Wow.

Okay, just a warning here: I’m about to wax poetic about a salad.

I hate salad.

I LOVED this salad.

To even admit a salad is “decent” is an epic feat for me, since as a general rule, I hate salad.

I hate soggy iceberg, limp veggies, and pathetic puddles of balsamic vinaigrette.  I hate the entire attitude that surrounds salad, the stigma of “diet” food, and the entire concept of “low-fat”.  As a general rule, I really don’t like that many vegetables either.

Yes, I’m a vegetarian.  Why do you ask?

So, for me to eat a salad, it has to be not just good, but dang good.  And the salad dressing can easily make or break an otherwise acceptable salad.

This dressing.  Oh, this dressing.  It definitely made this salad.

The funny part?  It wasn’t even salad dressing!  My new rule is, salad dressing is for losers.  Instead, be creative, spice things up.  And whatever you do, heed my words: make this salad.  Why?  Because my sister is a genius, that’s why.

Don’t make me tell you twice.

Would you believe I cleaned my stove just so I could show you this?

You’re gonna want to start with the freshest, most crisp ingredients you have.  If you use flaccid lettuce, your salad will be fail.

I began with two large leaves of romaine, roughly chopped.  Oh, okay, that’s a lie.  I didn’t chop them.  I took to them with a pair of scissors.  You can tear them, if you want, or chop them.  I’m not going to judge.

Layer that lettuce in the bottom of a large bowl.

Next, chop up a half a tomato, and drop that onto your bed of lettuce.  From your refrigerator, pull out that ear of corn your mate grilled for you this weekend, and shave off half of it directly into your lettuce.  Grilled corn is almost as good as good as roasted, yum.

The romaine was crisp, the tomatoes firm, and the corn was sweet and smoky.

Next, you want to toast your tortillas.  I used two small corn tortillas.  I bought whatever was the cheapest at the grocery store, and I think I paid a dollar for something like twenty tortillas.  Crazy.  What’s a person going to do with that many tortillas?

I’m sure they do wonderful things with them.  I did wonderful things with mine.

Toasting your tortillas is a cinch, but it does sound complicated.  I’ll do my best to describe it.  First, turn on your burner and adjust to medium-high.  Place a tortilla down on the support beam (?) right above the heat.  Keep a close eye on them, because they burn quickly.  Flip every few seconds or so, until speckled with brown spots and you can actually smell it.  Once that amazing smoky odor of toasty tortilla wafts up to your nose, you know you’ll be in for a treat.

Come on, doesn't that make you crave a salad?

Cut your tortillas into half, then half again.  Rim your bowl with the tortillas.  You’ll need those as grabbing/scooping utensils later.  Silverware is for losers, too.  If all salad dressing and silverware ran off to a desert island together, I wouldn’t miss it.

To eat your salad, you’re gonna want to pick up a wedge of tortilla, pinch it between your thumb and index finger, and just get up in there with the salad, grabbing the nommiest parts with your tortilla-grasping fingers.  If you don’t wish to use tortillas, you can easily use tortilla chips, which will provide a level of crunch that will most likely send your mouth into a frenzy of delight.

Now here’s the important part: you’ve knocked out your base layer, and you’ve integrated your eating apparatus (some people call them tortillas).  What will you dress your salad in?

Pretend it's not healthy for a second, then all becomes right in the world.

I used two things, and those two things changed my life.  Heck, I just may do something radical like eat another salad next month or so just to taste this again.

First, I dumped a hefty gob of refried beans onto the salad.  If you have your own home recipe, by all means, use that.  I had tinned ones, and they needed to be used up.  Use them up I did.

Then, brace yourself, for what you’re about to taste may cause you to drop dead from sheer happiness.  Then your zombie self will come back, and instead of craving human brains, it’ll crave this amazing dip instead.

A delightful assortment of tastes. Yum!

In your food processor, pulse 1 hunk of onion (about 1-2 tbs, to taste), 1/4 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp lime juice, 1/4 tsp minced garlic, 1/2 of a ripe avocado, and here’s the kicker: 1 cup of fresh, raw spinach.

Oh, stop gagging.

You can’t even taste the spinach.  It bulks up your guacamole and mixes in perfectly with the taste.  Plus, it’s green, so it’s not like you can see it in there anyway.

It passed the toddler test, too.  My sister fed it to her son and he inhaled it.  What did I tell you?  She’s a genius.

Heck, I’m a picky old vegetarian, and even I inhaled it.

Pulse your guacamole dip in your food processor until creamy, but not liquid.  You want to keep some of the amazing texture that makes guacamole what it is.

Dump the entire food-processor’s worth of guac dip straight onto your salad.

Grab a tortilla wedge, and pinch a huge glob of beans, guacamole, and vegetables.

And smile.  Smile real big, because you’re actually eating a salad, and you’re loving it.  Your body will thank you, if it can over-talk the singing of your tastebuds.

This is truly the best tasting salad I have ever had in my life!

Recap?  Why, sure.

Avocado-Spinach Guacamole Dip:

1-2 tbs minced onion

1/4 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp lime juice

1/2 ripe avocado

1/4 tsp minced garlic

1 c raw spinach

Add to food processor, and pulse until the desired texture.

Mmm…yes.  I told you my sister was brilliant.

Thanks for reading!  Stay tuned for dinner, wherein I attempt to make something with the plethora of food in my fridge.  I have no idea what I’m gonna make, either.

❤ Kaz

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