Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Preparing Meals When You Have to Eat With Others

When I'm in a situation where I have to eat with others, like on a date, with family or with a friend, I like to handle part or all of the meal preparation so I know what's in stuff (as many of us do). One dish I like to make that keeps the others satisfied and full--and let's me squeak by with as little cals as possible--is my "Protein Power Salad". I've made this for guys--brawny, football-type guys--and they love it, saying how amazed they are at how full it makes them. I love it because I can stuff their salad bowls with all the goodies and then have a layer of lettuce, raw mushrooms, and some slivers of veggies on both bowls. My bowl, however, is full of mostly just lettuce. So the bowls look the same--but one is full of lettuce and one is full of nuts, seeds, croutons, raisins, tomatoes, peppers, etc. to make a solid dish. By putting a lettuce layer on top and then sprinkling slivers of vegetables and seasonings, the bowlfuls look colorful and fancy. Keep all the "calories" on top of your bowl--i.e. slivers of tomatoes, onions, peppers, whatever--so it looks like they're in the whole salad (but really, they're just on the top). You can sprinkle cheese on the other person's salad for more flavor for them, as well as seasonings. You can stick to just seasonings for yours to avoid the fat and cals but keep it looking very colorful.

"Power Salad" Recipe:
Both Bowls:
- Lettuce (particularly different kinds, because looks better)

Other Person's Bowl:
- Tomatoes
- Croutons
- Walnuts
- Peanuts
- Raisins
- Red & Green Peppers
- Mushrooms
- Parmesean Cheese
- Snap Peas
- Seaseme Seeds
- broccoli

All tossed together with some lettuce. Fill your bowl with lettuce and a few bits of raw mushrooms and broccoli florets. On top, layer lettuce with slices of mushrooms, one or two tomato chunks, and seasonings. Sprinkle other person's with cheese and seasonings on top of their top layer. Now, they'll be full and have a crunchy, satisfying salad and you'll slip by with little calories and still be able to enjoy a meal with them.

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