Dining Hall DIY: Salads Gone Gourmet

It’s February. New Year’s Resolutions have long since been thrown out the window; cereal has been declared vital to the existence of breakfast, lunch, and dinner; and you may or may not still be in a sugar coma from Valentine’s Day.

Try as you might, the whole “healthy eating” bandwagon is losing its appeal after you’ve consumed your umptillionth dismal dining hall salad of the week. You want pizazz, chocolate, fireworks, a latte the size of your face, Darren Criss, boom-boom pow, love at first sight, zestiness, and NOT salad.

I understand.

As a dedicated lover of salad, nothing grinds my gears more than when someone hands me a plate of limp iceberg lettuce, some pathetic shredded carrots, and a mushy hunk of a tomato-like substance—all smothered in dressing comparable to glue.

Ick. No wonder salads chalk up a bad rap.

Luckily for you though, I got yo’ back. Because we’re about to begin a gourmet crash course.

Salads are merely a blank canvas, which allow you to paint your own individual taste—adding what you like and leaving out what you don’t. The key to an awesome salad is best summed up in five magical words: greens, veggies, proteins, grains, and pizzazz.

Prepare to enter salad nirvana. Prepare to make your friends jealous. Prepare to get back on track and fall in love with good food all over again.

No pathetic salads allowed.

Lexi Cotcamp has an uncommon obsession with healthy food. And she’s okay with it. A freshman business major at Georgetown University, she is well-versed in the art of ambling around farmers’ markets and a veritable professional at dishing up extraordinarily cheesy puns.

**Recipe**

YOUR Salad Gone Gourmet
Serves 1

Ingredients

For the basic formula:
2 cups lettuce (gourmet greens, romaine, kale or spinach. Stay away from iceberg)
1 cup veggies of your choice
½ cup whole grains/complex carbs
¼ cup protein of your choice
2-4 tablespoons “pizazz” (this can be anything from pesto to barbeque sauce)

For MY salad:
2 cups gourmet green lettuce mix of arugula/radicchio
1 cup beets, carrots, mushrooms, baby corns, cucumber
½ cup quinoa & brown rice mixture + diced sweet potato
¼ cup (heaping) edamame, hard-boiled egg, feta
3 tablespoons pesto

In a large bowl, combine lettuce, veggies, grains, protein, and pizazz. Toss until all ingredients are well-distributed. Serve, and enjoy!

Originally posted on Monday, February 20th, 2012

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