesar with my meal instead of fries, so some slight salad improvement at least.
At home I still wasn’t making salad, except of course for Crack Salad. Crack salad is THE MOST delicious salad you will ever have. Why do you think it is named after crack cocaine? Shout out to my wonderful stepmom Lisa for the recipe, and Lionel for nicknaming it Crack Salad. Essentially you fry Oriental Mr. Noodles in butter with almonds and sesame, and put it in with green onions and lettuce. Then you dress it up with the most delicious, garlicky salad dressing imaginable. Crack may be whack, but Crack Salad is ambrosia. It is food of the Gods. But it does not count as salad. It is not healthy. In my head, salad has to be healthy to count as salad. And since I don’t eat fruit (another post for another day) it is very hard to have a delicious, healthy salad. Particularly one that doesn’t make me feel like I’m a rabbit.
Well, I finally found it. I’m on a health kick right now, and I lasted one healthy week of eating a ridiculous amount of broccoli before deciding that I can’t ignore salad anymore. I realized I needed to make my peace with it. I needed to find the answer to a delicious salad that didn’t have Mr. Noodles (fried in butter) in it. And due to the issues alluded to in my first paragraph, it couldn’t contain a lot of cheese and nuts together. So what to do? Well, who doesn’t love caramelized onions? Really, who? “No one” should be the answer. Anyway, caramelized onions are the shit, so I made some. Except I used coconut oil with a touch of butter, and they turned out absolutely fantastic. They literally brought tears to my eyes, although I will admit that was during the chopping process. I also toasted some chopped raw almonds, and added some turkey. Then we “gobbled” it up. Actually, first The Captain made a garlic/balsamic dressing that is so good, it should get a goddamn oscar for “Best Dressing” in a salad production. Unfortunately due to the balsamic it isn’t white enough for the academy, so that bastard caesar salad will win again.
Even if it doesn’t win officially, it won for me. I was surprised at how great it tasted. It was as good as it was simple and healthy. And I had no issues afterwards. I think the lack of a cheese and nut combo, as well as its simplicity, was what sealed the deal for my overly sensitive stomach.
I can’t come out and say that I suddenly love salad and that I am now one of those salad girls. I am not. I hate eating like I am a goddamn rabbit. But, encouragingly, there wasn’t one moment that I felt rabbit-like as I consumed my turkey onion salad. It’s a small step, but a big one. Besides, the first step in an odyssey always is.
I guess this means that when it comes to salad, I can no longer “leaf” it alone.