Gourmet salad, college dining hall

I’ve been in a salad mood lately. That’s unusual, since I generally have maintained a non-salad stance since birth. A couple weeks ago, I went to my friend Amy’s house to make mashed potatoes, stir-fried beef, and salad. I asked her if there was anything I could bring. “Sure!,” she said, “I’ve got everything but salad ingredients. Well, I have olive oil and balsamic.”

Like the good scrimping and saving college-student I am, I headed to Trumbull dining hall to swipe what I could of its salad-making ingredients and put them in the Glad containers my dad correctly swore would come in handy. Lucky for me, they had a ready-made salad that night that was great: mixed greens with beets and crumbled sweet goat cheese. Unfortunately, I was stupid and only brought one container with me, so we ended up making do with some pears, blood oranges, and whatever greens, beets, and goat cheese I could fit into my Glad box.

We tossed the sliced fruit, greens, beets, and cheese with a little bit of olive oil, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, a pinch of salt, and some freshly cracked black pepper. At that moment, with the combination of salty and sweet, salad won me over. Since then, I’ve become a new eater.

Today I went to the salad line at Commons determined to recreate the vibrancy of fruit and salad. I loaded my plate with spinach, topped it with raisins (ideally, I’d go for Craisins), sprinkled it with a small spoon of sunflower seeds for nuttiness and sliced some Honeycrisp apples on top. I drizzled the whole affair with balsamic vinegar and olive oil and peppered it. No pinch of salt here, since there wasn’t as much fruit or citrus involved as the salad I made at Amy’s. Then I noticed that Commons was serving lemon-herbed chicken breast, so I decided to make it into a chicken apple salad with raisins and sunflower seeds. Who needs ABP anymore?? Here’s a picture of my efforts:

and another one for good measure:

What you need:

  1. your choice of greens
  2. raisins/craisins if you so desire/have them
  3. some chopped nuts if you like
  4. fruit (apples, pears, or oranges generally)
  5. some protein. or you could go without it
  6. your dressing of choice (mine is always e.v.o.o. and balsamic. thanks rachel ray)

Where: a dining hall. mine was commons. yours might have different ingredients available

Time: it took me literally 4 minutes to make

Cost: FREE(!) if you’re on a meal plan

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