For starters, I should up-to-speed you with my food journey. I had a great time with my "Vegan Journey" but have decided that it is slightly misleading to continue calling myself "vegan-ish" or "almost vegan" at this point. I have decided to call myself a "Happy Vegetarian." It is a much clearer picture of my life. So there you have it. At least for now I am simply a girl, trying to eat lots of veggies, plant foods, and enjoying little chocolate or whole milk latte now and then. So, this week, my food choice is pretty basic, but hopefully you will get a few ideas to put new spins on a old classic. Salad! Salad is pretty basic. Straight forward. Lettuce, veggies, dressing. You can have all your chopped veggies in little bowls so that each person can pick what they want for their salad. I add some chopped boiled eggs and some parmesan cheese for the non-vegans. One of the things that I love about salad is that it is full of live foods and its allows for plenty of variety. I thought I would share a few variations on salads. Chopped Salad with black beans. I added three tablespoons of black beans to a bowl of chopped onions, cilantro, crushed blue corn chips and pico de gallo or chunky salsa. This is also good with corn and bell peppers added to it. I did this on a whim, and fell in love with the intense flavor as well as the vibrant colors. And of course, I love that it has my currant obsesions: cilantro and blue corn chips. The other fun spin on salad I wanted to share with you is a homemade dressing. I get so sick of all the nasty stuff that is in most salad dressing. I'm reading the label thinking, "What is that? What is this? What is that? Ewwww, really? They put THAT in? How is that even legal?" So here it is. I got the basic idea for this off a "Forks over Knives: Engine 2 Kitchen Rescue." I took a ripe avocado, Seasoned it with Montreal Steak seasoning, and added lemon juice. For just me I use about 1/4 of the avocado and 1/4 of the lemon. For the whole family, I use the full avocado and the full lemon. If I'm wanting more of an Italian feel, I add just a splash of balsamic vinegar. Sounds a little crazy, but it tastes crazy good. This is great to use for any salad. I really like this dressing for chop salad. I love a good chop salad, although I sometimes add too many herbs, and then have to add more cucumber and more walnuts so all the flavor doesn't overwhelm me. One last thing I love about salads... Super easy clean up! And no pans to wash! Have a great day! Go enjoy some sunshine.