I turned out to be the hippie in my family. My sister loving calls me the “tofu-plankton-nut roll,” which is true enough. I believe in organic foods. I believe in eating local and supporting local farms. I hit the Farmer’s Market weekly and I also have about a 1/4 acre of my own in the city that I put into food production as much as possible, as my “jam hoarding ways” have proven. So today’s post is not only a continuation of my installments on unusual uses for cooking with BBQ sauce, but a post for National Food Day, as well.
In our home, I typically try to make Monday our meatless day, but it doesn’t always work out that way. In our family though, we eat vegetarian a couple times a week. My husband, who used to be vegan when he was a marathoner, thinks we should go back to at least being mostly vegetarian and renounce our evil bacon-loving ways. Please note that the children call him Tommy O’Bacon for a good reason! I have to agree though. We typically feel better and have more energy when we are not eating so much meat.
National Food Day is a day for Americans to rally support for all the food-related issues that we face: obesity, school lunch programs, farmer subsidies, etc. Real food has become a real challenge. Please check out my “Dirty Things” links on the right side under my blog roll. This will give you an idea of some of the good works going on in and around Seattle. There are so many more that it would be impossible to list them all, but I think this will give you a taste of what matters to me 365 days a year, not just today.
One of the real foods I like most is salad. Boring, but true. I eat salad with dinner or for dinner, several nights a week. I guestimate that I eat salad 150 times a year, maybe more. I especially like salads at the height of summer when there are so many fresh fruits and veggies to choose from that I can load my plate up with tons of good stuff to eat. Salads are a great way to experiment with new things. Throw in some cheese (pick any you like), throw in some dried or fresh fruit (again, pick anything!), mix it with any leafy green and voila! You got yourself a salad! It never ceases to amaze me the number of combinations a salad can take on. They are sublime 🙂
For this salad, I took what I had on hand (as always!) and mixed Bibb lettuce, heirloom tomatoes, avocado, carrots and cilantro. Tossed it all with a vinaigrette that I made from BBQ sauce. The kind folks at Kolander Grubbs sent me 3 bottles of their sauce to try: Sweet Orange-Mango, Habanero, and The Ghost. I made a version of this with each, but Habanero was the hands-down favorite. To me it was like a French dressing with a little more of a peppery flavor and less of the sweet-acidy flavor you normally have in a French dressing. I cut back on the vinegar used because of the natural acidity from the BBQ sauce. It also had a beautiful rich color to it. It was divine. Take my word for it. I eat A LOT of salads 🙂
Habanero BBQ Sauce Vinaigrette
1/4 cup oil (I used avocado oil, but any lightly flavored oil would work)
1/4 cup Habanero BBQ sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar (you can use any light flavored vinegar here)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Whisk all ingredients together until emulsified. I often put them all into a jar or container with a screw-on lid and then shake vigorously.
Now go and enjoy some real food of your own!