Monday, June 20, 2011

Salad For Dinner????

Growing up, I ate a lot of TV Dinners.  They gave me this weird obsession of having to have a big ol' piece of meat on my plate, with two large helpings of sides and a dessert.  A salad for dinner was unheard of in my house until just a few years ago. Once I started regularly cooking for myself, my dinners would consist of HUGE hunks of meat, usually covered in gravy or a sauce, baked, mashed or roasted potatos and some kind of veggie out of a can...usually corn or green beans, smothered in butter.  I can't believe I ever ate this way and didn't weigh 200 pounds.  It's not easy to eat healthy if you don't know how to cook.  Which is why I'm here trying to encourage you to get in your kitchen and try it.  It's really not that hard.  It's actually fun and you'll feel such a sense of accomplishment when you watch someone close their eyes and moan after a bite of your food...believe me!!  It's an awesome feeling! 

Yesterday I was craving spinach salad for dinner.  I know, I know, *GASP*, a salad for dinner??  But this really is a hearty salad.  You won't feel like you didn't eat enough food.  You are getting 2 pieces of bacon and 2 eggs, so calm down.  Take a deep breath and eat this salad for dinner.  You will be satisfied, I promise.

Here's What You Need:
<*This recipe is for 1 large salad - I never said I was totally reformed.>
2 eggs, hard boiled
2 handfuls (I know...I'm very technical) of spinach, washed and dried
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 handful of white button mushrooms, dirt removed with a damp cloth or towel (Never rinse your shrooms).
2 slices of bacon
1 tbsp of Dijon
1 tbsp of Red Wine Vinegar
Bacon Grease (shut'll be's not that much)
1 tsp honey
Salt & Pepper

Here's What You Do:
Hard boil your eggs.  To do this, put your eggs in a pot and cover with water.  Place the pot on high heat.  Bring water to a boil.  Boil for ten minutes.  After 10 minutes, turn off the water, but allow the eggs to sit in the hot water for 5 more minutes.  Take the eggs out and rinse with cold water.  At this point, I put my eggs in the freezer, because I like my eggs cold on my spinach salad.  Or you can put some ice over them in the pot.

Next, fry up your bacon in a skillet over medium heat, turning until crisped to your liking.  I like mine really crispy.  Once your bacon is cooked, set aside on paper towels to soak up the grease, then crumble bacon.  Pour the bacon grease from the skillet into a cup and set aside. (You should get about 2 tablespoons).

Add spinach, mushrooms, and shallots (you can use red onion, but I kinda prefer the sweetness of a shallot) into a large bowl and toss so everyone gets distributed.

For the dressing:  Add bacon grease to a skillet.  Add in honey, Dijon and red wine vinegar, whisking until everything is incorporated.  Add your dressing to your bowl of spinach, shallot and shrooms and toss so that everyone gets coated with that heavenly smokey, tangy, yet sweet, dressing (my salad was NOT dripping with dressing.  Everything was just slightly coated for flavor.)  Salt and pepper the salad.  Peel your eggs and slice them.  Top your salad with crumbled bacon and eggs.

By no means am I trying to say I'm a healthy cook.  Read past entries and you will see, I love me some hearty, heavy meals.  But I do prefer fresh food, changed from its original form only ever-so-slightly.  I really do like to taste what I'm eating and I really do prefer my food to be only lightly lemoned, salted, olive-oiled, etc.  I'd eat Mediterranean food every day of my life.  I'd rather eat a piece of fish with fresh herbs and roasted veggies over chicken fried steak any day. 

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