At my house, two people are working at becoming one, in some ways, and boy is it humbling. New love gives you bursts of energy just as it can exhaust you. Setting up a home with someone and learning each others personalities involve emotional whirlwinds and they are happening at once in my life. Food has taken a backseat these days. My more involved cooking endeavors have been failures lately due to my still-disorganized kitchen and limited attention span, so easy meals are key these days. Lost Boy’s co-workers commented on how he seems to have lost a lot of weight. This was a wake up call that our current Nutri-Bullet eating routine needs a little more substance.
I think something simple like a salad, combined with some fancy, high-maintenance touches, and extra protein, was perfect for me and Lost Boy as we sat down to eat it in front of a movie on my MacBook Pro the other night.
New Relationship Salad
4 handfuls, baby spinach, washed and dried
3 sprigs, fresh thyme, leaves sloughed off and twigs discarded
1/4 c. tarragon-infused vinegar
1/4 c. + drizzle amount of olive oil
1 clove, garlic
6 strips, turkey bacon, baked in the oven beforehand or while you do this
2 sweet potatoes, already mostly/partly boiled, or while you do this
2 fancy tomatoes–heirloom or yellow vine or that fancy purple kind
4 small colored peppers
1/4 c. manchego cheese, or other fancy hard cheese
Boil water in one pot. You will boil eggs. While you are waiting for the water to boil, slice par-boiled potatoes into thick 1/5 wafer-ish slices. Place in baking pan and drizzle a little olive oil over them. Slide in oven. This will be a fast-broil, so 5-10 minutes depending on your oven will get the job done to create a roasted sort of edge on the mostly-boiled potatoes.
Throw bunches of spinach in a big salad bowl. Slice tomatoes into segments, remembering to extract their woody stem cores. Slice and de-seed peppers–ring formation is cool. Add tomatoes and peppers to spinach bowl.
When water is boiling, place eggs in. Lost Boy saw me doing this with my hand and wincing each time I did so. He suggested a spoon.
While eggs are cooking, check on potatoes. Remove when an inserted knife extracts a hot smooshy consistency. Set potatoes pan on counter top and turn off the oven.
While eggs are boiling and potato slices cool, Use a fine cheese grater to grate the cheese and set aside in a small bowl.
Remove eggs and shock in a bath of ice water for about a minute. Peel and halve eggs.
On two clean entree plates, arrange bacon strips criss-crossing to make spokes of a wheel. Arrange egg halves yolk-side up in the spaces between the bacon spokes.
To make the dressing:
Combine the olive oil and vinegar in a tupperware or other lidded dressing container you can shake vigorously without spraying the contents all over the small kitchen you’ve just cleaned.
Slough off tiny leaves from about three 5 inch long thyme twigs and add to oil/vinegar.
Peel garlic clove and mince into mixture.
Pour dressing onto spinach/pepper/tomato mixture and toss so the salad is coated thoroughly throughout.
Divide and place on top of egg/bacon design on each plate. Place slices, half for each person, tidily around spinach mound.
Sprinkle half of cheese shavings on top of each salad.
A salad that will not make your boyfriend lose anymore weight.