I have very vivid dreams of running marathons, drinking only green smoothies and making dark green leafys a main part of my diet. Then I wake up and remember that I'm too tired to run, I don't really like most dark green leafy vegetables, and chocolate, pasta, and cheese are my one true loves. The dreams should count for something though. That doesn't mean that I don't try to eat healthy and nutritious meals. I am a firm believer in eating a sizable portion of vegetables, limiting intake of high fatty foods and cakes, (yes, cake is its own category) and ensuring that I have portion control no matter what I'm eating. Doesn't mean I actually do, but I believe that I should, which should also count for something. Though eating fried sushi and nacho cheese fries tastes really good, it doesn't feel good after when your belly is way too full. It most definitely doesn't feel good the next morning when you step on the scale and see that you have gained 3 pounds. That's why I should really be having huge salads for dinner every night. I don't obviously, but I should.
It took me a while after I got married to realize that men eat more than women. I used to prepare dinner and put the same amount of food I would eat on my husband's plate. The poor guy, without saying a word, would finish the tiny lady size portion and thank me. Then, in the middle of the night, after I fell asleep, he would sneak into the kitchen and make himself a big sandwich or something like that. Meanwhile, I would get compliments from everyone we met on how well I must have been feeding him judging by how much weight he gained. Until I figured out what was really going on. Since then, I have a perpetual fear of not making enough food and having my husband go hungry. That is a big reason why I never make one big salad for dinner. I imagine my husband with a growling tummy, tossing and turning because he's too hungry to fall asleep.
I must have asked him about 50 times before I made tonight's dinner if it was okay and he was absolutely sure he wouldn't starve. He didn't. Starve, I mean. Don't worry. No husband's were harmed in the making of tonight's dinner. But the salad was huge! We're talking very very large! It was chock full of protein from the grilled chicken, carbohydrates from the corn, and super veggies like broccoli and asparagus. The best part was I could have as much as I wanted and still feel great and guilt free afterward!
The vegetables I use here are just suggestions. Feel free to fill the salad with your favorite veggies, fruits, nuts and even croutons!
The dressing recipe makes enough for two or three huge salads. Don't use it all on one salad because that is kind of missing the point. Also, disclaimer about some vegetables I use. Some of these vegetables are hard to check for bugs. Please ask your own Local Orthodox Rabbi regarding checking laws and vegetable use.
Big Green Salad with Green Goddess Dressing
1 package mixed greens
1 English cucumber, seeded and diced
1 package grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1 can of corn, drained and rinsed
1 bunch asparagus, woody ends trimmed and sliced into 1-inch pieces
1 head of fresh broccoli, cut into florets
Fill a large pot with salted water. Bring to a boil and add the asparagus and broccoli.
Blanch for 1-2 minutes, drain and douse in cold water to stop the cooking process.
Allow the vegetables to cool.
Mix the rest of the vegetables together in a large bowl.
1 package boneless chicken breast, pounded thin
1 to 2 tablespoons vinegar, like cider, balsamic, or red wine
2 to 3 teaspoons fresh herbs, like thyme, oregano, rosemary, or tarragon
1 to 2 tablespoons mustard, whole grain or Dijon
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Mix all ingredients in a large Ziploc bag and marinate for 30 minutes to 24 hours.
Heat a pan on high heat. Lay the chicken cutlets in the pan and cook for 5-8 minutes on each side or until an internal thermometer reads at least 165 degrees.
Allow the chicken to rest for 10 minutes. Then, dice into small cubes. Add to the salad.
Green Goddess Dressing
2 cloves garlic
½ cup fresh basil leaves, packed
¼ cup fresh tarragon
½ cup fresh parsley
2 tablespoons fresh chives
½ cup vegan sour cream
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon capers
Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste
Blend all ingredients in a food processor until smooth.
Season with salt and pepper as needed.
Toss salad with desired amount of dressing.
Dressing will last in the refrigerator for 1 week
Chicken Recipe Adapted from The Food Network