Gourmand Geets : Experiments with Salads

Some days ago, an old school friend posted on Facebook that she used to be a thin girl. I couldn’t help but empathise. I used to be a VERY thin girl and never imagined that I would ever have to control my foodie urges. (let’s ignore the fact that I didn’t have foodie urges back then and had the appetite of a sparrow.) I’ve had phases of being not-so-thin but never have I had to seriously think about and actually work on losing weight…till now!

Being thirty didn’t change anything in my life, except for one thing. One big thing. The ability to lose weight easily. And so here I am, leading a healthier lifestyle. I go for a 45 minute brisk walk every day, I avoid fried/greasy food (no more fries!) and I’m eating healthier, which means I’ve been experimenting even more in the kitchen, fixing lighter meals and eating a lot of salads and soups.

When I started, I was sure I wouldn’t be able to stick to the light dinner, i.e. mainly salads, rule. But over four weeks later, I’m going strong. I started by following recipes strictly, but gradually let my creativity take over, throwing ingredients together often on gut instinct. Fortunately, for me, the result has not yet been a failure. I’ve tried several combinations, sourcing inspiration from my favourite sites, Master Chef and Secret Garden of course.

My favourite however remains my first break away from typical salads made in my house : a lettuce salad tossed with the ingredients I found in the market and some heavenly feta cheese soaked in a delightful mix of olive oil and herbs.

Ingredients :

Iceberg Lettuce – 5/6 leaves
Capsicum (not seen in this image)
Feta Cheese
French Dressing

My initial plan was to play safe and use cherry tomatoes, but when I didn’t  find any, I decided to use cherries to add some colour to the salad.

Steps :

Chop the capsicum into 1 cm cubes and put into a bowl with 15-20 cherries, around 10-12 olives,a few pieces of feta cheese and some fresh iceberg lettuce (gently torn into smaller pieces). Pop into the fridge for 15 minutes.

Bring out the salad bowl and toss the ingredients along with some French salad dressing. Crumble some feta cheese on top – le voilà, your salad is ready!

Serve the salad with some chilled wine, preferable white wine – I recommend a good Chenin Blanc, or if you like something smoother, a Sauvignon.

P.S Try a variation of this, since mangoes are still in season. Add 1 mango (preferably Alfonso) chopped into 1 cm cubes and add some cucumber as well. The zingy sweet of the mango, couples delightfully with the crunch of the capsicum and cucumber. Serve the salad with some mashed potatoes and Reshmi Kebabs and you will be transported to gourmet heaven!

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