Where do I begin?
…absence makes the heart grow fonder, eh?
On June 10th, I graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in nutrition (dietetics). I’ll be back in a couple of months to pursue my masters and become a Registered Dietitian.
The last month of school was full of Jimmy John’s vegetarian-hold-the-mayo-add-mustard unwiches along with some laughing, crying and spending time with my best friends. My diet revolved around Amy’s burritos, eggs, tuna, and smoothies.
The last month of school was not full of healthiness and cooking and blogging, as you and my tight pants are very well aware.
The best thing I ate that month was this beyond divine giant mushroom pierogi from the Sophie’s Gourmet Pierogi food truck on the corner of Lane and Kenny. If you’re in Columbus reading this, you’d be a fool not to go and get one. I miss it already.
But what I really miss…
Are my four awesome roommates–especially Sam’s sock buns.
And undersized people in oversized sunglasses.
And high school football games.
And scrapbooking silly high school concerts that I’ll never forget.
And my amazing on-campus job at the bionutrition core of the Clinical Research Center.
And bar crawl with the amazing best friends I made in college.
And Northstar‘s village salads. Oh how I miss this salad.
What better to way to come back with a bang then to attempt the impossible? Replicating this beyond foodgasmic salad is pretty much a joke. You can’t duplicate perfection, especially without avocado and tomato.
But I kind of just did.
The Northstar Salad
-serves about three
*All numbers are approximations–I didn’t measure!
- 3 very large handfuls of field greens
- 1 ear of corn on the cob with the corn removed (or 1/2 cup corn)
- 5 dates, chopped
- 1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted
- pan-“fried” tofu or organic chicken
- whole wheat croutons
- optional: tomatoes, avocado, goat cheese
Toast almonds at 375 degrees for about 7-10 minutes or until golden brown and aromatic. Keep the oven on for the croutons. Once almonds are cooled, combine all ingredients in a large serving bowl and set aside.
- 1/2 whole wheat bagel or other crusty bread, preferably a couple days old
- cooking spray
- sea salt and garlic powder
I used a whole wheat bagel that was a few days old because it’s what I had on hand but feel free to use whatever bread you want. Slice bread into 1/2-1 inch chunks and spray liberally with cooking spray. Season liberally with sea salt and optional garlic powder. Toast in oven until crispy (watch closely), about ten-fifteen minutes.
- 1 block extra-firm tofu, drained and cubed
- 1/2 cup or more of your favorite dressing/marinade (I used Garlic Expressions dressing)
- 1 tbsp oil
Place cubed tofu in your favorite dressing and let it marinate for at least a half hour. You could also just cook the tofu without the marinade. To cook tofu, heat a large skillet with one tbsp oil over medium heat. Once hot, add tofu. It should sizzle once it’s placed on the pan. Cook until browned, flipping until all sides are browned. Be patient–this may take a little while.
: I used this one from Daily Garnish
but feel free to choose your own!
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 4 teaspoons maple syrup or honey
- pinch of salt and pepper
Toss everything together and enjoy! I served this with a caramelized onion and broccoli quinoa pilaf…recipe to come.
I wish I could replicate every hilarious roommate dance party to “Call Me Maybe,” every weekend brunch at Tasi, every walk through the oval on 90 degree days, every night we regretted calling the pizza guy, every trip to Northstar and Katzingers, every day of college when we did our very best to soak up every moment of life and then some.
But I can’t.
The next best thing is to remember the times we had as undergraduate buckeyes finding who we are, discovering what we’re supposed to do with our lives and exploring what we really like to eat.
Nothing like a Northstar salad to jog my memory.