I’ve been hitting the gym hard for the last couple of days.
Now before you think I’ve given up my foodie ways and resigned myself to a life of gluten-free Seitan and sugar free almond milk (both of which are actually quite delicious, if you know what to do with them); I haven’t.
Not a chance.

In my mind I’ve worked out an elaborate and complex scheme, where I can trick my body into thinking I’ve given up my hedonistic ways, but still continue in sweet sweet uninterrupted bliss.
Mwhahah.
Next stop, world domination.

I overheard a conversation the other day between a mother and her child.
Cute as he was, he was refusing to eat his salad.
My inner monologue, was that of a typical old fogey. I think it went along the lines of:
“kids these days… blah blah blah…. don’t know what’s good for them… blah blah blah”.
That was until my salad came and I tasted the dratted thing.
YUCK!
No wonder the child didn’t want to eat it, it was horrible. This kid was smart.
Can you say overdressed?
I don’t know why it is, but I’m always suspicious of anyone who douses anything in that much salad dressing.
What are you trying to hide?
They might as well have given me a bowl of thousand island, ‘decorated’ with a few bits of veg.
If you could call it veg.
It was limp, lifeless and had clearly given up the ghost, moved on and had been re-exhumed, at some point mid 2014.
Ok. So I’m over-exaggerating.
But you should have tasted that sorry excuse for veg, to understand why I was so put off.
I watched that poor child squirm and shake in rejection, and as I took my second bite, we both shared a look of understanding. I ate it in solidarity. My looks of anguish reassuring him of the fact that I understood his plight.

It got me thinking of all the quick and simple salads, I make every now and again; they’ve become second nature.
As far back as I can remember the Salad Queen (aka my mother), would give us beautifully carved and decorated salads as a snack. They were always made fresh, always brightly colored, and so I guess I never paid much attention to the essentials of a good salad. It was not until I moved out that I realized that, what I called salad was worlds away from the stuff most people dreaded ate. And even shocking still, was that salads had even come to designate as ‘poncy’ food.

I’ve decided that from time to time, I’ll share some of our home salads recipes.
They are ridiculously simple, but you’d be surprised at how many people still miss the mark.
You may not like the flavors, you may not even like some of the vegetables I’ve decided to use, but remember that they’re always customizable.
Your salad journey shouldn’t just stop at Caesar! Or those over-chlorinated salad bags they sell down at your local Tesco.

My I’ve-Just-Come-Through-The-Door 5 Minute Simple Salad
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For a video breakdown of how I made this, click this link!

Ingredients
Tomatoes – try and use different sizes, colors or even types.
Cucumbers
Beans / Sugar snap beans / corn
Sweet Peppers / Mild Chili peppers – I live for the spicy so a half of a jalapeno thrown into the mix really helps wake you up after a hard day of working for the man.
Olive Oil
Paprika
Salt and Pepper
Lemon Juice

Instructions
1. Start by dicing or slicing all your veg.
I’m a lazy one, so I just hack at them till they cut but if you really want to pull out all the stops (like my mother always does), you can try carving them. For inspiration, check this out: Vegetable and Fruit Carving
2. Next add your olive oil.
Be generous, think Spanish doses of the stuff, it doesn’t have to swim in the oil, but you’ll want every inch of  your veg to be merrily covered in the stuff.
3. In a separate little plate mix together your salt, pepper and a pinch of paprika.
Be sure to taste your mixture, you don’t want too much salt or pepper.
In general, I usually put in a teaspoon of salt and pepper and a quarter teaspoon of paprika a portion of veg. However feel free to alter the ratio to suit your taste.
4. Only toss in your spices, and squeeze your lemon juice in, once you are ready to serve.
It really adds a new dimension of flavor if its just freshly added because the paprika leaps out at you when its freshly sprinkled.

I hope you like it, and if you do, please tell me so I know to put up more.
I’ve started compiling lists of all the variations of salads in my old noggin, but lets start slowly and wean into it, shall we?

Enjoy x

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