Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Are You Gonna Eat That?

I'm always looking at what everyone else is eating. Likewise, I'm frequently asking what people have eaten for dinner the night before or what they are planning to eat for upcoming meals. I've never thought about whether this could be considered odd to some and I imagine that I will continue this line of questioning for as long as I am alive to eat and cook. If you are in my path, you may be subject to my oddities and obsession with what you're eating. I apologize in advance.

Much of the reason I do so much food investigation is simple: I'm inspired by others. I love to recreate meals I've had as a child, meals I eat at restaurants, see on TV, and read in magazines. Lately I've been inspired by the people I eat lunch with on a daily basis. My co-worker and friend, Emily, brings a lunch bag to work like I've never seen before. This rather petite woman packs a bag like she won't have access to food for at least a week. It is almost as though it is a magician's special lunch bag; things just keep coming out of it even though there can't possibly be enough room for the amount of Tupperware she puts in there. I admire this kind of lunch packer, though. I am a minimalist when it comes to lunch. I pack only the essentials and by afternoon I'm cursing myself for not bringing more to munch. After years of this same gripe with myself, I have yet to learn. Instead I admire Emily's abundant lunch bag with longing eyes and say things like, "oh, well if you aren't going to finish it, then I guess I'll try it" when she offers me bites of this and that. Soon enough she'll catch on to my seagull style and may begin to be less generous when she figures out that I'm always secretly hoping she'll dole out some food my way.

On a couple of occasions she has brought in this fragrant and fabulous broccoli salad. My first whiff had me salivating and saying my secret little prayer ("please offer me a bite, please offer me a bite"). Sure enough, I got a mouthful of sweet, tangy and salty. This past weekend I took a shot at recreating this salad. I think Emily would have been proud. It's a perfect combination of sweet and salty, tart and mild. If you have trouble fitting in fruit and vegetables, this is a perfect way to do it! It comes together easily and the longer it sits, the better, making it a perfect lunch take-a-long.

We served it alongside bison burgers. Ladd and I love this alternative to the usual red meat. It's lean and tasty and makes even a burger seem special. You may be surprised to learn that bison has less fat than an equal amount of skinless chicken! Check out bison central to learn more about this tasty protein.

Who needs burgers and fries when you can have bison and broccoli instead? Healthier, tastier and easy to make. To take this full circle, serve it with a natural soda. Seltzer water and a squeeze of lemon, or splash of of orange and you've got a soda that, in my mind, tastes far better than that sugary stuff in a can. And with the weather in D.C. reaching 80 and 90 degrees, it was like having a little sneak preview into some summer favorites.

Broccoli & Apple Salad
serves: 2-4

1 large broccoli, stem cut off so you have little florets
1/2 red onion, small dice or thin slices
1 apple, large dice
1/4 cup blue cheese
lemon juice from half a lemon to keep the apples from oxidizing

1 tbsp. mayo
1/2 tbsp. mustard
splash or two of balsamic vinegar
two splashes of red wine vinegar
2 tbsp. blue cheese crumbles
salt and pepper to taste

Mix the salad ingredients in a bowl.  Mix the dressing ingredients in a jar or salad dressing bottle and give it a good shake until all the ingredients are mixed together.  Pour over the broccoli salad and stir until all is well coated. 


Lazaro Cooks! said...

I could go for a burger right about now. Looks tantalizing. By the way I had catfish Thai-style last night. Quite nice.

Chef Dennis said...

sounds like this would be a great addition to my salad bar at school.

Nazarina A said...

I have never had a bison burger and I think that I live in bison central LOL!That burger sure looks yum!

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