A Salad + A Smoothie

Not something you see too often around here—a food post!

This salad has been blessing me in the lunch department for about two years now, and it's too good to not share.

When I was pregnant with George, I had two horrible health episodes which, after an ultrasound, turned out to be gallbladder attacks, likely hormonally induced. I did a little research and decided to lighten it up at lunchtime, as well as incorporate some more gallbladder-friendly foods into my diet.

This salad was born at that time, and I have it at least once a week now, and have also made it for my husband, parents, and sister. Everyone loves it!

The exact ingredients shift from time to time, but the basic formula is:

lettuce—spring mix or romaine

protein—I usually do chickpeas, but have also done grilled chicken if I have it on hand

cheese—goat cheese is my favorite, but I've also done cubed aged cheddar

artichokes—they're a must! so they get their own category. I'm never without them.

fruit—usually some kind of berry

croutons—because I'm only human and need some crunch in my life

I dress it with EVOO and a drizzle of my favorite balsamic (from a shop in my hometown).

I don't often feel like an adult during the course of my day, but when I'm eating this salad I do. Goodbye, days of sharing a box of Annie's mac and cheese with my kids! (Okay sometimes we still do that.)

Next up: smoothies.

We are year-round smoothie people, and for one reason or another (or no reason at all), I've mostly always relied on frozen fruit to give it that thick, slushy-like consistency.

I had this book out of the library last week, which I intend on buying because it had so many great recipes in it (and I own her other two cookbooks which are equally great), and she has a two-ingredient smoothie using fresh fruit that I adapted for the girls this week and it's been a huge hit.

(unstaged photo that demonstrates my reality of being able to accomplish even one thing in life without a child getting her hands on it) (but I probably wouldn't change that either)

The recipe/non-recipe is:

fill a glass with fresh strawberries

then fill it with almond milk (I did vanilla almond milk but will also try this with unsweetened vanilla)

dump it in a blender, blend, enjoy!

I modified this by adding a banana for some bulk, and I also left the hulls on the strawberries for some green. (I'm assuming there's nutrition in there but I couldn't tell you what.)

Eloise has always been a lover of smoothies, but lately she has been protesting them. She LOVES this variety, and asks me for a "milkshake smoothie" multiple times a day. It's a lot runnier than a typical smoothie, almost like you made strawberry milk.

Let me know if you try it!

Do you have any favorite smoothie recipe/non-recipes? Or go-to lunch foods? I'd love to hear.

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