Salad Maturity for Almost-Adults

We’re led to believe that being an adult means being able to make the big choices. Able to take the giant steps for mankind.

Moves like buying houses. Having more than two people over for a sit-down dinner. Buying a house/condo/yurt that has enough space to accommodate more than two guests for a sit-down dinner.

This is not the case.

Being an adult starts with the small stuff (and mainly, how to not sweat it.) Things like:

Realizing that half of your premolar is cracked and falling off, and then not spending the 72 hours until your dentist’s appointment obsessively pondering the possibility of swallowing a jagged piece of enamel in your sleep.

Or watching an episode of Animal Planet hit series Too Cute without ten minutes of serious ugly crying at the end (when the Shiba Inu pup goes home with her new family.)

Maybe you also are fixed in your pre-medical appointment neurosis rituals, or maybe you, too, are desperately in need of a four-legged companion to breathe and shed on you at night.

There are, thankfully, other ways to validate maturity. Moderation and controlling the things you ingest are a safe start. (I’m happy to announce that, for the first time in 23 years, I successfully made a jumbo box of Junior Mints last for all 3 days worth of suggested servings. A year ago the entire carton would’ve been gone after 5 previews and 20 minutes of a Seth Rogen movie.)

Replacing boring, snooze-fest lettuce-based salads with bowlfuls of whole grains and bizarre dried fruits are another way to subtly scream, “I am grown and independent and getting more than my daily allotment of fiber.

For the record, adding cheese and following up this healthful eat with say, Edy’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup ice cream is equally adult-like. It’s called treating yourself and even adults are terrible at it so, props to you.

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Mature.

Wheatberry Feta Salad
Makes 4-6 servings.

1 c wheatberry, cooked (it should be in the rice aisle, closer to the quinoa and couscous)
1 cucumber, sliced and chopped
1 c cherry tomatoes, rinsed (no chopping necessary)
1/2 onion, sliced
A pinch or two of sugar (granulated or brown)
1/3 c feta cheese (blue or gorgonzola or anything crumbly would work nicely)
1/4 c dried cranberries or cherries or currants (I discovered these crazy things)
Red wine vinegar
Olive oil
Salt + Pepper
(Optional) Balsamic

Like any boss salad, this is mainly about chopping and tossing. Combine the cooked/drained wheatberry, cucumber and tomato in a large bowl and set aside.

Sautee your onion slivers in a tbsp or so of olive oil with your sugar pinches for 5-10 minutes, until delightfully golden, and add to the bowl. Add in your dried fruit of choice.

Mix in the vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper next – each to your desired taste/level of wetness. I added the cheese last to let it soak up the dressing (versus getting drowned in it.)

This can be: lunch, a standalone dinner, a dinner side, a 2 p.m. awkward hunger pang snack, or even breakfast because you’re an adult and it’s your call.

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