“Ugh!” My wife said, noticing that I was taking a picture of the salad in their plastic containers. Her aesthetic sense was offended by the plastic – and I don’t blame her! “I just don’t like the plastic containers in the picture!” She finished her thought. “I know…” I replied, doing the best I could to take the least offending photograph I could take. She’s right, though. The plastic containers don’t photograph anywhere near as well as a well-manicured place setting. But they do the job, and in this case, they adequately show what job they do.
UPC’s Hot & Cold Salad – To Go
Today’s salad was delicious. I tried several new flavor combinations, and I think they worked out really well! Here’s what I did:
- The Hot:
- Smoked Pork Loin, chopped
- Leeks, chopped
- Button Mushrooms, chopped
- The Cold:
- Spring Mix Salad
- White Button Mushrooms, chopped
- Mango (skin on), chopped
- Avocado, chopped
- Hazelnut Oil
First start cooking the mushrooms and smoked pork loin in about 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. This is a small enough serving of oil that it should be entirely used by the cooking process. But large enough to keep the mushrooms from burning before the pork juices start to add to the oil. This is a home-made smoked pork loin, though it’s not the pork loin I made by accidentally smoking a roast in my slow-cooker – that recipe is on my list of recipes to work out, and get a finalized version to you all, and I can’t wait! No, this was smoked during my weekend with my parents in Vermont, and my father did a wonderful job creating his own version of Canadian Bacon!
As the pork and mushrooms heat up, chop the salad ingredients, and add them to your take-out container. This is the key to the “To Go” version of my Hot & Cold Salads – you have to keep them separated so that when you re-heat later, they will retain their unique flavors. Add all the cold parts to the “Cold” container, including the oil (it doesn’t “re-heat” well).
Turning your attention back to the pork and mushrooms: add the chopped leeks and turn the heat up to high. I would estimate that chopping the “Cold” portion should take about 5-10 minutes. This is the right amount of time for the pork and mushrooms to cook before adding the leeks, provided you’re using Canadian Bacon thickness pork loin. If your pork is thicker, you’ll have to cook longer. Cook the leeks with the pork and mushrooms on high for about 1 minute. Leeks don’t take long to cook, and you don’t want them over-done as it changes both the flavor and the texture.
Like with the “Cold” part, put the “Hot” part of your salad in it’s own container for re-heating later. I bring a separated Hot & Cold Salad for lunch 2-3 times per week, and it’s still excellent to re-heat the hot part, mix them, and eat a fresh Hot & Cold Salad, my own high quality food, my own recipe, in a cafeteria at work!
I’ve asked you to vote with your dollars, now I’m giving you a tool to help you do that. If you buy local and/or organic foods, and cook your own food at home, you are removing your lunch-money from the Fast-Food system. You’re sending a message, small as it may be, to the global food market that you want fresh, high quality, local foods. And you’re supporting that message, rather than sabotaging it, by bringing your own lunch. And more importantly, it’s delicious high quality food. How do you know? Because you made it yourself!!!