What a week of eating it has been! Trying to keep the waistline in check while allowing moderate indulgences is a common challenge in the holiday seasons! And exercising every day helps but certainly can’t catch up with the overage in calories! Sigh. So here is a VERY light dinner that we enjoy when the holiday eating has just been too much. And if you are cooking with kids, they can help a lot with this dish. Of course no cooking is possible in our home without music – Rockin’ Grandma Music to be specific! And we have to feed the animals before we feed ourselves – here is a picture of the grandkids feeding the goats Dolly and Julia (yes, the very same Dolly Goat from the Rockin Grandma Music CD)Here is a fanciful song sample from the CD that is called Flying Cows. It is also the song that the children listen to while going in the car with their grandparents to the zoo to get some lion hairs to save Dolly Goat from Cy Coyote! Enjoy. Flying Cows Sample
Leftovers are the great deposit of holiday celebrations – and we always have bits and pieces in the fridge. Even though it is winter, a salad can go down very well as a light evening dinner after big lunches or even large brunches. Use whatever leftovers you have – you will be surprised how well they combine! We had some pizza, leftover roast lamb, of course tons of cheese – since we make our own – and this time we used feta. Also found some dates and dried fruit hanging around the pantry along with assorted greens including arugula from our farm. Grapes are a super addition too – if large just cut them in half. I also use our very own sun dried tomatoes – grown and dried right here – and kept in Italian olive oil in the fridge. This can also be made entirely vegetarian ( leave out the meat, chicken, fish and dairy). Give the children the job of throwing everything into the salad bowl and also tearing the greens into small bite sized pieces!
I always tell stories for kids – specifically about Sam the broken robot while cooking if the attention of the little ones wanders – and how he eats his vegetables all the time – and loves them! Of course Dolly goat comes into it too – since she loves to eat roses and any veggie leftovers too!
Whatever you have in the fridge that doesn’t need to be heated to be eaten – yes Pizza is iffy – but cut into small pieces cold it is still good
Sun Dried tomatoes
Assorted cheeses – Feta crumbled is best but anything will do even brie with the skin cut off!
Some meat, chicken or fish left over ( or if you have none, open a can of salmon, drain, take out the bones if any and skin and chop)
Chopped vegetables like carrots and peppers
One can of Corn drained
Frozen peas one cup defrosted or Snow peas, ends cut off, and chopped
- Chop everything into small pieces
- Take everything except the greens, and put them in the bottom of an attractive salad bowl.
- Chill in the fridge until 30 minutes before ready to serve then bring to room temperature
- Then at the last minute before serving, add the chilled greens torn into bite sized pieces
- Add the dressing and serve immediately. OR for those who prefer to add their own dressing ( I always ask) serve without dressing and put the dressing on the side. The reason why this works, is that the ingredients on the bottom of the salad all have a variety of moisture associated with them – sun dried tomatoes are in olive oil, corn is moist as are the peas, so for those who want to save the calories from dressing, the salad is quite delicious just on it’s own. Try it – you will be pleasantly surprised!
TIP: Half of eating is appearance – the other half is taste. So make the salad look wonderful in a beautiful bowl
TIP: Putting the moist stuff on the BOTTOM of the salad bowl is essential. That way the greens stay crisp and fresh – not wilted.
Juice of 2 lemons ( we use Mayer lemons from our farm)
Olive oil (twice as much as the lemon juice)
Parmesan cheese finely grated (you can buy it finely grated in the store – so much easier than doing it yourself although for purists, the taste is better when done fresh)
Salt and pepper to taste
Whisk all of the ingredients just before serving. Whatever is not used, can be kept for weeks in the fridge.