chew on this

My daddy taught me two major lessons growing up

  1. It’d do you good to believe in Jesus.
  2. Iceberg lettuce and some good homemade dressing can’t be beat.

We were eating salad wedges before we knew what to call them. One crisp head of iceberg lettuce, quartered and paired with my mom’s homemade thousand island dressing  was a complete meal. Chomp. Chomp.

I don’t remember our conversations…I don’t need to…I just remember him being present and near.

Girls like their dads to be present. A father’s attention is our kryptonite. Done and done. Who cares if we didn’t get invited to “the party”…who cares if we are nervous about our one line in the upcoming Christmas play…We go from just some girl with freckles and a cowlick that won’t quit, to a beautiful princess who can DO or BE anything…I’m not kidding.

The story behind rabbit martinis begins with my inherited love of salads. I love how I feel when I eat better and  I love salads because they require me to sit down and chew. I slow down, eat, breathe and collect my thoughts before moving on to my next task. Plus, chewing is soooo important in the digestive process.

Preparing salads at home is now easier than ever! Every store offers prepackaged organic mixes of arugula, spinach, kale and romaine ready to eat! Heavenly. Before I get back to my preaching…that’s inherited too…here’s a little quick recipe and how-to for making your own at home rabbit martini. Get as crazy original with the ingredients as you choose…add sirloin, shrimp, different fruits, nuts, herbs…make it your own….make enough for you and someone else to SIT and CHEW and BE PRESENT.

Today I started with an organic spring mix, some mango and blackberries…

9911I place the ingredients in a smoothie shaker  ( you can also use a cocktail shaker)

9915Just like prepping for my smoothies, I will make two or three salads at a time and store them in my fridge for later. I love 16 ounce canning jars for this purpose.

Now for the dressing…which takes so little…like less than a tablespoon… because the shaker distributes it so evenly.

I always start with an olive oil base. Today I added balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, cracked peppercorns, Himalayan sea salt and *cilantro. Whip the ingredients up in a small bowl, pour over the salad, put on the lid and give it a good shake. 9919

*Hint: I found these fresh herbs in the produce section at Target and they’ve become a close friend…I love fresh herbs but they don’t love me enough to stay around for long. It’s a very one sided relationship.

**Consider this…dressings can destroy your intentions of eating well. Fresh lemon juice and pepper is enough to give your greens a zesty pop! Did you just roll your eyes? Look…I was raised on ranch dressing, too… I get it. The dressing my mom made was mayonnaise based and for all I know had a cup of sugar in it. But we know better now...know better, do better.

Shake it like a bartender and serve!  If I’d had any, this would have been great with almonds or walnuts…adding that to my grocery list now. I’m staying away from cheeses or I would have added some feta! I love feta and goat cheese and fresh shaved parmesan on my salads!  I did slice up some leftover blackened chicken to magnify nutrition and serve as a good mid-day protein punch.


When I was teaching journalism, every year I did an assignment on being “present”. I talked about how important it was to listen and engage without distractions when conducting interviews. I asked the students to go home that evening and sit at the dinner table and be “present”…I’ll never forget one year when a young lady raised her hand and said…“That’s weird Ms. McLeod. We don’t sit at the table.” Several other students chimed in with the same feedback. I asked them where they were eating…

“Taco Villa…Sonic…In my room”

This broke my heart and it broke my heart even more that we are to blame. Us. The Parents. It’s our fault.

I asked them if they wanted it to be that way when they had families of their own. The surprising, but not surprising answer…“No”.

Some of my best memories are from my family being gathered around our table. I don’t want that to be lost in our generation and the generations to come. It’s time to be present again…

I think it’s time we take back our tables.

Thank you for letting me share my recipe and heart.

love gina



2 thoughts on “chew on this

  1. Yep, always remember Dad eating a wedge of lettuce with mom’s dressing. That dressing was good!! Great recipes, reminders, and memories. 😊


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s