A Tale of Two Salads!
The first salad is a winner! It has complex levels of flavours from the fresh bite of mint and cilantro to the small explosions of pomegranate sweetness. And each mouthful is a study in textual contrasts among soft, chewy, and crunch. Nothing about this salad is expected or traditional. Plus it’s pretty too. Yum, I love it!
The second salad is a loser! It has too many tastes and textures plus really annoying pomegranate seeds. This story belongs to the spouse who grew up in an upright English Canadian family where dinner was a roast, potatoes, and peas. Not surprisingly, he prefers food that comes without surprises.
two eaters…two salads…the same serving bowl
Sometimes, I contemplate two kitchens, but honestly, the spouse does put up with a lot of culinary experimentation and manages to remain good-humoured—well, most of the time.
Besides, wouldn’t life be boring if we were all the same?
I gave a luncheon on Saturday for six in which I did NOT cater to my gluten-eating, okay-with-lactose friends in any way.
Rather, I served a meal that I felt everyone would like, but it was designed—from soup to nuts—for the two of us who had gluten and dairy sensitivities.
Minority rules! Way to go!
Challenge #1: The original recipe—Incredibly Healthy and Tasty Quinoa and Turkey Balls at the FeedRight for People blog—called for chopped olives. Big problem. The spouse is opposed to olives of any shape, colour, or taste. (Where did I find this man? you may well ask.) On the other hand, I love olives and knew they would add terrific flavour to the dish.
You are likely to think I’m not quite in my right mind to be making a stew using winter vegetables in the summer. But, honestly, there’s a method to my madness. Some of you may recall my post about cooking for stays on our boat. We have a barbecue on the stern rail where the captain can grill meats and vegetables, but I also prepare food in advance so that we can have variety and I don’t have to toil in the miniscule galley.
FYI: My husband is the captain, and I am first mate and cook. When we’re on the boat, we share about 300 square feet of living space. How does this work maritally? Well, he has a shirt that says “Captain,” and I have a shirt that says “Don’t Yell at Me!” Generally, the atmosphere is very pleasant although there have been moments…but back to the stew.
So, as you can see, it isn’t so crazy to make a tasty, filling, healthy, and crazy-quilt colourful pork stew whose leftovers can be frozen and then eaten when floating at anchor. This recipe takes some chopping but it’s worth it!
Tabouli is a wonderful dish. It’s delicious and healthy for you, textured with crunch and snap, and has a lovely smell, dominated by fresh parsley, green onions, and lemon.
Still, from a weight watcher’s perspective, tabouli has problems. It can be heavy in carbohydrates if the ratio between quinoa and vegetables leans towards the quinoa. And many recipes call for more oil than a dieter would want.
How, I wondered, could I make this more of a diet dish while still retaining the tabouli goodness? My solution was to cut the oil dramatically and add new crunchy vegetables, snow peas and green beans, to the classic ingredients of tomato, cucumber, parsley, and green onions. I’m now thinking that I could have also added baby bok choy; I’ll try that next time and let you know.