My friend El Capitan is bemoaning the fact that he needs to get off the packaged food and onto "rabbit food" again. Since my last visit to the doctor, I've had to reevaluate my own eating habits, but have come up with a lunch that's not only healthy, but I look forward to every day:
Omnibabe's Yummy Summer Salad:
1 or 2 fresh, vine-ripened tomatoes, cut into chunks
3-4" piece of cucumber, quartered and sliced
A couple of green onions, sliced or a healthy handful of chopped sweet onion (Walla Walla or Vidalia)
Feta, bleu cheese or goat cheese crumbles (or a handful of shredded cheese of your choice)
EVOO (don't be cheap -- buy a fancy-schmancy one)
Balsamic vinegar (or white balsamic)
Plus any or all of the following:
1/2 a red, yellow or orange pepper, rough chopped (or green pepper if you like 'em -- I don't)
1 small, ripe avocado, diced
Sugar snap peas, rough chopped
Thawed frozen peas
Thawed frozen corn
3-4" piece zuccini or summer squash, quartered and sliced
Handful of fresh broccoli or cauliflower, rough chopped
Chiffonade of fresh basil or oregano to taste
Handful of rinsed canned cannellini, kidney or black beans
And, if you really, really need animal protein:
1 small can of tuna packed in water, drained, or
1-2 strips cooked bacon, crumbled, or
Handful of chopped cooked chicken, or
Handful of chopped cooked turkey
Line a bowl with tomato, then salt and pepper to taste. Add the cukes on top, and salt/pepper again.* Layer the rest of the veggies on top. Drizzle the whole mess with a little bit of olive and then a generous splooch of balsamic. Stir, cover and let sit for at least 15 minutes. Stir again, then garnish with a sprinkle of cheese crumbles (and a protein, if you need it -- I don't) and half a dozen olives.
This is seriously yummy stuff, which I now crave more than just about anything. I now keep a bottle of balsamic in the fridge and EVOO in the cupboard at the office and shop either the French Market at my train station, or the local farmers markets on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I'm eating fresh, healthy and TASTY (not to mention pretty darned cheap), and I'm never hungry.
One More Thing:
Forget the low-fat salad dressing (which generally tastes like crap and is loaded with sugar). Apparently you need a little fat in order to absorb the good stuff in your salad.
*The salt helps release the juices in the tomatoes and cukes and, when mixed with the EVOO and balsamic, helps to make a lovely low calorie salad dressing.