This weekend we had some friends visiting, and as usual, we didn't prepare with some extra food, just thought they will eat what we eat. For Saturday lunch, we made some salad, with smoked trout (called Forelle here), and fruits for dessert.
They were very surprised (to eat salad for lunch), and asked how we cook. My wife started to think, and replied, actually we rarely "cook", we prepare most food as a salad or very fast.
They asked: "No potatoes?"
And we realized that actually we eat salad as side dish for almost every main meal, and sometimes just as main course.
They were surprised, but then we were surprised that they are surprised.
Then I realized that for most people here in Central-Europe, a main meal means meat (usually Wiener Snitzel, Frankfurter type or Goulash style) with potatoes, rice, or bread. Either as french fries, cooked, baked or steamed. But potato, or rice.
Compared to that, we are quite off-track.
I remember about 3 years ago, when I started to make my first salad. I had not the kitchenware to do it, had no clue what to put in, and seemed like a kind of a magic to make a salad similar in look and taste like those in a restaurant. It was not tasty at all, it was a bit "harsh", but it was green. I had to "force" myself to eat salad, and look up some "special" recipes, and was lost among store shelves hunting for ingredients I never heard of before.
But slowly, my salad-plane took off, and started to fly. First just nearby the base airport, but then onto new cities.
WHILE IN BARCELONA
The next milestone was about two years ago. I was on a course, and had dinner with others. I had salad for dinner the night before, and I was hesitating to choose salad again on the menu. Sylvia, a friend from Barcelona, was wondering what takes me so long to order. I explained my problem. "Salad after salad?!" She replied that actually they eat every night a salad as default, so she doesn't see any issue with my choice to be.
It hit me - salad to be the default?
And then I decided to try it for a week, salad is the default option for dinner.
It was good so I prolonged the trial for two weeks.
Then for a month.
Then for two month.
Then even longer.
At some point, I think I forgot that it was a kind of a task to eat salad for dinner, because I don't recall anymore to prolong that trial.
Now, it's the default option.
GETTING TO GRIPS
I don't need recipes anymore, I just shop for some interesting fresh ingredients, also depending the season, the weather, and how I feel, and then mix and match for a good taste, look, nutrition.
Over time, I fine tuned what tastes good with what, and also fine tuned the proportions. To keep it varied, I tend to vary the base leaves, the oil used, and protein.
Of course, I still use measuring spoons to add oil, I count the number of sprays of the "Acetato Balsamico" smelly whatever, measure the added vegetables on the digital scale, add green leaves, corn, beans etc. by predefined portions.
To save time, I usually make two bowls in parallel, for today, and tomorrow, and store the right portions for each meal.
We also have on the plan to buy a proper slicer machine, to speed up slicing, and to give something to my gadget-loving side.
In the nutrition tracker, I used to have food groupings for salad, but lately I started to enter "recipes".
My advice to newbies in salad land:
1. Get the necessary kitchenware
2. Try, try, try
3. Embrace your rabbit side
Here's the salad (ie the potato - rice kind of stuff on my plate for others) of today:
Recipe on SP:
Are you a salad eater?
What's your favourite?