Saturday, March 19, 2011

Salad Style

Today was a day of eating out. Usually, that would mean that we're on vacation somewhere fabulous, but in this case, it was just a case of trying to catch up.

JackieO is fabulous about asking me for coffee whenever I'm in town visiting Thatmom, and I'm usually awful at being able to make it. But this time, we set the plan into motion almost a month in advance, which means it just had to happen. As JackieO herself said, whenever we get together, it's as though we had seen each other the day before, we just have more to gossip about. JackieO's boyfriend's mother (did you catch all that) is friends with Thatmom. So we're able to keep track of each other fairly easily even when we don't get together, but it's always nicer to see someone in person.

Breakfast lasted hours, and almost ran into Thatboy and my lunch date. At Harvard's birthday party in January, we were reunited with The Engineers, who are finally back in California. Mrs. E and I have been friends since high school and were in each others' weddings. We made plans at Harvard's party to meet up when we were both in town at the same time. It was supposed to be last month, but Chinese New Year got in the way, so we rescheduled for today.

Which was perfect, because it gave us a whole month to catch up on. Since we only had 3 years to add on to that (the time that Mrs. E was NOT in California). Thatboy and Mr. E have had a fabulous relationship since college, back when they used to have competitions as to who could pile more into their Mongolian BBQ bowl. I'm pleased to say that they no longer feel the need to eat themselves sick to impress each other. At last, they are finally growing up.

Because two meals out just isn't enough, we met up with Thatbrother and UDubb for dinner at Thatmom's favorite restaurant. And, I learned tonight, that it is ALSO Thatboy's favorite restaurant in Orange County. Isn't it amazing how you can learn something new about a person you've known for nearly ever?

While all that eating out could mean rich, fatty foods, I tend to use the opportunity to up my salad intake. Today I had a Cobb salad, a beet and strawberry salad, and an arugula and blood orange salad. I love salads, and love ordering them out, because restaurant kitchens have access to so many more ingredients, and they do all the chopping and tearing work.

At home, I usually have much more limited ingredients. But, salads can still be delightful even with very few ingredients. Especially when you add a great protein source to them. Grilled chicken, shrimp, and steak are some of my favorite salad toppings. With a great meat, you don't need much else but lettuce!

But my favorite part of a homemade salad is making my own dressing. It's so easy to make, with very basic ingredients you already have. And it's addictive. Once you start making your own, you'll be tempted never to buy store bought again.

Steak Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

4 Tbsp olive oil
4 Tbsp white wine vinegar
5 tsp dijon mustard
4 tsp lemon juice
4 tsp Worcestershire sauce

12 oz Sirloin Steak
lemon pepper
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup green onions, sliced
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 head bibb lettuce

1. Make the dressing: whisk together olive oil, vinegar, dijon mustard, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce, set aside.
2. Season both sides of steak with salt and lemon pepper. Grill, or cook on grill pan about 5 minutes per side. Slice.
3. Place mushrooms, onions, parsley and steak in a bowl and toss with the dressing.
4. Divide lettuce between four plates. Divide steak mixture over the lettuce and garnish with the cherry tomatoes.


  1. Steak with a mustard dressing. I am keeping my fingers crossed for the weather when I eat dishes like this on the patio.

  2. Oh this is definitely not just your run-of-the-mill lettuce and tomato salad. That steak looks seriously droolworthy!