The Skinny Daily Post™

Short, daily essays on weight loss and fitness
from a really average woman who lost 100 lbs.
and works every day to keep it off.

Journal Exercises, Toolbox, Eating, Exercising, Gurus, Rewards

Tuesday, April 22, 2003  

Veggie Art?

It has taken me awhile to get over thinking of vegetables as high-maintenance food. You know? I live a life in which hard-to-open packaging represents my fight for survival.

Oh, I bet you've been there, that moment when reaching for a pair of scissors to cut open that bag of prewashed lettuce feels like a horrible insult at the end of a long, thankless day.

So bringing home an armful of sandy leeks to clean, mince, and slowly sautee? In what universe?

A salad made of shoestring jicama? Are you kidding?

Waffle-cut sweet potatoes? Your mother.

Well, but wait a minute. Pushing the reset button on my attitude might actually turn this thing around.

I can envision making an art of it. I can see myself adopting vegetable washing and preparation as a creative release rather than a demeaning chore.

It's a blurry picture, but I'm concentrating.

It has helped in my past to spend a ridiculous amount of money on new equipment. A few years back, after working in a restaurant and not being able to live without it, I bought a chef's mandoline. A serious piece of slice-and-dice machinery that a person could mangle herself with if she's not careful. I adore this thing. It allows me to make paper thin zucchini slices I can coil up in ruffles, purple cabbage sliced so finely it fairly melts in your mouth. Sliced Brussels sprouts? Try them.

I couple mandoline magic with knife skills picked up from books, at the elbows of chefs, and watching cooking shows on the food channel. Together these techniques make a real difference at the end of the day, when my full concentration can go into vegetable art. Meal meditation.

One of my colleagues and I were discussing Salade Nocoise the other day. Big platters of artistically arranged cold veggies, raw and blanched, arranged with sliced eggs, tuna, olives, pickles. With a Dijon vinaigrette on the side? Mmmm. A good reason to have friends over on a beautiful spring day.

Send me an invite by email,


Salade Nicoise Recipies
Best price around, Chef's Mandoline
How to slice, dice, mince, and chop your veggies

posted by Julie |
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