On Kitchen Sink Salads and the Vanishing Light

Salad with avocado, potato, shredded carrots, cucumbers, and tomato.

It was only 4:00 when this photo was taken, the light almost completely blinked out on an already dark and rainy day. As I’m sure you can imagine, it’s very difficult to peel yourself off of the couch to go outside, especially when a fireplace, an afghan, and pot of tea are involved. I decided to go out running, meeting my sister in the middle of our respective homes to embark on a further walk down by the water. I hadn’t really anticipated the fact that it was 4 degrees Celsius and pelting rain, my rose tinted windows had apparently given me a cozier weather vignette than was actually true. Despite my resistance to get outside on days like today, I’ve realized how crucial it is for my ongoing mental health and wellness. I actually find the rain a lovely environment for running around in, especially compared to Ontario snow and especially when I have the promise of a long shower and extra soft pajamas in my dresser drawer. When I got home an hour later I was soaked to the bone, slightly exhilarated, and rapidly growing colder.  After a hot shower I made another pot of tea and assembled a kitchen sink salad AKA my favourite kind of salad. If you’ve never made a kitchen sink salad before it’s basically taking all of the relevant salad ingredients out of your fridge and pantry and combining them however you’d like. Leftovers are great for kitchen sink salads, in this case I used up some leftover roasted potatoes, hummus, and guacamole from when I had friends over on Saturday night. All I had to add was some red leaf and iceberg lettuce, chopped cucumber, grated carrot, scallions, tomatoes, black sesame seeds, and a simple lemon and olive oil vinaigrette. I ate this salad wrapped up in fluffy towels and wearing Ian’s LL Bean flannel housecoat, watching an episode of my current bad TV obsession Pretty Little Liars with the fireplace glowing warm in front of me. Salads with this much heft are super filling, they’re jam-packed with nutrition and colour. A leftover doesn’t have to be a fruit or vegetable, throw in any cold cooked grains, legumes, salsa, roasted chicken or sliced steak, homemade croutons (use the last of that stale delicious bakery bread with some olive oil and kosher salt), tzatziki, sliced leftover omelettes or a piece of frittata, marinated olives, pickled vegetables, cut up fruit, and basically anything else you think would be tasty in a giant salad with the works. I like to think of these salads as an even easier way than soup to clean out the crisper and rest of the fridge, there’s no simmering required and clean up is a snap.

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