Monday, May 27, 2013

Big Mac Salad

First, some business to take care of: I've added a pinterest widget so that images can be pinned.  The button comes up when you hover over the images.  I've noticed that the hover option only works on photos that I've uploaded through Blogger only, not if I've also posted them through Photobucket.  I'm not going to go back and edit every post, but if there's something you really want to pin, let me know!

A couple of years ago, Joe ended up getting me a free cookbook at one of the tradeshows he went to for work: Hungry Girl 300 Under 300.  Basically, "Hungry Girl" is a regular lady named Lisa who likes to eat real food that tastes good but that is also healthy/healthier for you.  I haven't tried even close to all of the recipes yet, but all of the ones we've tried so far have been really good.

As the weather starts getting warmer, we like to lighten up our dinner options - big salads and big sandwiches are popular in this house.  Now, I LOVE a good salad, but sometimes the standard lettuce-cucumber-onions-carrots gets a little boring (note: I really don't like tomatoes).  I was flipping through my cookbook one night looking for inspiration, and came across this recipe.  Now, Hungry Girl actually has it named something completely different, but Joe and I both thought a more accurate and easier description was Big Mac Salad.

If you've ever been the Golden Arches and had a regular Big Mac, this salad has all of the same flavors but not nearly as many calories.  Admittedly, my version uses real beef - not soy crumbles, as the recipe calls for - increasing the amount of calories, but the flavors and taste are still there.  Also, you don't hate yourself and feel disgusting after you eat my version.

Even more important than all of that, though, is that I got my fiancee (still getting used to calling him that) to eat salad for dinner!  Two bowls!  Willingly and without complaint!

There was a little bit leftover that I brought to work with me for lunch. I crushed up some sweet potato tortilla chips for some extra crunch and HOLY COW it was the perfect combination!  Joe had suggested maybe putting in some french fries too, to really give it that fast food-y taste.  I think you'll accomplish the same thing if you add something a little healthier like potato sticks or tortilla chips.  Crushed up regular potato chips would probably work too.

Either way, this salad is really delicious, but also really filling - the perfect combination!

Big Mac Salad
Recipe adapted from Hungry Girl

1 medium-size head romaine lettuce, chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
2 dill pickles, chopped
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 lb. hamburger, browned and drained
1 Tbsp. yellow mustard
1 Tbsp. ketchup
cheddar cheese 
Thousand Island dressing

Cook hamburger in a skillet.  Drain.  Place in a bowl and let cool to room temperature.  Once cool, mix in ketchup and mustard and set aside.  

Bring a skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to high heat on the stove. Add onion and cook until slightly browned and softened, about 3 minutes. Transfer to the large bowl and set aside. 

Combine all ingredients except dressing in a large bowl.  Mix thoroghly.  Serve in individual bowls topped with Thousand Island dressing.

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