Where salad is another word for “stuff” and “stuff” is poop. If you’ve been reading stuff I’ve written so far, you’ll must already know how much I love doing dishes. I love it so much that I do them at least thrice a day. If I can’t find anything to wash, I make myself an unnervingly complicated bowl of food which requires no less than 83 utensils. Then I sit down and heave a sigh of relief because god knows what I’d have done if I didn’t have 83 utensils to wash.
I would have cried. Hopeless tears.
I’ve observed people around kitchen sinks all my life. Whatever they did while scrubbing blackened pots and pans looked simple enough. Yet, I felt guilt. Guilt that I did nothing to help dirty all those things and guilt that I only washed my own plate. And hand. Because that’s how we eat back in the South of the East. I knew it would eventually catch up to me.
All this love I had for washing dishes wasn’t going to stay bottled up in my big juicy heart forever. It spilled out into a sea of suds and blue scrubbers (many times over) ever since I started writing about my lust for eatable green world. Safe to say, I am overjoyed. I can now wash as many butter knives as I want without the slightest fear that somebody else (let alone a dishwasher!) is going to take away my sink full of dreams.
Butter knives? Sink full? It’s for when I want to study the wonders of natural peanut butter in pockets throughout the day. It’s going well so far, thanks for asking. Use a spoon, you say? Oh.
Studies show that using a spoon is a sure sign of an addiction. One that nobody should be willing to admit unless coaxed by observers forced to take out recycling bins full of jars that say “Skippy”. I speak like I know the truth, but really, all I know is there are certain cooking utensils that I love washing a lot more than others.
Spoons. Those same guys. Three sizes they come in. No idea why, but they’re breathtaking when you let the wonder that is running water caress their backs and it looks like a Vegas fountain. Turn the spoon the other way three seconds later and your face gets a free wash. WOW. Truly amazing.
Those scissor-looking things that people use to flip over bacon on pans and such. What a marvelous idea. I really do not know how my fingers have survived all these years without it. Washing the ends of this device is something I would give my left arm to Science for. And I don’t give things up to Science for nothing, ya know.
Knives. Oh if there was anything in the world that made me value the truth of dish-washing, knives would be it. Right on top. Number 1 and nothing less. How else could I explain the concern knives feel for me when they make me slow down. Pause. And breathe. And cherish the fact that it’s not those scissor-looking things that people use to flip over bacon that care for my fingers. It’s the knives. They love my fingers the most.
Non-stick pans and how little they actually make me work. I just have to blow on them and tuck them into a floor cabinet. Anything more is just too much Mama bear.
Pop yo collar (sometimes exploding) Pyrex. Because nothing makes me value my life more than having to see it all disappear in a matter of seconds.
Glasses where protein shakes once lived. They teach me the importance of soaking, and perseverance if I forget.
You see, I’m truly lucky. Blessed beyond measure. Ecstatic. Over the moon. Crock pot crazy! And if you know me, you’ll know that this is nothing out of the ordinary.
I feel like I’m starting to understand the vinaigrette formula better each day, and understanding it helps me adapt it to my arbitrary taste. I did a simple Internet search for a basic vinaigrette and most of them say that the ratio of vinegar to oil should be 1:3 (1tbsp vinegar:1tbsp oil). I’ve tried that formula and it works for sure but my Goan tastebuds are stubborn and they want more of the bite vinegar offers. You can tone it down if you prefer. I’m sorry if my vinegar-frenzy killed your throat or something.
- 1 cup black lentils, cooked and cooled
- 1/4 cup cooked and cooled quinoa (optional. I made this salad when I made those roasted carrots so I just threw in some of the quinoa that I used there)
- 1/2 cup roasted peanuts (unless you have allergies)
- 3 cups salad greens (I used a mesclun mix)
For the vinaigrette
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- Crack of pepper
- Zest of 1/2 a lemon or 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp Greek yogurt
- 1 tsp honey (optional)
To cook the black lentils, first you have to buy them. Bring them home, scoop out half a cup and soak them in water overnight or for 10-12 hours. The next day, drain the water and put them in a pot of water with salt on medium heat for 25-30 minutes. The lentils should be just cooked through and not mushy. If they are mushy, kick it in the face and use them anyway. Life’s too short to waste good black lentils.
Roast the peanuts on a dry pan on medium high heat until they release their oils and become fragrant. Rinse and dry the salad leaves.
As for the dressing, in a small cup or bowl, mix together the vinegar and olive oil. Using a spoon or whisk, beat it until it combines. Add the salt and pepper and lemon parts and mix. Finally add the Greek yogurt to hold the vinaigrette together with its fattiness. Mix in the honey at the end.
In a medium bowl, bring the greens and lentils. Pour as much dressing as you want over and mix well. Toss the roasted peanuts in and serve cold. Guaranteed to leave your kitchen sink only slightly overwhelmed.