My fundas about what to eat and what to avoid, moderation in eating junk and chocolates and the importance of salads and fresh fruit have always been in place. It is altogether another matter that I don’t practice (ok, that’s an exaggeration, I should say I don’t follow to a ‘T’) what I preach. Oh, how easy it is to elucidate about the goodness of colourful veggies (really, what a sight rich greens, reds and yellows jostling for space in your bowl is!) and fresh fruit and write post after post on how you made this and that!
But how ridiculously difficult it is to not pop into your mouth that enticing piece of thattai (a savoury south-Indian snack) that looks so darn longingly at you after you’re through with the biggest bowl of salad one could ever imagine eating! Surprising, isn’t it that your tummy feels so full when you look at another serving of your salad, however appetising, but suddenly feels not-so-heavy when it comes to your favourite dessert!
But such are the ways of life and it is the tongue that rules over the mind, in my case at least! And hence, the need to make the fresh-o-meter as interesting and as different as possible from the previous day. Not that I succeed every time. Quite a few times we end up stuffing ourselves as soon as the salad is ready so as not be tempted by other stuff.
In fact, I just won the let’s-eat-out vs. lets-cook-at-home battle with hubby batting for cooking at home, and I, for eating out. It usually is the other way round, but this time, I want to eat at this restaurant called ‘Sanjeevanam’ that serves a large variety of raw, half-cooked and cooked vegetables in generous proportions, before they even come to serving rice (it is a banana leaf served meal, and mind you, very very tasty stuff!).
Ram, on the other hand, has not cooked for the last two weekends (he dons the chef toque only during his off-days) and is itching to handle the pots and pans, but I know equally well that the two-week hiatus from the kitchen will result in him being free with the use of oil, something I totally cannot afford to eat after a three days of GORGING (the caps is intended!) on calorie-rich food.
Anyway, coming back to salads and making them interesting, the first time I really ‘loved’ a salad that I ate only that for my entire mean was at Subway, some three years ago. We had gone with Ram’s sister and her family to a popular neighbourhood restaurant only to find that the waiting time was 45 mins. But the kids were all particular about dinner there, so we booked a table for 45 mins later and walked into the Subway next door and ordered a salad (we were all quite hungry). And I so liked it, I ordered one more salad and skipped dinner at the restaurant.
Now, we make salad/sandwich similar to the one at Subway pretty frequently. It is a good balance between raw vegetables that scores on the health front and delicious creamy sauces that satiate the taste buds. We had it for breakfast a few days ago and this is how I prepared it:
Bread/Footlong – any variety as per your choice (you can use this recipe to make your own homemade bread)
Mixed coloured peppers (ok, capsicum) – 1 cup (diced or sliced or chopped fine)
Onion (small) – 1 (sliced/chopped fine)
Tomato (sliced) – 1 (I used the green variety and loved its tang)
Gherkins – 2-3 (sliced or chopped into roundels)
Mustard sauce – 1 tbsp
Tomato sauce – 1 tbsp
Mayonnaise – 1 tbsp
Note: You can use whatever other salad vegetables you like – fresh green peas, tomatoes, cabbage, carrots, olives, capers etc
Arrange chopped veggies on a slice of bread/horizontal half of a footlong
Spread sauces and cover with another slice
Eat gluttonous proportions without much guilt!
PS: You could also mix the sauces with the veggies and eat as salad