Monday, May 2, 2011

When a Salad is More Than Just a Bowl Full of Lettuce: By Healthy "Sous" Chef Partyologist, Lea Bowen

Chef Nancy and I do the majority of our cooking at the Cancer Wellness Center, and like to provide the staff and sometimes a patient or two, to a salad for lunch on the days we are there. Most often our salads are spontaneous creations, built from leftovers and items on hand in the kitchen. They are never the same, but always delicious. A heaping bowl of greens piled with tomatoes, avocados, black beans, cheese and a homemade balsamic vinaigrette are the ingredients in the salad bowl, but the thing that makes these salads taste even better is the fact that we actually take the time to sit down and eat with our colleagues. Having a few laughs with new acquaintances over lunch, nourishes your soul, while the wholesome salad nourishes your body. These noon time salads have become my new comfort food and I can't help but feel a bit deprived when I don't have the time or opportunity to sit down to a good salad for lunch. In our fast paced lives, it is so important to take the time to sit down with your family, friends and collegues and enjoy a few minutes of peace, laughter and healthy food. This is truly what tasting and savoring life is all about!

Making your own salad dressing is super easy, and tastes better, too! Check out my recipe for balsamic vinaigrette:
1/2 cup Balsamic Vinegar
1 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 TBSP Whole Grain Dijon Mustard
Sea Salt and Pepper to Taste

Place all ingredients in a jar and shake well.