Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Bacon, lettuce, tomato and avocado salad

I've noticed that Matt and I have been dining out much more often lately, namely on the weekends.  Maybe it's because, at the end of a long work week, we want a little time out of the apartment to enjoy each other's company and take a break from cooking.  Remember our Friday pizza tradition?  It's gotten a facelift in recent weeks.

This is how it goes down: On my walk home from the gym, I'll notice how pleasant it is outside -- birds chirping, a light breeze, and so much sun that a mental note of "find your sunglasses" gets posted in the forefront of my mind.  As soon as I get home, stomach growling, I'll test the dinner waters with Matt.

me: "So, what do you want to do for dinner?"
Matt: "Doesn't matter to me.  What do you have planned?"
me: "Well, nothing, really."
Matt: "Oh, I can find something to eat then.  Don't worry about it."
me: "Yeah, or... I was thinking we could go stroll for food since it's so nice outside."
Matt: "Yep, we're doing that.  You put the idea in my head.  Let's go."

An hour later, we're perched on a bench in the park, he with McDonald's or Szechuan Express, and her with sushi or Panera.  Two hours later, we're home, on the couch watching some bad Friday TV, and regretting said dinners juuuuuuust a bit. 

We finally got to the bottom of our complex of craving restaurant food on Fridays.  It's because I've used up all of the new and exciting dinner recipes earlier in the week, and Friday's menu is usually something a little less exciting like a piece of roasted salmon and vegetables or chicken tenders and broccoli.  Delicious but hardly a celebratory beginning-of-the-weekend kind of meal.

Last week we played food psychologists and nipped that burgeoning complex of ours right in the bud with a yummy and wallet-friendly Friday night dinner that was anything but boring: BLTA salads!

BLTA stands for bacon, lettuce, tomato and avocado, if you're wondering.  I can't seem to get enough avocados in my life these days.  Smooth and creamy, gorgeous coloring, and loaded with essential fats (much like olive oil and almonds!) and nutrients that your body wants and needs.

Throw 'em together with a mix of crunchy iceberg and sweet baby spinach, as well as grape tomatoes and, um, of course the bacon.  Top with the creamiest no-cream dressing this side of the Mississippi and you've got yourself one heck of a salad.

A BLT sandwich lover's salad, to be fair.  It's got all of the flavors of the sandwich but, dare I say this, it's waaaaaay more exciting.  Plus, you get much more food for the same number of calories.  Methinks this is a fact worth noting as summer approaches.

Like I said, a salad for sandwich lovers.  Don't knock it 'til you try it!  Perfect for a girl who claims she hates salads, and a guy who will usually pick anything instead of a salad.  But we love sandwiches.  One complex down, many more to go.

Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato and Avocado (BLTA) Salad
-serves 2

4 to 5 cups lettuce of your choice (I used a mix of iceberg and baby spinach)
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
6 slices of bacon, cooked and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 avocado, pitted and sliced
2 Tablespoons light mayonnaise
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon apple cider or white wine vinegar, plus more if needed
Ground black pepper

Whisk mayo, dijon, and vinegar together in small bowl.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Add more vinegar or more mayo until desired consistency is reached.  (I wanted a thick and creamy dressing, but you might prefer yours thinner.)

Divide lettuce among two bowls, top with tomatoes, bacon, and avocado.  Dress salads just before serving and enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Sometimes it's, "He with McDonald's AND Szechuan Express."