Lately, I've been thinking about eating less meat. I don't think I have the stomach to go completely vegetarian/vegan, but perhaps going meatless for some meals is possible. So I've been experimenting with salads. Salad are such blank palettes on which to layer flavors, and need never be bland and boring. On a family barbecue over the weekend, while everyone was busy marinating pork ribs and dipping chicken wings in honey, I thought I would make a kick-ass salad that rivaled any barbecued meat in taste.
I cut up half a medium-sized pumpkin and roasted them in the oven. I sprinkled the slices liberally with olive oil and sparingly with salt, and put it to roast at 250 degrees centigrade for 10 minutes. After I took the pumpkins out, I put in mushrooms, with the same treatment. Next time, I must remember to put both in together; the mushrooms were a last minute decision.
Halfway through, I was interrupted by the kids, who wanted to make sushi. Here, my little sushi maker was busy at work. I mixed cooked sushi rice with organic black sesame seeds and organic seaweed flakes. The kids have a new Hello Kitty sushi mold, and they will eat any cute food, so sushi it was.
Back to the salad...Here's my little set-up for the picture. After roasting the pumpkin and mushrooms, the rest was just assembly work. I used butter head lettuce, rocket, zucchini, tomatoes and a store-bought sesame dressing. We made some pineapple pops for the barbecue. It was just a matter of slicing the pineapple into discs, sticking a skewer through it and throwing it on the grill for five minutes. The cooked pineapple is sweet and juicy, and the kids love them.
I had just a couple of ribs (I'm only human!), but loaded up my plate with the salad, Hello Kitty sushi and pineapple. Baby steps, ok? Baby steps.