Last night was a late Saturday night of enjoying some outdoor live music, followed by an early morning of my dance class. By 9:15am on a Sunday, I am awesomely sweaty and feel reasonably incredible. I come home, my kids are groggily mulling about the house, enjoying a last lazy Sunday and there is the creeping hint of Fall in the air. I love the whole scene. I know it is blasphemy to want summer to end but, I am more of a spiritual being anyhow. So with the summer's imminent end, perhaps there is your desire to eat fewer cheeseburgers, truncate the hours of day-drinking and narrow the number of ice cream cones from daily to once a week.
My big back to Fall schedule trick? I know, the anticipation is mounting...Wait for it: Keep roasted vegetables in the fridge to throw onto or into anything. Sorry, not as exciting as you might have thought?
The process is equally not exciting (but so good). Open the refrigerator, pull out every vegetable you have and sauté it. Then put it in a glass tupperware and store it for days. This way when you open the fridge, you see this gorgeous, I-promise -delicious vat of goodness. Throw this sauté on top of raw lettuce, mix it in with some brown rice, layer on a fresh baguette with some cheese. Or do what I do and just sprinkle salt and pepper and eat plain. Anything goes. As long as it once grew from the land.
Any vegetable that you like. Here: zucchini, wild and white mushroom, baby spinach, kale, potatoes, scallion
Coarse chop all of the vegetables. Heat the sauté pan, sprinkle olive oil and put the vegetable in first that needs the most time. Here, potatoes. Yell at your kids to stop doing that. Whatever "that" is. Return to watch your vegetables cook. Once potatoes have browned, you can add the vegetables that are more watery like the zucchini or spinach because they won't steam the potatoes at this point. Give an ultimatum to your oldest kid that "he should know better". Throw in remaining vegetables, stir and brown to your liking, salt and pepper artistically and drop the mic. You're done. Or pick up the mic one more time if you want to sprinkle some fresh green on top, like scallion or parsley. And then drop the mic. Then give your kids a hug and make them try mushrooms.
So much better than the leftover chicken fingers that were your other choice when you opened the fridge. Happy end of summer.
We have just returned from Disney. A mere sixteen of us went. Correct, 16. It was great. And work. And fun! And the "happiest place on earth" for all of the remaining time that you are not yelling at your own kids. But the food? Holy Mickey Mouse! Definitely did not make it the happiest place on earth for me. Sorry, Disney but I don't think we were about to co-brand anyway, but you gotta work on the terrible food. So, because I cannot cleanse (I obsess too much about food when I cleanse. Seems to have the reverse effect for me), vegetable and fruits up the wazoo to undo Disney is my plan. And my strategy is Suzie's Salad.
Here: Suzie's Salad. Suzie is my mom. This is her signature salad that has fed legions, literally, legions of friends and family over the years. She has been known to make it and put it in a trough, like a massive ice bucket made for frat parties, and it disappears in minutes. She is called upon to make this for every Thanksgiving, holiday & event and there were leftovers maybe twice in 30 years. If you know how to cut a vegetable, you too can be the champion of your community with this one. I have taken on this legacy and make it for my friends and community and the power of The Suzie Salad is real. This is staying in my fridge, undressed for this week, as a Disney vacation antidote.
Below is for a large salad. This is large group kinda salad.
4 Heads of Romaine Lettuce
3 Large Gorgeous Tomatoes or 10 ish Plum Tomatoes
2 Orange Peppers
1 Yellow Pepper
1 Can of Garbanzos
1 Large Cucumber
1 Package of Mushrooms (any kind will do and we historically use simple organic button)
Black and Green Olives (We use canned or jarred of each but going fancy is fine)
1 Bag or Fresh Shredded Carrots
1.5 Cups Crasisins
Italian Good Seasons Packet Dressing
1 Tablespoon Grey Poupon Mustard
2 Tablespoons Honey
For Salad: Grab a cutting board and small chop away. The key is to chop everything small and bite size. The secret is the dressing. Here, I divided up the vegetables to keep them from getting soggy but I do not usually do that. I usually just throw everything into a bowl, dress and serve. But since it is going to last a few days, I will not dress it and go the extra step and keep separate.
For Dressing: Simply follow the directions on the back of the dressing packet. Additionally, add 1 tablespoon of Grey Poupon mustard and honey. Shake well. This dressing last months in the fridge. Is this the cleanest dressing? Nope. But not blasphemously bad. The secret of the secret of the secret of the dressing is you must put dressing on and then mix well and cover all ingredients. This is not a little drizzle over the top kind of salad! I actually put the salad and dressing in a tupperware and shake up to make sure I have ideal coverage. I guess you can add chicken or shrimp or something. I do not. I am a purist. Let the Suzie Salad Legend Live On!