When I lived in Philadelphia, under the great foodie reign of Stephen Starr, I had some of the greatest restaurants (arguably in the country) within a stone’s throw from my apartment. At one of his restaurants, Continental, there is a chopped salad on the menu that is so simple, yet so absurdly delicious, that I still think about it.
Sunday, which marked day 14 of the challenge, was also the day that we decided we needed to add more dynamic ingredients to our meal plan, and one of the first menu items was, of course, a chopped salad.
The Continental salad was a mix of chopped romaine, tomato, red onion, feta, chicken in a red wine vinaigrette. Since several of those ingredients were on the ‘no-no’ list, things were improvised, and some ‘crunch’ was added to liven up the experience a bit. In the bowl we’ve got: chopped romaine, tomato, red pepper, celery, avocado and sliced almonds.
The salad was a perfect compliment to the burst of spring-like weather we experienced last weekend, and sort of a last supper for the premature spring (is it really premature if it is overdue?). Snuggling up to the salad we had flank steak from Wolf creek Farm, here in Charlottesville, and a side of broccoli slaw sautéd in coconut oil with a pinch of coarse sea salt.
This week brought yet another round of heavy wet snow, so in complimentary fashion the meals took on a more comforting cold weather appeal.
Of course there was spaghetti squash. It’s such a great comforting base for so many meals, and just completes the snowy winter feel of the week.
To top it off, I took some of the remaining ground beef I had frozen after the insane deal day at Whole Foods, browned it with yellow onion, and added in some uncured turkey bacon and the whole foods pasta sauce (the only one with no added sugars).
This was by far my favorite meal by far. In fact, this might be one of my favorite meals, ever, and it was even better as a leftover lunch.
To stay true to the carb, protein, fat balance, and my need for green in every meal, the spaghetti squash bolognese was served along side a tomato, cucumber and avocado salad drizzled with balsamic and light olive oil. It was perfection.
When you get excited thinking about the next day leftovers before you finish the first round of the meal, you know it’s a winner. Even Tank gave it his seal of approval, and with a grill like that you know he doesn’t mess around.
We’re now 16 days into the challenge and this week’s meals have been the best of all, so I’m thinking we’re just approaching some of the most inspired and diverse meals of the month.