Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Roasted Vegetable Salad w/ Grilled Chicken and Goat Cheese

It's gotten bad. Really bad. So bad that I'm starting to worry that I am turning into one of those people -- a crazy foodie blogger gone wild. A blogger so far gone that I can't leave home without my camera, I can't stop thinking about my next post, and I constantly insert the phrase "my blog" into every conversation I have had recently.

"What did you do today?" A good friend asks.

"Oh, you know, the usual -- wrote a new post on my blog."

I have become so stricken with blogger fever that when I am not scouring the aisles of my local Trader Joe's for new products to test or devouring foodie gossip about the next restaurant I need to try, my mind is awash with the new recipe ideas. I can't help but feel that preparing a meal or dish that I have already blogged about is a waste. But how can I keep up this pace? How can I afford to keep delving into dark and uncharted foodie territory?

This past Saturday, I stared at the contents of my refrigerator with apprehension. After making grilled goat cheese sandwiches earlier in the week, I had an abundance of left over goat cheese, red pepper and zucchini. I knew that I should use up the ingredients I already had and make another sandwich, but I couldn't help but feel like I was cheating myself out of a blogworthy experience. But could I really shun my stock of veggies and perfectly good cheese for a bag full of pricey new groceries from Whole Foods?

I screwed my eyes up into an angry scowl -- I really didn't want a grilled cheese sandwich. After my heavy dinner at El Cholo the night before, I was carrying a heavy load in my stomach. I needed refreshment, I needed something green, I needed a salad! A salad chock full of fresh veggies, just like the chopped grilled vegetable salad at Sage on the Coast in Newport Beach. Fortunately, I didn't need to chuck all my financial and green responsibilities to make it happen. My mid-day meal would be a deconstructed version of my savory grilled sandwich with a few extra touches to boost the nutritional value and counteract all the ugly I had heaped on my body the previous night.

To start, I chopped up some carrots, red peppers and zucchini, tossed them in some balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and salt & pepper, and then let them do their little roasting business in my 375 degree oven. While my veggies got hot and heavy, I prepared 1/4 cup shelled Edamame according to package instructions (boil water, insert beans, add salt, drain after 5 minutes), and then grilled a 5-ounce chicken breast on my roommate's seriously awesome grill pan. Prior to grilling, I made sure to give my chicken some loving with the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and salt & pepper shakers. Unseasoned chicken is like so 1950s TV dinner, and it just makes good sense to use the same window dressings on all the windows in the house. Or, in my salad's case, all the food stuffs making their way onto my chic white square plate.

When my veggies were tender and my chicken dribbled clear rather than pink juices, I tossed the veggies with chopped romaine lettuce and my standard balsamic dressing made with balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey, olive oil, and salt and pepper. I plated my field of greens and then placed my grilled chicken and goat cheese over the top. And then I took pictures. Lots and lots of pictures. Until I finally got the right one.

Because, really, what's the use of a healthy and satisfying veggie salad if it doesn't look good on the page?


Futile Sniffer said...

1. I never leave home without my camera! I'm always thinking about food and my blog. Totally consumed by it. I'm even thinking of making t-shirts. It's gotten that bad! But in a good feeling way. At least it's not crack!

2. What kind of grill pan did you use exactly? I am kind of on the hunt for a good one.

3. When can you have me over for breakfast, lunch, or dinner? Haha.. that salad looks yummy! I hope to attempt to replicate it someday. :)

Esi said...

You are so me!! Although, I have to admit, there are way worse addictions to have. This salad looks amazing! What kind of grill pan do you use? I have a grill, but don't always feel like firing it up. Hope your day gets better :)

Diana H. said...

A quick consultation with my roommate has uncovered the following:

Target is a very complex and beautiful place...

And yes, I could definitely be addicted to worse. I consider my blog addiction much better than my addictions to watching mindless television and compulsively trying on clothes at Anthropologie even when I have no intention of purchasing them!