Woman, Laughing with Salad

Everyone knows the meme, regarding women and salad. The only stock photo possibly more ridiculous is the ones with women laughing with yogurt. While I don’t necessarily laugh while holding my salad, I do really enjoy a good salad. It’s always the first section I peruse on a menu when I’m out, and I pride myself on my ‘meal salad’ making skills. I eat so many salads from such a variety of places, that I keep joking with Anna I’m going to start a weekly feature on the blog about the salads I eat.

A big factor in how I eat salad from so many places is because once a week, my office caters lunch. We used to have a regular place we order from, but now we just come together as a team, pick a place and a few options, select delivery (sometimes UberEats), and that’s that, to keep things simple. Most of the time, regardless of where we’re ordering from, I order a salad. Pizza place? Salad. Subway? Still a salad. Fried chicken and BBQ? Well, now we have a problem, because they don’t have salad.

A few weeks ago, I made a fuss over having to order fried chicken. It’s not that I don’t like fried chicken, and it’s one of the not so good foods that I can eat, provided it’s done ‘properly’, which the place we were ordering from did (buttermilk soak, rather than egg mix breading). However, this was the Tuesday following my impromptu trip to Ottawa, where I drank too much, ate as many plates of fish and chips as I could, and finished everyone else’s fries when they couldn’t, so I really wasn’t feeling yet another pub styled, greasy meal. I really just wanted a big hearty salad. Within my protests over fried chicken (which I wasn’t justifying with my weekend, I was just pointing out the menu had no salad option), I was informed that I in fact, quite possibly, have an eating disorder.

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I have never been so shocked in my life, to discover, that eating healthy is now considered an eating disorder. I waited for the ‘haha, jokes!’, but it never came. The person was deadpan serious, and they were concerned for my health and safety. I was causing myself unnecessary mental and emotional strain, and if I wasn’t careful, my physical health could be affected negatively by the choices I was making with my foods.

Personally, this condition sounds a little like something the C.E.O of Mcdonald’s concocted with the board of director’s for Burger King under supervision of Wendy’s lawyers. Maybe I don’t fully understand, or the definition of this disorder isn’t outlined. I could see if a person gets a bug in their head, and is convinced that all they should eat is say pickles and soda crackers, or even nothing but potatoes for an entire year (that one is real, and I have soooooo many feelings on it), but for someone to turn around and tell me that I’m causing myself harm for actively seeking out, and enjoying salads on a daily basis? I feel like that’s more harmful than me being upset I can’t have a salad, which I eat willingly, and joyful, because I actually like salad (weird, right?)

So, without further ado, let me introduce you to my first featured salad.

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This is the Chicken and Protein Quinoa Bowl from Starbucks. No, I’m not being endorsed by them, but Starbucks does hold a special place in my heart, as I worked for them for a number of years at the end of my university career, and while I ‘discovered’ myself after school, they kept employing me as I moved around the country.

I am always simultaneously shocked, but never shocked, at the quality of food items from Starbucks. Precooked chicken is usually rubbery or tough, but this chicken was surprisingly ‘fresh’, in so much that it almost seemed like I had cooked and cooled it myself. I could have done without the corn, and maybe more quinoa, but all around it was very well balanced with it’s ingredients. The dressing was a little surprising, it was thicker than I expected, almost like a cross between a humus and a dressing, but again, it was the perfect amount, and was incredibly tasty. This particular day, it was paired with an iced coffee, because it was hot and Hades, and when I got Starbucks for lunch, my intention was to sit in the park and eat lunch, but as per #assistantlife, my phone wouldn’t stop ringing, and I ate the salad in between phone calls.

If you need a quick and easy, ‘pick me up’ kind of meal, this salad is a for sure winner. Crisp, fresh well balanced, and quite easily accessible. Pro-tip: If you’re ever in line and don’t see this salad available in the ready-to-eat case, just ask the barista behind the counter, they might have one hiding in the back. Depending on how busy your local Starbucks is, they just haven’t had a chance to stock the case, and it’d be a shame to miss this salad if you’re craving one.

I’m going to keep posting occasionally about the salads I get from strange places, or even just salads that leave an impression (which is usually all of them). What are some of your favourite salads from unconventional places? I’d love to try them!

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