Mexican Chopped Salad

I am now officially on a high fiber diet, taking in around 30 grams of fiber per day. The first week after the hospital was all about bland foods (pancakes, applesauce, etc.), and then after that, I slowly transitioned to my current high fiber diet. I thought a lot about food before – and certainly do now – but in a whole different way. I read somewhere in my “fiber research” that eating a whole food diet means looking at the grocery store like a pharmacy…everything you put in your basket should play a critical role in your diet. I am happy to follow this advice versus some of the others (like the “No meat, no dairy, no alcohol, no fried foods, no sugar, no processed or packaged foods” diet I read about). I’m eating whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables….and quite a bit of each at lunch and dinner. No red or processed meat, and other meat (chicken) is at a minimum. But I’m allowing myself a little bit of wiggle room on the sugar and flour thing because if I followed that, I would never be able to eat a slice of cake again in my life, and that would be wrong.

Some of the cookbooks I'm reading these days.

Some of the cookbooks I’m reading these days.

Frank is still eating meat, so I’ve been trying to find dinners that are plant based that we can add meat to as a side for him, but still has all of the fibrous foods I need. This Mexican Chopped Salad is a a great one for both of us, from Goop’s Gwyneth Paltrow’s new cookbook It’s All Good. If you need to roll your eyes, feel free. Even if Gwyneth is a little irritating, polarizing or downright insulting, this cookbook is great. I picked it up in Target and leafed through the pages when it first came out, but didn’t buy it because I couldn’t imagine a life of almond milk, millet pancakes, and oat instead of all purpose flour. Well, post-hospital stay, if Mark Bittman’s book VB6 was my wake up call to how poorly people (like me) are eating these days (without knowing it), then Paltrow’s book is my guidebook to cooking food that I can eat, and should eat. This Mexican Chopped Salad is a nice introduction into my mostly vegetarian diet and gets beans into the diet, which is important because beans are the holy grail of fiber and are still somewhat puzzling to me as an ingredient for dinner-time foods.

Mexican Chopped Salad
Gwyneth Paltrow, It’s All Good
Serves 4

2 ears of corn, grilled and cut from the cob (or, 1/2 cup cooked corn if you’re using frozen corn)
2 hearts of romaine, shredded, about 5 cups
1/2 cup cooked black beans
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
4 scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
1 ripe avocado, diced, 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
If there’s a meat eater, a small steak goes nicely on the side
Dressing: Annie’s Green Goddess Dressing. Gwyneth has a recipe for Mexican Green Goddess Dressing, which I hope to try some day, but for now, Annie’s is quicker and so delicious.

To prepare, Gwyneth dresses only the lettuce in a bowl, then plates them and puts all of the toppings (beans, tomatoes, etc.) on top with another tablespoon of dressing drizzled over top. I personally prefer to put everything in the bowl and dress, then plate.

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