I’m not sure if we’ve covered this, but I’m sort of a picky eater. The four things I once refused to eat were mayonnaise, lettuce, eggs and onions. In that order. So far, I’ve warmed up onions and eggs. I abhor mayo and everything it stands for, but I have always wanted to like lettuce and salads.
I’ve tried several salads over the years. I’ve even finished a few. One of my first and favorite salads was at Olive Garden. With fragrant onion, salty olives and tangy dressing, I was a believer. I had a great salad at Urban Standard with sweet potatoes, candied pecans and barbecue chicken. But it’s still really difficult for me to stomach lettuce.
This past Friday, Roomie Reagan told me that she wanted to make dinner for us. She’d planned on a casserole that her grandmother used to make, and a side salad. She sweetly purchased some green beans for me, because she knows I don’t really do salad, but she encouraged me to give it a try.
First things first:
Harpoon Octoberfest and Sierra Nevada Tumbler Brown Ale…I had one of each
The salad was a combination of spring mix, carrots, mushrooms, broccoli, sunflower seeds and cranberries, with a sweet vidalia onion dressing on the side.
I ambitiously put some on my plate, genuinely interested.
The casserole was composed of cream of mushroom soup, sausage and some other things, and topped with (reduced-fat) Ritz Crackers. And of course, there were green beans.
As we all sat down to dinner I cautiously took a bite. And chewed. And chewed some more. Verdict: fantastic! It was so good, much better even than what I thought it would be. I really think the cranberries had a lot to do with it. Their sweetness and chewy texture were really interesting, and nice contrast with the dressing.
It was like an incredible milestone had been reached. Salad! Who knew?! (PS The casserole was also great!)
While we’re talking milestones, I also did something I’ve never done before this past Sunday.
Aw, yeah. It was pretty simple, too:
1/2 lb sausage (I used turkey)
3 cups cold milk (I used fat-free)
4 tbsp flour
2 tbsp butter (only had margarine, and a little butter)
salt, pepper, ground sage
First, but the sausage roll in half (we had a one-pound tube).
Cook it down and crumble with a spatula. Once it’s lookin’ and smellin’ good, remove from the heat and set aside in a separate bowl. Cover it to keep it warm.
At this point, you’re supposed to have about 2 tbsp of pork fat left over to mix with the butter. Um…not so with turkey sausage. I ended up using two more tbsp of butter.
Once that melts, mix in the flour; it’ll make sort of a paste.
Pour in one cup of milk, and whisk gently over medium-low heat.
Once that starts to thicken, add a second cup. Let it thicken, then add the third.
I kept thinking it would be too thin, but lo and behold, it thickened right up! (That’s what she said.) Add the sausage back in, then season to taste with salt, pepper and sage.
In a separate pan, we cooked the remaining sausage (after slicing it up into patties). The gravy was served over simple drop biscuits made using just Bisquick and milk.
Just mix, spoon out onto a greased cookie, and bake at about 400 (or whatever it says on the box) for about 8-10 minutes.
Voila! Yes, I know it’s technically not homemade biscuits and traditional (read: bacon fat-laden) gravy, but I used what I had, and I think it turned out healthier (and just as tasty).
What did YOU eat this past weekend? I know it’s close to the middle of the week…any exciting food plans this weekend?