The other day I came across the quote, “Practice being kind to yourself in small, concrete ways.” (It’s part of a book I’m reading on creative renewal, which I’d highly recommend for those who consider yourselves creatives — and even those who don’t!) Maybe it’s a tad bit cliche, but it got me thinking. The challenge here is not an excuse to be self-indulgent, simply kind. Are you feeding yourself well? Do you have socks? A new houseplant? Have you committed to daily solitude and reflection?
Why is it that to stay afloat, it’s much easier to sacrifice the very self-care that’s essential for us to care for others in our lives? Even for committed home cooks Alex and me, thoughtful, nutritious meals are the first to go. We’ve gotten into the pattern where our “meals in a pinch” are still healthy: salads, omelettes, stir fries–but even so, there’s something about a thoughtfully-prepared meal that’s comforting. Kind.
This salad has a few components to prepare, but if a few are completed in advance, it’s simple to put together and a fantastic combination of flavors. The star is the coconut bacon: smoky, crispy and rich, against the bite of the blue cheese, the velvety hard-boiled eggs, and the juicy tomatoes. It hardly tastes like a salad, the flavors are so bold and bright–not to mention the colorful visual appeal.
For a little kindness the other night, Alex and I indulged in a Cobb salad and a cool glass of rosé on the porch. So worth the extra time and effort. And then instead of my habitual catching up on work in the evening–I read a book. (Take that, workaholic self.)
Tomatoes, green onions and lettuce was from Broad Ripple Farmer’s Market. This recipe is vegetarian, dairy-free (sans blue cheese) and gluten-free.Print
Preparing the coconut bacon, hard-boiled eggs, and/or dressing in advance are big time savers. Store leftover coconut bacon in a sealed bag in the freezer; it thaws in seconds.
- 1/2 cup coconut bacon
- 4 hard boiled eggs
- 15-ounce can chickpeas
- 7 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 4 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (vegetarian or vegan)
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1 head romaine lettuce
- 1 head Bibb lettuce
- 2 ripe tomatoes
- 3 green onions
- 1 avocado
- 1 ounce blue cheese crumbles
- Make the coconut bacon.
- Make the hard boiled eggs.
- Drain and rinse the chickpeas; in a small bowl, mix them together with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt.
- In a small bowl, vigorously whisk together 4 tablespoons red-wine vinegar, 6 tablespoons olive oil, 1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon honey, 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper.
- Wash the lettuce and chop it into bite-sized pieces. Slice the tomatoes. Thinly slice the green onions. Peel and chop the avocado. Slice the eggs into wedges.
- To serve, place greens on a plate or in a bowl. Top with eggs, tomatoes, onions, avocado, chickpeas, blue cheese, and coconut bacon. Drizzle with dressing and serve.
About the Authors
Cookbook Author and writer
Sonja Overhiser is author and recipe developer of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best vegetarian cookbooks” by Epicurious, and a recipe developer and healthy & sustainable food advocate behind the award-nominated food blog A Couple Cooks.
Cookbook Author and photographer
Alex Overhiser is photographer and recipe developer of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best new cookbooks” by Bon Appetit, and a recipe developer, photographer, and technical expert at A Couple Cooks.