Bob’s Excellent Lunch-time Salad

I am constantly on a quest to find things that are healthy and incredibly gratifying to eat. As the result of my many trips to Italy I’ve come away with an appreciation of a dining experience where the food is really great and you wind up being incredibly thankful for the experience. Here, then, is a quick and easy recipe for a wonderful salad that will have you thanking your lucky stars.

Anyone can make this salad, and in fact, change almost any of the ingredients to suit your particular tastes.  It helps to have the best quality ingredients you can muster, particularly the olive oil. California is really great for produce, so we have a bit of an edge out here. But where there is a will, there is a way.

Start with some nice romaine lettuce. Wash and dry it well. Shred or finely chop two carrots and add to the salad. Add 1/4 of a cucumber,  5-8 cherry tomatoes, 1/2 of a ripe avocado (or a whole one depending on how hearty you want this salad), a small amount of chopped cilantro,  a small amount of walnuts (based on your preference), 2 tablespoons of crumbled blue cheese, and one good sized ripe fig cut into small bite-size pieces. Peach is a good substitute!                                                                                                                                                                                   Put all these ingredients in a wood salad bowl. Add 2-3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and 1 tablespoon of good quality balsamic vinegar.  Believe it or not, Costco has great olive oil and balsamic vinegar at a very reasonable price.  Toss the salad, and you are ready to rock!

You can also add a few pieces of another cheese, like manchego. or a good swiss cheese if you want some more protein. I put in edemame (cooked soy beans) sometimes. You can also throw in some brown rice to fatten up the salad. Sometimes I’ll throw in some leftover chicken or steak if it is here.

The point is, this is an incredibly nutritious, tasty, and low-calorie salad that is crazy-good.  When I eat this salad I don’t feel like I need bread, or anything else for that matter. It holds me until dinner very nicely. Add a nice green tea and some almonds and dark chocolate for dessert, and life is good, baby!

If we all gave more thought to our diets we wouldn’t have the magnitude of health care issues in the U.S. simply because we wouldn’t need all those doctor visits.  Strive for tone!!

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