I’m not really much of a salad girl!
Yes, yes I know, not only is this a salad post but I posted a few recipes for salads a few days ago. But the truth is, I’d rather just eat a bunch of raw veggies, then go through the trouble of eating a salad sometimes. I LOVE vegetables, just love ’em but that does NOT, a salad lover make.
I like some salads, don’t get me wrong! But the reality is most of them are bad for me so I’d rather just stick with the raw veggies on their own, sans dressing.
The truth is, I know ‘salad’s’ dirty little secret; not all salads are that good for you!
Take a McDonald’s salad with bacon and fried chicken and lots and lots of dressing. (Yes, take it, figuratively not literary, don’t go running to McDonald’s for goodness sakes!) I’m fairly certain it has almost twice the fat and calories as, say, a plain hamburger (but do not quote me that’s not an official statement), but I just spent all of 30 seconds googling this fact and came up with this article on www.omg-facts.com . “if you get a salad with crispy chicken and salad dressing, you could be consuming 35 grams of fat – the fat equivalent of 4 hamburgers.” HA HAH! Ho Ho! hehehe 🙂 Gosh I’m smart!
Yup, there you have it. So why did I just ruin your day (if you happen to be a McDonald’s salad eater which I am not…bad experience with a raw chicken nugget when I was 5..never again)? Because I have a SUPER yummy, very basic entrée salad for you, and I’m not going to pretend it’s all that healthy just because there’s some lettuce in there. Don’t let that stop you though! Oh no, you should definitely give my Avocado Steakhouse Salad a try…and let me make it healthy for you…I would like to preface this my saying that if your first instinct is to swap out turkey bacon for the little bit of bacon I use (about 1 slice), please don’t bother.
I’m a Cooking Light subscriber. I find bacon in numerous recipes throughout their magazine. The reality is this; bacon, in small quantities, is not all that bad! “How dare you say such a thing?!” Because adding just a small amount of bacon adds such amazing salty, smoky flavor to almost anything, you really don’t need all that much! Again, I’m no doctor or scientist but when I think about all the stuff turkey must go through to become bacon, it makes me a little nervous. You can actually get “un cured” bacon at many health food stores such as Whole Foods and Trader Joes these days so I’d rather go with that option…but that’s just me.
Now this salad, oh this salad. If you have been to a steakhouse you are probably familiar with this salad. It’s basic components are this:
- a wedge of iceberg lettuce (would that make it an icecube?…just curious),
- blue cheese dressing (and occasionally blue cheese crumbles, personally, I say yuck to that. I know, a cheese I don’t love who knew it was possible?!) and
- a peppered, hard-boiled egg.
The egg must be peppered. It is critical, just ask my Dad.
Now I wanted to change this a little and I’ve got some healthy swaps for you if your interested. We ended up with avocado on ours because we happened to have an avocado left and Matt thought it would be a good addition (good call dude). I also, did NOT use blue cheese dressing on my salad although Matt sure did. My dressing wasn’t all that healthy and I’m REALLY looking forward to making this with The Pioneer Woman’s Homemade ranch dressing I found in her cookbook the other day (that darn book prompted me to have dreams about chicken fried steak, onion strings, cowboys, prairie fires, ranch dressing and calf nuts! Note: stop reading cookbooks written by The Pioneer Woman before bed Lindsey.) Sadly, I need my herb garden to wake the heck up first but I promise you I WILL be making it!
I used a creamy garlic italian dressing. I cannot for the life of me remember the name but it’s in the refrigerated section in the produce aisle and it’s very, very
good naughty. BUT, it’s good and the avocado and egg make this salad nice and creamy so you really do NOT need a lot of it! I also swapped out a sprinkling of cheddar cheese for blue cheese, obviously not saving calories here I just LURV cheddar cheese (I LOVE IT!!). Ok, sorry. Here are a list of other healthy swaps I suggest but leave in the avocado, it adds nice good fat and creaminess…I’m all about creaminess.
- raw sunflower seeds toasted in a pan with some smoked paprika (will give it that nice smoky taste as a sub for bacon!) and sprinkled with a little sea salt
- a vinaigrette (there are few vinaigrettes I can actually stomach because I’m vinegar adverse BUT a slightly sweet balsamic with some honey would be very nice)
- tomatoes (if your into that sort of thing, which I can not)
- skip the cheese or use low-fat cheese (it’s not all that critical)
That’s all for now, I’ll now FINALLY get to MY salad.
Avocado Steakhouse Salad
(makes 4 entrée sized salads)
- 1 head of iceberg lettuce (washed, dried and cut into 4 wedges, bottom removed)
- 4 slices of bacon cut into pieces
- 1 avocado sliced
- 4-6 tbs shredded cheddar cheese
- 4-8 eggs (I used 2 eggs per salad to up the protein but you can use one)
- 4-8 tbs. dressing (blue cheese, ranch or creamy garlic italian..or olive oil and vinegar if you can stomach that sort of thing)
- start by cutting the end off of your iceberg lettuce, rinse, shake and let dry on a clean towel like so:
- Next, cut your bacon into pieces.
- put your eggs into a small pan and cover with cold water just until the eggs are covered. Place on the stove and turn heat to high. When the water reaches a rolling boil, turn down slightly, let boil for 1-2 minutes and then shut it off but leave the pan on the stove. This is how I make my hard-boiled eggs, you do what you want, it’s a free country! (name that movie!)
(someday, I will have a light over my stove…and a gas stove..oh and a fan/vent over my stove that would be awful nice..)
- Meanwhile, heat a small pan over medium high heat and add bacon to the pan before it is heated. this renders off more fat.
- (shoo away admiring dog once smell of bacon permeates the air…shoo away admiring boyfriend as well..animals)
- Cook the bacon until it’s done and then immediately remove with a slotted spoon onto a paper towel lined plate to drain.
I used 2 layers of paper towel to make sure that it didn’t sit in the grease.
- prepare (cut) slices of avocado.
- drain the water from the eggs, fill with COLD water and crack and peel eggs. Cut in half.
- ASSEMBLY! Place a wedge on a plate, drizzle 1-2 tbs. of dressing over the wedge (very important to do this first…Matt did not do this and couldn’t figure out why his bacon wouldn’t stay put), then top with 1/4 of the avocado, 1 tbs of cooked bacon, a sprinkling of about 1-2 tbs. cheese, and then place the egg on the plate. Sprinkle the whole thing generously with freshly cracked black pepper…
now cut the whole pretty thing to pieces, mix it together and make a mess! (this is optional) 🙂
(Haha, that’s the Pioneer Woman’s Cookbook on the table next to the salad! Matt was reading a recipe for chicken fried steak to the dog when I got out of the shower..we are trying to teach our children how to cook…)
This, was very yummy, very filling, very satisfying. I know the wedge doesn’t look like much lettuce…until you cut it up and it takes up the whole darn plate and then some! I tend to be a baby green lettuce girl but there’s no substituting iceberg for a steakhouse salad…much like there’s on substituting romaine for a Cesar salad, it just cannot be!
Tonight I’m not so sure what’s for dinner, it may be fantastic…it may be boring but whatever it is, …uhm..it is! (lame)
TRAINING AND FOOD JOURNAL
TRAINING: I’m thinking elliptical and lower body. Yesterday, it was actually much nicer than I expected so I went for a run!…I did horribly! I’m suppose to be running for a minute and a half, then walking the same, then RUNNING for 3 MINUTES and then walking for 3. I think I only pulled off running for 3 minutes straight once. I’m in big trouble here…
- BREAKFAST: 1 cup of homemade granola and 3/4 cup almond milk (this…is the last of my homemade granola. remember when I thought I had enough to last me a good decade? That was before I fell in love with it and ate it every morning for breakfast soaked in lovely almond milk….I will be making more this weekend)
- LUNCH: leftover steakhouse salad from last night. Filling much?!
- DINNER: Anybodies guess. It’ll probably be something out of the freezer…either chicken cordon bleu with broccoli and rice or turkey sausage catchatory…although that means I should have taken that out before I left home…oh dear.
- DESSERT: strawberry whole fruit bar (“Wha?? I thought you gave up dessert?!” Well, my friends, I have lost 3ish lbs and after reading one of my new favorite blogs http://canyoustayfordinner.com/, I am resolved to change my attitude towards food..and eat dessert…but stop treating it the way I do. It is not a reward, it is not a blanket for my emotions, it is something yummy and wonderful and should be enjoyed, but responsibly. I need to stop treating dessert like an alcoholic treats alcohol; once I’m finished with one, going around looking for more and more and MORE! Because, I simply LOVE dessert and to go without seems silly. I had a very small amount (VERY small, we were almost out) of coffee ice cream last night with some caramel sauce and 2 crushed up chia snowball cookies (left over from Christmas but still wonderful forzen). It wasn’t a lot and it’s less than I would have eaten normally but it was great and perfect and I’m o so proud of myself for enjoying it…so there! 🙂 )