Make Mexican Food An Event

The fam has a new Mexican food habit on Friday nights.  So we make Mexican food an event these days.

It’s really just because The Banker has taken a liking to our local Mexican restaurant’s chips and salsa.  So we keep going back for it.

The salsa we really like is the roasted tomato salsa.  But it photographs horribly and The Banker was getting pissed I was still taking pictures with my phone.  So you’ll have to settle on the fresh salsa.  But it does have my beloved cilantro in it.

The restaurant has this great little back patio with a water feature and a giant metal cactus.  We were lucky enough to snag one of those outdoor tables the first time.  Typically, there’s too long of a wait and we end up inside.

During our first visit, I was enticed by their drink special.  It was some lovely mixture of flavored vodka, juice and sprite.  That’s the one picture up above.  I never remember what it was, so my I send my waiter with a vague drink order to give the bartender.  I figure they’ll come back with something good.   Oddly enough, a margarita has yet to hit my table.  Perhaps I’ll try out their sangria margarita next time.  For now, I enjoy this fruity vodka mix.

We tend to chow down on all the free chips and salsa brought to our table.  By the time our food arrives, we aren’t really  hungry.  Plus by this then, the kids are over the etch a sketch they were given for entertainment and have turned to driving us completely nuts.  Which makes me want to say, “Waiter, can I get another drink here?”

Wait, back to the food.  This time we were smart and decided to split a meal.  The Banker seemed unimpressed by everything, so I got to pick.

This is what the menu reads, verbatim:

Fiesta Chicken Salad: caution, this salad can be addictive! strips of seasoned grilled chicken, fresh mixed salad greens, cilantro and tortilla strips tossed in our signature tequila lime vinaigrette and topped with our chipotle peanut sauce.

DANG!  It was addicting.  I scarfed my half of the salad as if a hungry bear might take it from me.  When I finally came up for air to check on the rest of the table, I saw The Banker casually pushing lettuce around his plate.  So I scarfed his down too.  Definitely my new favorite.

My point?  Find yourself a nice Mexican restaurant, eat their free chips and salsa and Make Mexican Food An Event.

Sunday Salads

I’ve been a dedicated yo-yo dieter for a good part of my life.  Most of the time, its all-for-not with an end with little result and complete frustration.  Sound familiar?

Then I was talking with a friend who told me how she lost all kinds of weight on a high-end, über expensive diet.  [And since this isn’t a paid advertisement, and not at all the point of this blog, I’m not going to name names.]  For perhaps the first time in my life, I was determined to have real results.  So I committed.  Like, seriously committed.  Committed to the tons of lean protein, tons of green veggies and very minimal dairy and starches.  And it worked!  I lost 20 pounds in 3 months.  And all I did was change how I ate.  Of course, all means all my food was changed.

But life goes on… and so do the pounds.  Because I can’t commit to never eat a brownie again.  Or enjoy adult beverages on the back patio on a hot summer night.  So instead, I’ve repeatedly gained and lost at least ten of those pounds over the last two years.  And while I try to recreate my good diet habits, I’ve never been able to find that solid commitment I had the first go around.

The one habit that I haven’t lost is my daily lunch salad.  It’s one of those salads that the ladies in the lunchroom always ogle over because it looks so much better than their frozen meal or left over dinner that turned kinda mushy.  Nobody likes mushy left overs.  But admit it, you would want to eat this too.

 How do you create this beauty?

Start with fresh ingredients.  I use romaine lettuce, baby spinach, celery, green onions, and red peppers. But you add to your hearts content.

Chop away.  I use 1 to 1 ½ heads of romaine and spread it across four salad bowls.  Then I tear some spinach onto and layer away with the rest of my veggies.  That’s right, I make four salads at a time because who has time to do this in the middle of the week?  Not me.  I avoid too much cooking.

Add some meat.  The Banker is amazingly kind and grills up a bunch of chicken for me every Sunday night.  Regardless what [or where] dinner is that night.  He’s pretty awesome like that.  Then I let it cool of and cut up the meat into chunks.

Garnish.  If I’m feeling extra special, I’ll add some fresh cilantro.  How I love me some cilantro.  And if I’m lucky, I have some feta in the house to enjoy.

Eat.  And enjoy every bite.

And since I’ve already dirtied the cutting board, I generally make a few containers of veggies for the kids to munch on for the week.  Celery slices, red pepper slices and cucumber slices.  It’s a good time saver.

And look at that, I do make more than dessert.  Although those are way yummier.

sam