2-22: Salad Bar with Warm Dressing

I love a good salad bar, or did, before coronavirus turned everything in our lives upside down. One of my family’s favorite restaurants when I was a kid featured an impossibly long salad bar. A friend and I even entered an essay-writing contest at Souplantation back in college and won ourselves 30 free meal passes, which we blew through quicker than you’d expect.

2-22: Salad Bar with Warm Dressing is equivalent to most of these at-home solutions we’ve seen during this pandemic–a pale imitation of the real thing. Consider this recipe the “haircut I did myself because everything is closed” of salad bars.

I suppose if you just lumped all the same ingredients on top of some quinoa and called it a Buddha bowl instead, you could send this recipe forward in time from the 1980s to modern day.

Of course, you’d have to take an artsy picture (or 100), slap some filters on it, and post it to social media with a bunch of hashtags first to really modernize it. Do you think they really eat the food after they take pictures of it, or is it just for the ‘gram? ?

I mean, this is just vegetables + dressing. I know that’s essentially the definition of a salad, but they’re really not giving a ton of concrete and/or unique direction here.

Ingredients? I went with a broccoli slaw mix for my veggies, because if they’re not going to put in effort, neither am I. Since we try to eat plant-based/vegan when possible, I used vegan chicken broth. That was the only “modification” I had to make for this recipe–it’s vegan as written as long as you do that or use the veggie broth it also suggests.

I did purchase alfalfa sprouts along with my slaw mix, since that was the one thing they could bother to specifically require. I also bought that bottle of sunflower oil for this dish, and it turns out that the bottle is too tall for my cabinet (which may be contributing slightly to my distaste for this “recipe”).

Mixed up the broth and nuked it in the microwave to warm it up.

Mixed in the rest of the dressing ingredients. Since I bought pre-shredded veggies, that was the hard part. Refer to 2-12: Tips About Salad Dressing for additional dressing information–this one would probably be considered low calorie, since it’s definitely not a vinaigrette (no vinegar).

And…it’s done? It’s magical, it’s mystical, it’s a disappointing pile of vegetables on a plate (no matter how fancy I try to stack it). This is how people think vegans eat all the time, isn’t it? ??‍♀️

Take my suggestion from the beginning and maybe at least put it on top of some well-seasoned quinoa (you can even get crazy and throw a little tofu in there too)–still healthy, vegan, and not quite so sad.

And don’t bring this pathetic excuse for a salad to a party–you don’t win friends with salad (at least not this one).

Grade: C-