Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Salami and Cheese Salad – Healthy College Snack or Dish to Score a Date

In my final year at university my buddies and I moved off-campus and rented a house. It was awesome having our own place even though it was a total biohazard. We were all useless when it came to cleaning.

Keeping the house clean was one major challenge, the other challenge was cooking. In previous years we relied on the residence meal plan. Once the food plan disappeared we had to fend for ourselves.

I quickly learned it wasn’t easy eating healthy when you had to prepare your own food. With classes, parties, video games and spending endless hours trying to figure out how to convince the girl next door (in our house we referred to her as "Hot Jen") to break up with her boyfriend and date me, there wasn’t a lot of extra time for cooking.

I did manage to get one slow dance with "Hot Jen" at a campus bar, but that was about it. Looking back on that year it would have been nice if I had better moves with the ladies, ate healthier food and collected ideas for snacks such as this Salami and Cheese Salad before moving out on my own.

This recipe is basically a salami and cheese sandwich minus the bread and a whole lot more lettuce. I tossed in quartered yellow cherry tomatoes (red ones work just as well) for color. Croutons would have also been a nice crunchy addition.

Top it with a store bought balsamic vinaigrette, serve with a few chips on the side and you’ll have yourself one super delicious snack!  Now if I’d only had this idea when I was in school.

Song Pairing: If I could go back in time I would have had Van Halen’s “Top Jimmy” cranked in the background as I prepared this salad for "Hot Jen". The song may have lifted my confidence levels enough to actually walk it over to her house and the salad could have been the “in” I was looking for.  My dating days are done but if you think this salad would impress a certain someone of interest by all means go for it! If it doesn't work, at least you have yourself a tasty snack ; )   

How about you? Do you have a quick (and somewhat healthy) snack idea that would come in handy for the starving college and university crowd this fall?

Salami and Cheese Salad
Chopped romaine lettuce tossed with salami, cheese, cherry tomatoes and balsamic vinaigrette

2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
1 slice of Havarti cheese (or whatever cheese you have on hand), roughly chopped
3 slices of Genoa salami or 5 slices of pepperoni, roughly chopped
6 cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
2 tbsp of low-fat balsamic vinaigrette (Kraft makes a good one)
Handful of your favorite chips on the side

In a medium bowl, gently toss together lettuce, cheese, salami and tomatoes. Add vinaigrette and gently toss again.

Serve with some chippies on the side.

Volume: Makes 1 Serving
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Recipe by Brent "The Kitchen Roadie" Garell. Tested in the Cook-a-Palooza kitchen while thinking about all the missed dating opportunities of the past.

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