Friday, April 23, 2010

Easy & tasty summer salad!

Let me preface this by saying: I'm not much of a cook, this is a big moment for a girl who used to have a husband to cook for her all of the time! In the year that I've been single after my divorce, I've dabbled more in cooking, but honestly, I must say: cooking for just yourself sucks. It's hard to spend a lot of money on rich ingredients and take the time to cook a delicious and intricate meal for just me. But, I need to take more time to do things to make myself joyful and appreciate the little things. So, here is a meal I made tonight for myself.

So, there's a local vegan restaurant called "Garden Grille" in Providence and I LOVE their Pear & Asparagus Salad. I decided to make a close cousin of the salad on my own and here's how it went! PS, I'm not a vegan so I added my favorite salad cheese, crumbled goat cheese!

1st, I sliced pears (any type of pear will do!) and chopped the bottoms off of the asparagus. (I purchased both items from Whole Foods; also, ever since I've watched "Food Inc." I'm hooked on organic produce now!) I brushed the asparagus and pears w/ extra virgin olive oil using my trusty Pampered Chef silicon brush. (By the way, this $10-ish brush rocks! I hate the hair brushes that get all hard & crusty after using them! This one with a shot of warm soapy water is all clean and ready for its next job!)

Then, I put them on my Hamilton Beach indoor grille, which was one of the best $30-ish purchases I ever made!

Grill the pears till they are browned slightly and start to become a little translucent. The asparagus will need a little more grilling time. Then, I pushed the pears to the side for less intense heat until the asparagus was done.

Meanwhile, I prepped the salad: spring mix greens; crispy onions; chopped pecans; crumbled goat cheese.

Then, chopped the cooked asparagus & threw it (with the pears) onto the salad and mixed in some fat-free Balsamic Vinaigrette and there you go! Yummy!

PS, you could probably add chicken to give it more substance & protein.

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