I am a firm believer in eating fresh when possible. In the summer time I do it more because there are more fresh ingredients around.
Today, I happened upon a really nice combination that actually left me feeling pleasantly full, a rare feeling after eating a salad. I mostly feel like salad is a lovely starter, but the real food is the main course. So, today’s lunch salad was a pleasant surprise to me.
Chicago has been having some really cold, for May, weather. We had 30s and 40sF some mornings last week. Because of that I had cooked up some barley and was using it with a soup I made up in my slow cooker. Well, all of a sudden the weather has shot past late May into July and August as we have mid to high 80sF here.
The good news is that I had eaten the last of my slow cooker soup on the weekend. The bad news (on first glance) is that I still had a lot of barley left over. What to do with it? mid-summerlike weather is no setting for a hot soup.
So, I tried to concoct a salad appropriate for the weather.
I got some baby spinach from my grocery store. That would be the basis for the salad.
To a couple of handfuls of baby spinach, I added a carrot cut into thin coins, a handful of walnuts cut into small pieces ( I always like to have a protein source in a salad ), a handful of fresh blueberries for a sweet accent, a couple of mushrooms cut up and finally, about 1//2 to 3/4 cup of the cold already-cooked barley from the fridge.
The salad oil I used was Newman’s Light Balsamic Vinegar because I think it has a great ‘spark-up’ taste in a salad.
Mix it all up well and dig in.
My little impromptu salad turned out to be a great success. The barley added enough ‘weight’ to the ingredients to fill me up very well. I definitely did not find myself looking around for something to eat when I finished.
The 2/3 cup of barley yielded 129 calories 0.5 grams fat, no cholesterol, 3.1 mg sodium, 29.6 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber and 2.4 grams of protein. The Balsamic vinegar showed 2 tablespoons as 45 calories, 4.0 grams of fat, no cholesterol, 470 mg of sodium, 2 grams of carbohydrates, no fiber or protein.
This was definitely a low calorie high nutrition meal. As with all salads, the amount of salad oil you use will add to the calorie total, so at least pay attention to how much you use. Each to his own.
As you can see, this simple piece of Lazy Cookery fell together in a matter of minutes. Check it out and always feel free to add or subtract any ingredients that you might like more, or just happen to have in the fridge left over.
You too can be a lazy cook.