Sometimes Mister and I get a little silly. Such was the case tonight, following what logically should have been a light dinner.
I mean, for heaven's sake - it's SALAD; the Mediterranean Chopped Salad from Vegetarian Times Complete Cookbook to be exact. Doesn't it look tasty? Thus the source of our silliness. After we'd each polished off two healthy bowls of salad, Mister puffed out his belly and said he was all fat. I put my hands around my little pooch and said I was fat, too.
Fat from salad??? Clearly, we're insane. Yet, it was undeniable that we both felt very full and somewhat bloated. I know cabbage can cause a bloaty, gassy belly, but there was none in this salad, so now I'm filtering through the other ingredients for the source of our "fatness." One of the things I did differently this time around was using a spring mix of baby lettuces - I wonder if some of those have the same bloating character as cabbage? If anyone knows, I'd love some insight.
On the other hand, it's not like we were just eating lettuce - there is a lot of "stuff" on the salad, and at least two of those things have a decent amount of [heart-healthy, Mediterranean] fat in them; oil-cured olives, hearts of palm, and chickpeas are among the culprits, but let's not forget about the 1/3 cup of olive oil I mixed with red wine vinegar and poured all over the place. Also, for protein and fun, I diced 4 oz of smoked tofu, which obviously added some substance to the salad.
Salads are dangerous! Now that you are certain I'm off my rocker searching for my marbles out in left field, let me explain. For one, salad bars are Satan's Playground. When I say Satan I actually mean Germs, but sometimes they seem the same. Assuming you can squeeze your germaphobic little self past that obstacle, though, let's talk about America's Pasttime: Over-Eating.
Look at this salad!
Don't you just want to eat it until it's all gone? I know, me, too! If you could have tasted it, you would definitely be with me on this because the combination of all the little elements takes this salad over the top. The problem is, we attach this magical word - Salad - and all of a sudden, a meal has no calories. This is simply not true, but you think Salad = Lettuce and a few tomatoes thrown in for color. All of a sudden, you have a great big bowl full of pretty lettuce, dotted with crunchy grape tomatoes, pleasantly bland chickpeas, tangy artichoke hearts and astringent hearts of palm, alongside the perfect overbearing saltiness of oil-cured black olives balanced by the subtle, smoky sweetness of the prepared tofu. That's actually a huge amount of food, but don't forget the bowlful of orzo and more than 1/2 cup of vinaigrette mixed in for good measure.
But it tastes so good! So you plow through a bowl or two, just like me and Mister, completely ignoring that each serving has 480 calories and 28 g of [good] fat. Then you wonder why you feel all fat and bloaty afterwards... I'm telling you - salads are dangerous.