Cooking 101 with Selema: Cooking Salads


Selema writes about how to make salads!

This one ain’t even cooking. But ideas are probably the hardest part of making food, so here’s an idea and a how to.  

Cooking 101: Module 3 – Salads, because we never eat enough vegetables. Don’t even try to lie. 

What you need: 

  • Vegetables, like get a pre-made bag of leaves (why can’t it be leafs?) that look good. 
  • Option 2: actually pick the individual veggies, but you will end up with a lot! 
  • Dressing, I like Caesar dressing but get whatever. I included a picture of the one I get at the end. 
  • Optional, but highly recommended: 
  • Croutons 
  • Chicken, it’s hard to stay full when only eating plants if you aren’t used to it. 
  • PASTA! The swirly one, or short straws, or like any not-noodles you like. 
  • Cheese? 
  • Avocado 
  • Like whatever, honestly 

This “recipe” will be what I usually put in, so just skip the steps that you don’t have and add them if you do. Easy. 

Step 0, now and always: wash your hands, geez! You’re an adult I’m not explaining it, but here’s a fun infographic.  

If you have chosen pasta this paragraph is where you start, if not, scroll down. Get a pot, fill it with water, salt and oil if you like, and put it to boil. Once it boils put the pasta in. Depending on the size of the pot you will have to lower the heat, so it doesn’t boil over. Play the “How Hot Can I Make the Water Before it Boils Over” game until it’s done. Strain it good and let it cool. If you didn’t get chicken, skip the chicken paragraph. 

For the chicken you can do this while you boil the pasta or after, of course if you are in a hurry at the same time is fine, but if not I suggest after the pasta is done to let it dry and cool. Okay. Get everything in the kitchen just right, because you are going to handle raw chicken. Cut all the fat and not-so-good-looking parts of it off, then cut it up — I usually do cubes. Throw it in the pan and go wash your hands again. Then come back and turn the stove on to a medium heat and season your chicken. I use garlic salt, onion powder, lemon pepper (I have a problem), salt and pepper. Using a spatula or a mixing spoon, mix it up to get all the seasoning off the pan and evenly on the chicken. 

As it cooks, if you notice it’s dry you can cover the pan. If you don’t have a lid you can use another pan flipped over or a ceramic/glass plate. Move the chicken around to make sure it doesn’t cook to the pan and so that all sides of the chicken cook. Uncovering the chicken isn’t terrible, so you don’t have to worry about it when you uncover to mix it, but just be cautious of the amount of juice. If there is a lot uncover it, if there isn’t cover it. Simple. Repeat until done. 

If you skipped pasta and chicken this paragraph is where you startGet your veg-a-ta-bulls, wash or cut them if you need to, and put them in a big bowl, we are poor but you at least need to get yourself a mixing bowl. Laugh like an evil villain while doing so — this is a must. Add the noodles, chicken, whatever, and mix them in. If you like stuff on top of the salad, such as avocado or croutons, add that on top. Ta-da! You’re done. If you don’t know how to cut an avocado, I got you — at the end. 

If you are a crab get the tongs and click them a couple times before serving yourself. If you are my mom you serve the others as well, does your mom also do this, or is mine just weird? If you are a monkey (with clean hands) grab it with your fingers, civilly. Unless they are actual children, don’t serve the others, that’s a no no. And just use a utensil if you are feeding others. Once you have your bowl all nice, add the dressing, grab yourself a drink (not that kind! *wink) and go eat.  

For those that don’t know how to cut an avocado: 

  • Avocado in one hand, at least decently sharp knife in the other. (I’m righthanded so I put the knife in my right hand, but whatever feels comfortable.) 
  • That little stem thing at the top is where you are starting. (You can take it off) 
  • Slide the knife into the avocado prepping to cut along the side. 
  • Push down and rotate around the avocado. You are cutting it in half, around the pit. 
  • Once you get back up to the top and have sliced the full circle you should be able to just pull it apart. 
  • If you are cool you can slam the sharp edge of knife into the avocado pit and pull it out there, or just use a spoon to scoop it out. That’s a little messy. 
  • Anyways, from there you can use the knife to cut it into slices (and again to dice it) then use the knife to cut it off the skin. 
  • Or, just like use the spoon to scoop it out of the skin and put it in a bowl and smash it. 
  • Season however you feel. 

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