The most under-rated french fry substitute has to be the simple garden salad.

Think about it: yes, it’s the polar opposite of french fries. You hardly ever think “hey, I can really go for a super size salad right about now.” And how bout them cucumbers?

Don’t discount the sheer value here, however. A salad is filling, usually completely healthy, and can taste very, very good.

Dish #8 — A frickin salad

About two minutes — About $5 — Serves 2-4

Don't forget to wash your veggies!

Don't forget to wash your veggies!

I make a very, very simple salad that takes literally a minute to throw (toss) together.

Start with some story-bought baby arugula. It’s delicious and one of the most healthy plants you can eta. It’s loaded with vitamin C and potassium. If you want to double your green leaf pleasure, throw in some fresh baby spinach leaves for good measure.

I like to avoid lettuce and “light” green veggies. They’re flavorless and are mostly water. They don’t hurt, though. Veggies are still veggies.

Rinse the leaves thoroughly in a colander. Make sure you get both sides clean. Let the water strain out.

The salad is way under-rated

The salad is way under-rated

Tomatoes are key. I like grape tomatoes. Cherry tomatoes work. They’re easier and more convenient than slicing up your own every time you want a simple frickin salad.

From here you can get as creative as you want. I tend not to get too creative. I do simple red and simple green. Carrots are healthy. Cucumbers. One of my personal favorites are raw green peppers. They are delicious. Red peppers work too and are a little sweeter.

Drizzle on some (SOME) light balsamic vinaigrette dressing. Another trick is to add some fresh ground black pepper and a little sea or kosher salt (coarse salt) to the mix for flavor.

About The Author

John Guilfoil is the editor-in-chief of Blast: Boston's Online Magazine and the Blast Magazine Network. He can be reached at [email protected]. Tweet @johnguilfoil.

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