Sunday, August 14, 2011

Public Service Announcement: Salad

Vegetable Charlotte - now THAT's what I'm talking about

I am a vegetarian and have been since 1986, yet I can count on one hand the times I have thought "Going out to eat? Yay, I can get a SALAD!" I may not even need any fingers to do that.

It always takes me aback a bit when my non-veg friends muse "Is there anything at Restaurant X you can eat? Oh, they have salad!" as if that solves the problem.

Maybe non-veg people look forward to having a nice salad as a meal out. Then again, their salads are usually topped by grilled shrimp or a breast of chicken.

I suppose it is the idea that vegetarian = vegetables and the fact that many non-vegetarians eat vegetables reluctantly, if at all, and often in the form of salads that gives rise to the belief that vegetarians are big salad eaters.

I'm not. I rarely eat salad. My greens usually turn to bags of pre-compost green liquid in the crisper drawer before I ever get around to eating them.

I do love vegetables. I love 95% of all plant matter (the only exceptions I can think of are bitter melon, starchy big lima beans and...that's pretty much it). I love plant matter prepared creatively as soups, stews, curries, stuffed vegetables, tartes, tortas, with pasta and noodles, on sandwiches, tagines, gratineed, roasted, fried, sauteed, steamed and put on pizza.

I even love salad sometimes, just not as the main course. So - here's the PSA part - if you're choosing a restaurant to take your vegetarian friend to and the only non-meat item they have on the menu is a salad, go somewhere else.

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