Hmmmmm. I seem to be a single girl and I love nothing more than cooking for myself (Ok, I like cooking for others a little more but only because they help with the dishes afterwards). The kitchen in my apartment is what sold me on the whole thing. It is approximately 30% of my total living space but worth every square inch. My refrigerator is smaller than the average bear (Play on words. Who got it?) but it’s covered top to bottom with family pictures, meaningful magnets, notes, race bibs, postcards and more. It’s piled high with cookbooks and cooking magazines that I occasionally crack. Some people are recipe followers, some are experimenters. I’m of the latter persuasion, but I can’t help buying the colorful cookbooks. They just make me feel like I can achieve more in the pan/oven/cutting board arena.
If you don’t feel like you can achieve something by cooking for yourself, how can you achieve anything for yourself? Ok, overkill I know. But, you must first take care of yourself, then move on to others. It’s like being on an airplane when the oxygen goes out. The flight attendants tell you to put on your mask first, then help those next to you. It’s taken me a long time to understand this concept but I’ve finally grasped it. The urge to cook for myself has always been here though. Even if the dishes are dirty and the pots need to be soaked. That’s what Sundays are for right?
One of my favorite dinners is a protein salad. Since I’m training (one race this weekend, two next weekend) protein and clean eating = fantastic. Now, if only I could kick this sugar habit! It doesn't help that I have four pints of gelato in my freezer Damn you Groupon!
This salad takes about 10 minutes to cook, start to finish and only uses a cutting board, knife (I use my grandfather’s old bread knife. I've owned it for almost 10 years now and haven’t had to sharpen it once), one plate, one pan, a spatula, a fork and a small mixing vessel for the dressing (I use a sake cup…) I wash the cutting board and knife while the veggies are cooking so there is less to clean up at the end. When I was in 5th grade, our teacher read Cheaper by the Dozen to us. Ever since, I try to do things as efficiently as possible. Just like the dad in the story who told a complete stranger about the fastest way to take a bath. Look it up. Fascinating stuff.
So, is it the most beautiful salad ever made? Maybe. Is it absolutely delicious? Yes!
My Power Protein Salad
Trader Joes jalapeño chicken sausage (turkey cutlets or other meat)
Veggies (onion, carrot, broccolini ,bell peppers, kale, anything!!!)-sauté in this order
Sauté sausage and veggies (don’t overcook veggies) in olive oil and place to the side. (Note: If they don’t all fit in one pan, sauté one or two items at a time and set aside.) Then turn down the heat to very low and fry your egg in a little extra olive oil so it doesn’t stick.. Salt and pepper to taste. Turn egg once and turn off heat. Cut the egg into strips or pieces with your spatula. Pour everything over a bed of fresh spinach and cover with a mixture of equal parts balsamic vinegar and olive oil with a dash of cracked pepper. Admire its beauty. Devour.