Since I work stupid hours (5:30am to 1:30pm), my lunch falls at an odd time. 10:15 am. It's usually no problem when I bring my lunch, and I do try to do that most of the time. It's cheaper and generally lower calories than anything I could get if I go out for lunch. My options for eating lunch out at that time are somewhat limited. A lot of places don't open until 11am, or are still serving breakfast.
A few weeks ago, I wanted a salad really badly. I'm all about salads lately... I'd love to just bury my face in a Newk's Favorite. But Newk's isn't open that early. So, Panera popped into my head.. I knew they served lunch early enough. I looked over the Panera website for nutrition info and decided to order a Fuji Apple Chicken Salad.
I may as well have gone out to snort crack (or whatever you do with crack, I certainly don't know).
It's like heaven in a bowl. I sit there and just melt into the booth, in rapture.
I know, I'm such a dork.
It's the dressing. Apple vinaigrette. It's weird, because I usually don't like sweet vinaigrettes like raspberry or strawberry. But apple.... man, that's some good stuff.
Panera is a little on the expensive side though. Otherwise, I'd probably be there every other day.
I'm trying to find a good recipe to make it myself. I tried out one, but it was a little too heavy on the apple cider vinegar, too light on the apple juice, I think. A little too acidic, not sweet enough. I'll keep looking and trying.
Tonight, the girls' school had a fundraiser at Chik-Fil-A, and the school so nicely bribed the kids with an extra recess to guilt the parents into going. I went online to see what I could have that wouldn't totally blow my calories out of the water.
I looked at the salads, and I saw it.... a salad with zesty apple cider vinaigrette. The salad itself was different from Panera's... but they had me at "apple vinaigrette".
Look at it. Look at it and drool.
The cashier even gave me a knowing nod when I ordered it and said "That's a really good salad." He knew. It's probably wrong to compare a Chik-Fil-A employee to a drug dealer, but yeah. He knew what was about to happen.
It's definitely tied with Panera's salad in my book. I think the girls could have danced on the table and I wouldn't have noticed, I was just so in love with my salad.
I only allowed myself a quick glance at the ingredients of the dressing packet (I don't have that option at Panera LOL) and it's definitely not "clean" or Paleo. I really need to find or concoct my own at home for that, I imagine. I haven't seen it in the stores, either. I need it. I need a big bowl of mixed greens, some sliced chicken, gorgonzola cheese, tomatoes, and a bucket of apple vinaigrette.
Then my life will be complete.
By the way, I ran 23 minutes today, 1.75 miles. Then a small 2 minute burst, but my shins were complaining and I thought I might want to be able to walk tomorrow, so I let it be at that.