I need more lettuce in my life.

I’m not a fan of salads. My favorite salads are the ones that aren’t at all good for you (a couple of weeks ago I had an amazing Caesar salad at Liberty Oak, all cream, cheese, oil, and anchovy goodness). I try to eat a lot of spinach, as I’ve discussed before, to help with my anemia. But when asked whether I’d like to add a salad – no thanks, I’ll reply, I’m good with this big chunk of bread and butter.

I do try to eat healthy. I haven’t lately (remember pizza week?). I’ve also discovered that trying to cook all week with just a few ingredients or an essential theme isn’t working for me. Last week I gave up and ended up with a take-away sandwich for dinner twice. How freakin’ hard is it to make a sandwich?

So, this week, I had a little extra in the budget, so I decided to make a cafe/bistro-style week. I bought some local bakery bread and various deli things. I thought it would keep things interesting if I made a variety of sides to change up with the sandwiches. So I also bought some hummus, pita bread (to make chips), pasta & veggies for a pasta salad, couscous, a bunch of soups (yay VIC card!), and finally, yes … lettuce. And light Caesar dressing. I bought enough veggies for both pasta salad and Caesar salad. And the bakery threw in a small, day-old sourdough loaf (for free!) that I’ll make crostini and croutons with. So I’ve been in and out of the kitchen all afternoon today, making some of these sides in advance to make things easier and more of an incentive to come home to eat dinner instead of stopping somewhere to pick it up.

And to make a pretty promising culinary situation even more promising, as I was putting everything away I realized I had everything I needed to make one of my favorite stolen-from-a-restaurant meals: chicken, feta, lettuce, & hummus on open-faced pita. (I stole this from the Metro Gourmet Market, which used to be one of my very favorite places to eat downtown, but the place closed and then moved into the Wachovia building a few blocks away as “Metro 300.” Haven’t made it to the new one yet.)

This is going to be a busy week, according to my calendar, so here’s hoping things stay interesting in the kitchen; otherwise, the guys down the street at Jimmy Johns are gonna start making my sandwich as soon as they see me. Tonight, I think I’ll start with one of those Caesar salads and a roast beef panini. Yum.


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