By Wendy Monro
I am a long time lover of all kinds of salads. I enjoy salads for any meal. I love to experiment with dressings and usually make my own. Lately, I make most of my dressings oil free. If I do use oil, it's just a little olive oil. Sometimes, I just squeeze on lemon or balsamic vinegar.
There are so many ways to make a delicious salad. I like a salad for breakfast, as weird as that sounds. I like tabouleh salad, cous cous salad, quinoa salad, bean salad, and salads with any type of lettuce.
Grilled Romaine Salad
Recently, I have developed a new passion for Romaine lettuce. I have always loved a Caesar salad. The deep green color of the long leaves and the crispy texture of the Romaine in a Caesar salad is unbelievably good. Then, I realized that Romaine doesn't have to be for Caesar salads alone. Why not enjoy Romaine lettuce in many other ways?
I started putting Romaine lettuce into my juices. Yes, I have really gotten into juicing and usually start my day with a large glass of vegetable juice.
A juice shop opened up down the street and they sell amazing juices for $10 a piece. I have had one and then I couldn't get myself to buy a glass of $10 juice ever again. I told Claud how much I loved these juices because they make them with tons of vegetables and garlic and ginger. These are things that don't do well in a regular blender. I wanted juice, not a smoothie. I didn't have a spare $200 to get a juicer either. That day, Claud and Daphne went to Goodwill and found a juicer for $15. Don't worry, I sanitized it.
Grilled Romaine Salad
Time: 15 minutes
2 Romaine hearts, cut in half,
2 tablespoons olive oil
juice of half a lemon
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup white beans
2 tomatoes, diced
medium onion, diced
cup olives, sliced
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Heat the grill to high heat. In a large bowl, mix together the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Grill the halves of romaine hearts on the grill, about five minutes each side. Remove from grill and top with beans, tomatoes, onions, and olives. Drizzle some balsamic vinegar over the top.
I have been a juicing fool ever since. I love it so much. I started putting heads of Romaine into my juice. I had so much Romaine that I wanted to come up with other uses. I love to grill all types of vegetables and fruits. Grilling the Romaine seemed like a good idea.
I figured any way I eat the lettuce is a good idea since it is so packed with nutrients. Not all lettuces have the nutritional benefits of a head of Romaine lettuce. The vitamins, minerals and fiber found in romaine lettuce are especially great. Romaine lettuce is 17 percent protein. It is also a complete protein, which means it has all eight essential amino acids. A head of Romaine contains 7.7 grams of protein. That's pretty amazing. Romaine lettuce is also rich in calcium, Omega-3s, iron, and B vitamins.
Like most lettuces, Romaine has a low calorie content and high water volume. In addition, it is packed with vitamins. A head of Romaine lettuce contains vitamin A, vitamin K and folate. There are many minerals in Romaine as well: manganese, potassium, copper and iron. One head of Romaine lettuce contains more vinamin C than an average orange.
So, I turned on my grill pan and chopped the heads of Romaine into big chunks. After a drizzle of olive oil, a little lemon juice, salt and pepper, I threw these onto the grill pan. It only took a few minutes to grill them all of the way through. I removed them from the grill and placed them onto a plate. You could top these with whatever salad toppings you prefer. I added beans, tomatoes, olives and onions. Then, I drizzled on some balsamic vinegar.
Claud and I ate these on a lazy Saturday. It was so good. I absolutely love the flavor of the grilled Romaine.