Salad Days

A colourful mixed salad  on a white plate with a pot of white dressing

At the age of 68, rather than writing myself off (literally), I decided I still had a lot to offer the world of employment. I was prompted to this by friends who refused to give in to age and have built successful careers after retirement – made me feel a bit ‘undynamic’, actually.

But it seems that the world of employment had little to offer me unless I was prepared to accept a minimum wage, which I was not.

So, I’m driven, not for the first time, to embark on self-employment. It feels the only way to receive the remuneration I am worth. Unless some amazing employer turns up in the meantime.

I don’t mean to be big headed, but I was lucky enough to be born with a wide collection of skills and talents that many others don’t have in one package. This post features one of the skills, that I picked up from my mum and ran with – well not exactly ran, more marched briskly .

To wander off for a moment, as I am prone to do, I have been given a monumental gift in the weight-loss department thanks to my friend Georgia . Unlike most people in these posts this is her real name because she deserves the publicity. Georgia helped me change my subconscious attitude to eating using Belief CodingĀ®. So far this has been successful and liberating in as much as I am now attracted to healthy foods and can stop eating when full. I’m sure many of you think this is the only way to eat, but for me, controlling my eating was a constant battle. I don’t call myself Girth Mother, or Lil (-letts: expand width ways) for no reason.

Anyway, liberated from guilt and attracted to healthy foods, and being a regular listener to The Food Program (BBC Sounds podcast), I discover many health benefits of eating home grown food and fermented foods: Improving gut bacteria (But Gacteria, as it’s known in our house through my propensity for inadvertent spoonerisms) and improving mental health and digestion. Do listen, especially to UPF WTF? and Feeding your brain : A user’s guideand Eating Wild. It’s not more rubbish about diet, it’s based upon genuine science. Knowledge is improving all the time.

I have grown a few vegetables over the past three years. Mainly peppers and chillies, beans, cucumbers, courgettes, herbs and tomatoes. This year I added lettuce to the mix and lost the cucumbers because the crop is impossible to eat oneself and can’t be given away; everyone else has too many.

It’s a great feeling to gather your own salad for lunch. I’ve developed a recipe that I eat most days because it’s so delicious. A time-saving tip: I generally cook my potatoes and vegetables in advance then use them all week for quick meals.

How can salad be delicious, you might ask. Read on…

Lil’s Salad

Lettuce (a variety of colours) – a good handful torn into bite sized pieces
Cooked French beans – as many as you like
A small amount of finely diced onion maybe half a slice.
Diced red pepper – half
Some chunks of cucumber (donated by a friend)
3 or 4 cherry tomatoes quartered
2 small, cooked new potatoes diced
Corriander leaves – good handful – don’t be afraid to use plenty
Mint leaves – good handful – ditto
Beetroot – one ready-cooked ball (not pickled)
Hellmann’s light mayonnaise – heaped tbsp
Tim’s Dairy Kefir style Greek Yoghurt – heaped tbsp
Small amount of milk to thin the dressing and enable it to mix with the rest of the ingredients
Good4U salad topper (I like the garlic and chilli and the Super Seeds varieties)
Crumbled cheese (The illustration above has Feta. I also love Shepherds Purse Harrogate Blue) – not a lot. maybe 30g

Wash and dry everything.
Finely chop the mint and set aside
Arrange the vegetables and corriander on a plate and throw on the salad topper and mint.
Mix together the milk, kefir and mayo for the dressing and pour onto the rest of the mix.
Toss everything together.
Top with the crumbled cheese

You can change the cheese, swap it out for some other protein, add other salad ingredients, change the herbs (but I recommend keeping the mint). The two most important ingredients are the salad topper and the mint. Also, very good is sweetcorn, and the dressing can be changed to oil and vinegar with any ingredients you fancy. I usually add made mustard, salt and pepper and perhaps a dash of Opies ginger syrup, which sadly doesn’t appear on the Opies website, but can be found easily with a web search.

Just to say that I have added links here because the items I mention happen to be my favourites. I don’t get any benefit from the companies.

If anyone would like a temporary assistant chef, help with developing recipes, help in any form that this post might suggest, please contact me.

Nam Myoho Renge Kyo


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