You Can Cook--Inventing a Salad

Time for another installment in my YOU CAN COOK series. This time I show you how easy it is to INVENT A SALAD. Yes, you can cook, and you can create (invent) a salad out of a bit of this and a bit of that and your favorite foods for inspiration.

Today's example. In the fridge, I had four leaves of prewashed romaine lettuce, iceberg lettuce, avocados, red onion, sweet red and yellow peppers and limes. On my kitchen counter there were tomatoes, oregano and extra-virgin olive oil. I also had Feta cheese, which I always have in my refrigerator. It's not Mexican, but it resembles Queso Fresco, so I added it to my salad invention.

I love guacamole. What the available bits and pieces reminded me of was guacamole. I didn't have cilantro, but oregano is a typical Mexican herb, so I went with that. And here's what I did.

  1. I combined the two types of lettuce and cut them into strips. Tossed them into the salad bowl.
  2. I chopped red onion, seeded and sliced the peppers. Into the same bowl.
  3. Diced tomatoes and sliced the avocados into large pieces. Lime juice over the avocado to avoid browning.
  4. A little sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. A generous sprinkling of dried oregano.
  5. Just before we were ready to eat, I drizzled a generous amount of good extra-virgin olive oil over the top and crumbled the feta over everything.
  6. I tossed everything well, and tasted it to see if it needed salt or lime juice or feta. I made the adjustments, tossed it again and sat down to eat.
What will your inspired salad creation be? For me, I could have mashed some of the avocado to make the dressing a little creamier. I could have added toasted sunflower seeds, but I didn't see them until after dinner. A little dab of sour cream and a bit of salsa might have been good also. We topped this salad with sauteed shrimp, but I could have served it with leftover chicken.

Take inventory of your pantry and refrigerator and get creative. This is YOUR salad, and no one's watching. Make it work for you. YOU CAN COOK!

Following are a few links to some of my other salads. I hope that they inspire you to invent your own.


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