I had a BIG salad for lunch today. Do you remember that episode of Seinfeld? Elaine wanted George to pick her up a salad at the coffee shop...but she wanted the BIG salad. George had never even heard of a BIG salad...and had an issue with paying for it, and of course everything went sideways from there! I have always been a 3 meals a day sort of eater. Not only 3 meals a day...3 BIG meals a day. I had a dad and 2 older brothers, so if they were having a full meal at lunch...I wanted one too. I always remember when we lived in Yellowknife. I was in grade 5. My dad had a hotel with a coffee shop...kind of like the one in Seinfeld. I would walk to the hotel at lunchtime... through the front door, and all the way to the back. There was a waitress named Mary who worked there...and she called me little Sam, because I looked just like my dad. At the very back at a table to the left, sat my dad, and two or three of his friends. They would be drinking coffee, waiting for me to show up. Now my dad wasn't a typical parent. He never asked me how I was, or how school was. All he wanted to know was what I wanted for lunch. My favorite meal at that crazy coffee shop was Veal Cutlets, with mashed potatoes and gravy, and frozen peas/carrots/corn, with a white porterhouse roll. We usually had pie for dessert! My dad and his friends would sit there and eat their lunches, and marvel at how a 9 year old could put away that much food! I still remember how proud he was of my appetite...and it was even more remarkable because I was a GIRL!! After lunch, I'd put my parka back on and head back to school. Holey trans-fats Batman! It's a miracle I stayed AWAKE for the rest of the day.
Maybe my childhood cutlets and pie make it easier for me to have salad for lunch now? When I started going to Weight Watchers, the idea of having salad for lunch was SCARY. What if I starved to death? I mean salad was something you had BEFORE you ate the veal cutlets...not INSTEAD of the veal cutlets!! So what I did was make a BIG salad. I needed to have some volume. I needed to do lots of chewing and swallowing...and I also needed some protein. A bowl of vegetables does NOT keep me full for very long...and after a day or two, my stomach begins to ache with all the heavy digesting, combined with the acid from the salad dressing. Over the last couple of years I have put just about everything into my salads...and had some really good discoveries. My salad today consisted of the following:
Fresh crisp green leaf lettuce ( washed and torn into bite size pieces ready to eat.) I DO NOT buy bags of salad. I bought a huge lettuce on Monday that cost me 49 cents, and I washed it and spun it dry...didn't take 5 minutes
1/4 red pepper, cut into small pieces ( much easier to digest than green pepper)
1 carrot sliced into thin pieces
Italian flat leaf parsley chopped ( Stems and all...gives a nice taste to the salad )
1 hard cooked egg
shavings of Parmesan cheese
roasted sunflower seeds
dressing, I make it from scratch and change it sometimes, but the basic for a large plate of salad is 1 tsp olive oil 1 tsp red wine or balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp grainy Dijon mustard, dried tarragon, salt, pepper.
I waited about an hour after I ate the salad and had a glass of apple juice and soda water, and a banana. I'll have a yogurt in another hour or so, and then have supper later with the P-Man. It's hard to believe, but I haven't starved, yet! My dad would NEVER have believed it!