Does your kitchen have “LL”?

27 May
One time when my parents were here for a visit, my dad said, "Uh, Tam…you know it's time to clean the crisper drawer when you have LL." I said, "What's LL?" He replied, with a grin on his face, "Liquid Lettuce." He then held up a bag from the back of the bottom crisper drawer. It originally contained pre-cut romaine lettuce. It had liquified. Gross.
I'm sure I'm not the only one who doesn't dig to the bottom of the refrigerator crisper drawer regularly, only to discover a few weeks later a forgotten box of mushrooms or bag of fresh parsley. Am I?

I do have to say, though, that ever since that incident, I've tried to stay on top of it a little better. I do occasionally discover something slightly past its prime, but you won't find LL in my fridge anymore.
The best part of regularly investigating your produce supply is that you can pull together amazing salads while your veggies are still fresh. Last night's dinner salad included all kinds of things that needed to be eaten before they perished! My hubby even commented, "this salad is delicious." In fact, it would be beautiful as a summer picnic salad. It had green leaf lettuce, baby spinach leaves, shredded carrots, green onions, celery (for my blood pressure!), sliced strawberries and toasted pecans from the pantry. I drizzled mine with a balsamic vinaigrette. Jason and the kids had poppy seed dressing.
I served it alongside grilled sesame tilapia for Jason and the kids, grilled Gardein filets for me, and baked potatoes. If you haven't tried the Gardein "chicken" breast filets yet, they are worth a try. Not only are they made from healthy organic ingredients, they're the most chicken-like chicken substitute I've had so far. The look and texture is exactly like chicken. The taste is very good, although I've discovered that marinating them makes them really good. The first time I cooked them, I pulled them out of the package, tossed them on the grill, and then brushed them with BBQ sauce in the same way I cooked real chicken for everyone else. They were not as good as I'd hoped. Yesterday, I pulled them out of the package and put them in a plastic container and smothered them in the sesame sauce I was using for the tilapia. They were in the marinade sauce for a few hours. Then I continued to brush them with sauce while grilling. When I pulled them off the grill, I gave them one last drizzle of sauce. They were fantastic.
So the next time you're digging through the fridge, start mixing and matching and see what you can create. Most likely, you'll be pleasantly surprised!
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