Cooking,  Food,  Kitchen,  VeganMoFo

I’m a Former Salad Hater


Just about everyday I eat a salad at work. This may seem like a perfectly normal thing to eat for lunch but until I moved to Los Angeles, I hated salad and refused to eat it. I can’t remember exactly why I was so averse to eating salads, it probably had something to do with the fact that I had a whole thing about not eating cold foods (I still don’t like eating things cold like leftovers and pizza). So what changed my mind? Well shortly after moving to Los Angeles I wanted to try Madeline Bistro (RIP!) as I kept hearing was the best place for vegan food in L.A. so Scott and I ventured to the Valley and gave it a shot. They had a Cajun Caesar Salad with Blackened Tempeh which sounded interesting to me so I asked Scott if he would get it so I could try it (this is a ploy I try often when we are at restaurants, and usually ends with me trying to steal his food), he obliged and I tried the salad and loved it. I couldn’t believe it, I had eaten a salad and liked it and the sky didn’t run red with blood. So after that I started trying salads other places and would make myself a Caesar salad from time to time, I still wasn’t completely sold on salad but I wanted to like them and kept trying them when I felt the urge.

Flash forward to 2013 and I’m bringing a salad nearly everyday as my lunch for work. Now I still have a way to go with salad, I’m still just kind of making a variation on Caesar salad but I’ve added a few more things to it recently. My basic salad formula is: baby lettuce mix, shredded carrots, bacony bits, vegan cheezy salad booster, vegan parm, baked tofu (heated up) and Trader Joe’s Goddess Dressing. Now I know this isn’t the most healthy salad as it has so few vegetables, I like vegetables but somehow I don’t know which ones I would like in this kind of salad (if you have some recommendations let me know). Last week I decided to shake things up a bit and made an asian inspired salad (photo above): baby lettuce mix, shredded carrots, quinoa, edamame, baked teriyaki tofu and ponzu dressing. I like how light this salad is and think I will continue to experiment with it. So while I’m a 31-year-old woman who is still new to the world of salad, I feel like I am making some progress.

What are some of your favorite salad recipes? Share them with me so I can expand my salad repertoire!



  • Bernie Leinfelder

    What a gorgeous photo. I have a lovely cookbook, every page with amazing pics, called “Salads: Beyond the Bowl” by Mindy Fox. Truly inspirational. You are welcome to borrow it for a spell if you’d like. Once you think of ‘salad’ as being grains/pasta, and cooked veg…opens up a whole new world. i.e. curry roasted cauliflower with raisins and pine nuts, stuff like that.

  • kittee

    Yes, I agree. Maybe it’s mostly the way you’re thinking of salad. Call it a bowl and see if you like it more–grains, beans, greens, sauce. YUM.

    I’m the opposite of you, I mostly cannot deal with leftovers heated, I like them cold. Especially pizza.


  • The Saucy Coconut

    Ha! I have just been getting more into salads for lunch as well! I used to not care for salads too much, but if I make beans and greens my base, I am finding that I really enjoy it. I like Greek/Mediterranean style salads and had a ton of those lately: a bunch of kale torn up, some arugula, chickpeas or white beans, olives, artichoke hearts, cucumber, tomato…fresh hearbs like basil or parsley. For dressing, a little olive oil and lemon or balsamic blended up with garlic.

  • Dad

    I can vouch for her non-salad days. As a child, she would hit the salad bar at Steak & Ale and come back with cheese and those fried salad noodles!

  • Claryn

    Your pictured salad looks lovely! The only salad my parents ever made when I was a kid consisted of iceberg with ranch or Italian dressing, and maybe some chopped carrots. I haaaated it, but finally came around to eating salads as an adult once I realized I could add anything I wanted, and that lettuce doesn’t even have to be the main ingredient. Consider it a “bowl,” like Kittee said.

    Exploring all the different kinds of “salad greens” really opened my mind (–I’m nuts about arugula!). Some of my favorite things to add to salad are shredded carrots, chopped mushrooms (they soak up dressing nicely!), roasted veggies, and all manner of dried fruits, nuts and seeds. I love a mustard vinaigrette, but if I have enough fruits and nuts in there, I can also go without!

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