Heaping helpings of healthy salad were my lunch and dinner today. On top of red leaf and iceberg lettuce, I piled raw broccoli, carrots, celery, cucumber, and red onion. Peppers and tomatoes are usual suspects in my healthy salads, but those veggies were expensive at the market yesterday so I went without. But don’t applaud my frugal move, I spent the money instead on Wisconsin blue cheese so I could make homemade blue cheese salad dressing.
I’d been meaning to make this blue cheese salad dressing recipe for a long time now. Although blue cheese spread on a cracker is a bit strong for my taste, I do love blue cheese crumbled on salads or mixed into dressing. Wisconsin makes award-winning blue cheeses, and I was pretty certain that any salad dressing I made out of it would taste great. And it did. Here’s the blue cheese salad dressing recipe I used. Keep reading for more about the salad and why a Wisconsin lumberjack would want it.
Today at last, all the dressing recipe’s ingredients happened to be simultaneously present in my ‘fridge: sour cream, buttermilk, mayonnaise, and whipping cream, Worcestershire sauce, and the Wisconsin blue cheese. The recipe was quick to mix up, and so was the salad. To add a little protein to my lunch, I topped the salad with mock crab. Mock crab goes super-well with salad and blue cheese dressing. That’s why I happily ate the salad for dinner as well. I usually make an extra large salad on the weekend so during the week I can take salad to work for lunch. This practice makes weekday lunches fast, easy, and healthy.
Well, almost healthy. If you noticed the ingredients in the blue cheese salad dressing, the only healthy ingredient is the blue cheese. The others are just fat with great taste. But that’s okay. I look at the high-fat dressing as inducement to eat all the healthy vegetables. I mean, who would eat raw broccoli plain?
Starving folks, that’s who. A sure sign of a deprived life is a plate of raw veggies without salad dressing. Or worse, is a plate of raw veggies sprinkled with zero-calorie vinaigrette. Now for most of us, a time comes when we have to diet and then under those sad circumstances we buy zero-cal vinaigrette. But that pitiful act of consumption is sign of atonement for a previously-hedonistic life, – a life well lived and enjoyed. In such a case, we accept paying the piper his due for our previous pleasures and then in return the piper extends our life and our opportunities to consume excellent food return.
This blue cheese salad dressing recipe is exactly one of those excellent opportunities worth dieting for. Or you can do what I did.
After lunch I felt so invigorated with energy that I sawed down 5 20′ trees and one over-grown forsythia bush. I hauled them all away to brush piles in the woods. And in-between this lumberjack work, I pulled up dozens of European buckthorn saplings and garlic mustard plants.
My lumberjack work shows just the reason our bodies crave fat: fat gives us energy to endure hours of hard work. Plus, fat sure tastes good.
So this afternoon as I sawed, pulled, and hauled, my daughter wandered outside, taking a break from her Sunday homework. She grumbled about her 4th-grade class having an entire social studies unit on Wisconsin lumberjacks. “Why?” she demanded, “Why do we have to study Wisconsin lumberjacks!?”
I paused my saw to consider her question carefully. Was she being precocious, or was I just missing something?
After a moment, I replied that the Wisconsin lumber industry has been an important part of Wisconsin history. For centuries, Wisconsinites have depended on the forests for their economic livelihood. Her class’s study of Wisconsin lumberjacks gives a historical context for the important discussion of how people interact with their environment and ways we can sustain both it and our families. Plus, Wisconsin lumber-jacking is more than just tree-cutting. The threads of Wisconsin culture woven through lumberjack folk tales, songs, cooking recipes, art, and furniture-making continue today.
I must have said the right things, because she stopped complaining and went back inside. So I returned to my own Wisconsin lumberjack work. And I worked up such an appetite, that that’s why I ate my healthy salad with blue cheese dressing for dinner too. YUM.