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LJWorld.com weblogs Eat Your Vegetables

Cooking away the CSA, week 23: Quick and seasonal side salad

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Easy, no excuses salad.

Easy, no excuses salad. by Sarah Henning

If you've followed this column for a long time, you know that salad is always my default. It's my best friend at dinner and lunch, and my old stand-by when I have no idea what to make.

And even though I'm tight with the little green bowl of awesome, I'm well aware that I'm not in the majority. Homemade salads can seem like work. So many ingredients to have. So many things to chop. So much ... green.

I actually used to think the same thing. As in: If I didn't get my ingredients from a salad bar, I'd be chopping and prepping until my stomach pulled rank on me and sent me straight for the easy button (aka a sandwich, crackers, chocolate chips, etc.). Plus, I didn't really think it was a salad without certain things on hand, like store-bought dressing or tomatoes or (when I ate it) cheese.

But, over time, I've come to love the "kitchen sink" qualities of the dish. Really, once you figure out what you like in your salads, you can pretty much throw together one you'll enjoy without any planning (or thought) at all. Eventually, it becomes quicker than making anything else, and so satisfying that it's worth the wait if you have to do a bit of chopping.

This week's salad is a perfect example. It was totally thrown together at the last minute to go along with some leftover fajitas, but it was delicious, healthy and used up some of our delicious bounty from our Rolling Prairie CSA share.

Quick and Seasonal Side Salad

2 handfuls baby spinach

1 red bell pepper, chopped (from our CSA)

1 carrot, chopped

10 garlic-stuffed olives, chopped

1/4 cup almonds

Olive oil and lemon juice, drizzled on to taste

Divide all ingredients among two bowls. Enjoy. Serves 2.

What’d we get in our Rolling Prairie CSA this week? Two types of tomatoes, butternut squash, okra, hot peppers, sweet peppers, garlic and greens.

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