A touch of color Mixed green salad with Strawberries

A couple weeks ago I reached…err…celebrated my three-year anniversary at my job. Yup, for the longest, fastest, only three years of my life I have drawn a steady paycheck. In honor, employees are presented with a simple off-white certificate, their name written large and reminding them how many year(s) they’ve worked there. Apparently two personalizations is too much to take on in the corporate world. Some will pin each year’s certificate to their gray half-cubicle half-wall until next year. Others are lost in the one of two drawers allotted to each half-desk; others lay face down, blending into the off-white desk, notes penned onto its back until it is surreptitiously led to the recycling bin.

Once upon a time my employment anniversaries could pass without any acknowledgment. Once upon a time I eked out a living here and there doing this and that. Once upon a time I paid my bills by applying decorative faux finishes. Like most employment I had no official training in this and how I got into painting, sanding, troweling, and banging keys against cabinet doors is a simple though drawn out story.

In a six degrees kind of way I’m pretty sure that my job, in part, resulted from food. One night over a home-cooked dinner of herbs de provence roast chicken and mixed green salad with sweet peppers, feta, toasted pine nuts and avocado with Paige (my boss), Mary (the client) and Christopher (her five-year old son) I mentioned that I often choose my salad toppings based on color. Cucumber, avocado and romaine lettuce is a favorite salad, but it feels wrong to put together so much green without an accent color. In goes a little red onion or at the least toasted nuts.

“You really are an artist,” Paige laughed.

A visual person, this just makes sense, but eating by color is also recommended by nutritionists and nutritionally minded chefs. I know, ’cause at my current job I read about this. But, the people I’m telling this to never seem to appreciate the idea. To me, this salad (a take on my friend, Beth’s, [favorite] salad) is representation of colorful eating. If you also need convincing a variation of this salad (made with blueberries instead) was a big hit at a work potluck. That, as Chips from a Multi-tasking Mandolin proved, is the highest praise.

Mixed greens with Strawberries, Goat Cheese, Honey glazed Pecans and Vinaigrette

Do you really need an ingredient list?

For this salad I made a honey, orange and balsamic vinaigrette with a smidge of sambal oelek to contradict some of the salad’s sweetness.

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