Posts Tagged ‘lettuce’

Salads: Beyond a Plateful of Lettuce

Upon finding out that I’m a vegetarian, people always ask me, “So, what do you eat? Salads?”  I used to respond with annoyance about how I hated salads, that vegetarians are people, not rabbits, and that everyone on the planet is completely narrow-minded, but now I suppose I have to eat my words. Sort of.

Salads aren’t inherently awful.  But, the simple garden salad with ranch dressing and croutons, aside from serving as a delicious side to a pizza hut Veggie Lover’s pan pizza, bores me to tears.  Creativity, wins again though, and I’ve found several places in Boston that serve delicious varieties of salads – go figure. Here are my two favorites:

1) Sal’s Pizza – Located in the center of Boston University’s campus (BU East T stop on the Green Line B), Sal’s offers multiple varieties of giant-sized, boxed salads to go.  The garden salad and Greek salads are my favorite because they each have distinct sets of ingredients and generous helpings of veggies aside from lettuce.  They offer about 10 different options for dressings, which is great if you’re me and tend to get bored quickly.

2) Panera Bread – The Greek Salad: This salad offers a healthy blend of romaine lettuce, vine-ripened tomatoes, feta cheese, peperoncini, red onions, Kalamata olives, pepper & the house Greek dressing. A classic for all time, this salad is only topped by the Tomato & Mozzarella Salad, a seasonal salad which is a mix of, you guessed it, chunks of tomatoes and mozzarella cheese.

If you’re looking to make your salads at home, but you’re looking for something other than the traditional garden, greek or caesar, here’s the recipe of a Waldorf-style salad I really enjoy.  Some people prefer mayo, others yogurt – I like both, but I prefer yogurt in my salads.

Waldorf Salad with Yogurt

  • 1/2 cup chopped, slightly toasted walnuts
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup celery, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup green seedless grapes, sliced (or a 1/4 cup of raisins)
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, cored and chopped
  • 1 Red Delicious apple, cored and chopped
  • 3 Tbsp yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 Tsp Cinnamon
  • Fresh Spinach Leaves

To make the dressing, mix together the yogurt, lemon juice and spices. Toss the apples, grapes, raisins, celery, and walnuts with the spinach. Then, mix in the dressing and serve.  This salad is great followed by a small bowl of ice cream.  It’s perfect for late summer/ early fall, or really, for as long as you can find good apples.

Tacos! Burritos! Comida Mexicana!

Replace the beef with beans. No, really, I don’t want any meat.

taco spread

Lettuce, tomatoes, onions, refried beans, guacamole, sour cream, Mexican blend cheese, Old El Paso Taco Shells, and Sweet Leaf Iced Tea

Delicious, Vegetarian Hard-Shell Tacos!

I am secretly (or not-so-secretly now, oops!) in love with Mexican food.

Unfortunately, many Mexican restaurants lack for a vegetarian selection, and sometimes I’m worried that meat accidentally fell into my tacos or burritos. The good news is, all the ingredients (yes, I realize they aren’t as authentic as if they were homemade) are readily available at any supermarket and preparation of these dishes is rather simple.  So tacos can be made at home! If you’re feeling particularly ambitious, you could fry the beans yourself instead of buying the canned kind.

The basic ingredients are listed above. I like to add Cholula hot sauce and red salsa to my tacos as well, but unfortunately, I forgot to pick up those ingredients tonight, and I apparently ran through all my hot sauce without realizing it. I piled in the refried beans – which are much better heated on the stove in a saucepan rather than in a microwave oven, sour cream, lettuce, onions, tomatoes, guacamole, and cheese (in that order), and voilà! Tacos!

Warning though: tacos tend to fall apart as you eat them… but that just means you have taco salad on your plate when you’re finished eating what managed to stay in the taco shell.  More taco? Most excellent!


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