Two weeks ago Jake & I were at a conference, where we ate conference food the whole time.  They had A LOT of salad there, by which I mean every meal except breakfasts.  And even then they had fruit salads.  Now, I am the sort of person who eats salad for the sole purpose of eating salad dressing.  But salad dressing they did have, so I ate more salad that week than I generally eat in 6 months.  I know the dressing probably negates any health benefits reaped by eating the salad…but at least it’s roughage, right?  And also a great way to get an extra serving or two of vegetables in.  Looking at my Caesar salad that week, I thought, “There’s not much to a Caesar salad – dark green leaves, parmesan cheese, croutons, and dressing.  I can do this!”  I came home with a mission – try to eat a small Caesar salad several times a week.  I got baby spinach leaves, because baby spinach is far superior to any lettuce I’ve known; a “real” parmesan cheese, not the store brand, because there actually is a difference; store brand croutons, because I knew they were delicious, and dressing.  Now the dressing was the hard part.  I stood in the dressing aisle for quite some time, pondering the different brands of Caesar dressing and analyzing costs.  My policy is usually to try the generic or store brand, and if it’s not good then I know the extra expense for the “real” stuff is worth it.  Finally I decided to go with Private Selection, the “upscale” Kroger brand.  Their stuff is usually very good, and although it had a similar ingredient list & order to Cardini’s (the brand Chick-fil-A uses and which I therefore know I like) it was a third of the price.  I was confident it would be great.

I made my first salad.  Crisp, fresh baby spinach leaves!  Delicious parmesan cheese!  Cheese & garlic croutons!  And the dressing.  I took my first bite…and it tasted like straight mayonnaise.  Gross.  I powered through until this week, when my spinach and parmesan ran out.  Pro to nasty dressing: I don’t use as much, which translates into less fat.  Cons to nasty dressing: well, it’s nasty.  Also I now have most of a bottle I have to convince myself to use before I can buy a good dressing.  I would like to keep up the habit because fresh spinach is so good for you (pretend I didn’t mention croutons) but the dressing is discouraging me.  It used to be my salad inspiration.

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