Tending the Farm

I started the DishWithDina blog back in April 2005 (Happy Blogiversary to me!) as a way to remember all the yummy places I went to after I moved to New York City from New Jersey. In the transition from one platform to another and then integrating everything into this website, I think I lost a handful of posts along the way; but, I kept all the business cards and photographs (I was snapping pics of my meals before Instagram was even a thing) from every outing.

One of my rules of living in the city has always been to never visit the same place twice. With so much to do and see and eat, why not try something different every time you leave your apartment or venture in from somewhere else? Besides, you can’t ever guarantee your favorite places will be around long enough, so might as well check out as many as you can before they’re gone. (RIP, Benny’s Burritos and 7A.)

Sunday041705

Babies! (04/17/2005)

Such is the way with life, too, though. I don’t think any of us intentionally want to regret not doing something differently, not pursuing an avenue because it was unfamiliar, or fearing what would––or wouldn’t––happen if we ventured off our regular path. In that realm is where I find myself these days. It’s been over six months since I completed my year-long dietetic internship and I am still having issues recovering from the (albeit sometimes self-imposed) toll that experience took on my brain and body. But, as the seasons change and the year progresses and time between the “doing” gets larger and wider, I find myself reflecting on what could be instead of what should have been.

My grad school is finally letting up (one class left!) to a point that I see more flexibility and freedom in my schedule. I’m allowing myself to try new things, to remember what life was like when I would roam the streets of Manhattan, weaving in and out of each neighborhood, tasting and sampling the cultures and the livelihoods that awaited me. I went back to practicing yoga this week after a three-year-long hiatus. I bought hydrating facial masks and have been using them regularly. I met a friend for lunch and then went for a walk afterward. I find myself bolting out of the building and going for a run the minute a ray of sunshine peeks out from the clouds. For the first time in years, I’m reading books that have nothing to do with food, nutrition, or science and everything to do with helping me get back on track, refueling and improving my psyche so that I’m well prepared to develop and grow as each new season unfolds and new opportunities come my way.

In addition, I’ve met dozens of wonderful new people, after starting my private practice in October, who have donated their time and energy to help get my business up and running and now they’re contributing to and breathing new life into this blog. I look forward to sharing more of their contributions––and more of my own insights––with you over the year. And I invite you to share with us what rituals you enjoy, what goals you intend to pursue, and what old habits in your life you’re letting go of in order to make room for new ones.

For the Love of Food

ICYMI, this past Monday, October 24, was Food Day, an annual national celebration headed up by the Center for Science in the Public Interest. It was created a handful of years ago to encourage Americans to be more mindful about their eating habits and take ownership of their well-being, and to bring attention to policies—or lack thereof—regarding accessibility to healthy, affordable, and sustainable food.

To “observe” Food Day, one needs only to commit to making some sort of food-related change to his or her normal habits—anything from giving up soda to supporting farmers at the local farmers’ market to reading up on how Members of Congress voted on certain food policy issues. Some towns and college campuses put together big events to encourage their communities to join in on making these changes or identifying local food- and nutrition-related issues that need their attention. In doing so, they hope that these personal commitments and community-wide achievements last well beyond the one day once the momentum kicks in and everyone sees the positive results of what their efforts can make.

For me, food has played an enormous role in my life, starting from the time I was a child. Every Sunday, my Nonna Rosa would pick fresh herbs and vegetables from her backyard garden and, when I was old enough to stand on a chair and lean over the kitchen table, call me downstairs (we used to live above her in a two-family house) to help her prepare fresh, homemade pasta, hand-cranked through the heavy, metal pasta machine that had traveled with her on her journey from Italy to America. In that small kitchen, we cooked pounds of pasta al dente, served in an enormous bowl with the sauce—studded with heavy, hand-rolled polpette (meatballs)—that had been simmering in the big pot on the stove all day. Alongside the large bowl of pasta would sit a platter of sautéed spinach with fresh cloves of garlic or a dish of plump, stewed tomatoes with ceci (garbanzo beans), anchovies, fresh parsley, and basil. The aromas were enticing, even to the olfactory of five-year-old me!

Spending time learning and cooking with my Nonna Rosa remains one of my fondest memories of all time. Not only was there a sense of accomplishment associated with making our own food and feeding it to our family, but I became enamored and inspired by Nonna as she shared with me—in her broken English—stories about how she came to America, how she worked in a coat factory and saved up her own money, and how she was determined to be an independent woman in this new land, something unheard of for her generation.

Not too long ago, my dear friend and fellow Registered Dietitian (and foodie and blogger and New Yorker), Marsha, from SalutNutrition, interviewed me about the tastes and traditions of Italian cuisine. It was so fun, sitting with Marsha on a breezy, beautiful day in Central Park telling stories* about my family and my love of food. If you have about 15 minutes to spare, I invite you to watch and learn a little more about the food and culture of my family’s hometown in Italy:

Marsha launches a new YouTube episode each week on different foods and habits from across the globe. Click here to subscribe to her channel.

What are some of your favorite food memories? Are there any habits you have made, want to change, or looking to learn about? Please feel free to add your comments below and share this post with anyone you think who might love food as much as we do.

*VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: My mother had a chance to watch this video when it launched earlier in the week and yelled at me for forgetting to talk about the “Feast of the Seven Fishes” (an Italian Christmas Eve tradition). I clearly did not prepare well enough for this interview; otherwise, I would never have let this happen. Marsha denied my request to re-shoot the entire interview so that I could correct my error. Thankfully, I wrote a post about it a few years ago and you can read all about it here.

On a Mission: Field Work, Food Service, and Feeling Good

Being homeless in New York City does not mean having to live on the streets or in subway tunnels thanks to organizations like The Bowery Mission, which offers recovery programs for men and women suffering from drug and alcohol addiction, mental health issues, poverty, and long bouts of unemployment.

Bowery Mission

Earlier this year, as part of my Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) at Lehman College and before I became a Dietetic Intern, I volunteered over 100 hours of my time at The Bowery Mission-Harlem Men’s Transitional Center, which is designed to move formerly homeless men into independent living through faith-based counseling, education, and career development training.

The center houses about 70 men in single-room units and provides them with clean clothing, showers, optical and medical services, and three hot meals a day. For my field work assignment, I was supervised by Gretchen Roth, the Food Services Manager (promoted to Senior Manager of Kitchen Operations on my last day), who oversees the center’s kitchen services and coordinates with The Bowery Mission’s larger location, the soup kitchen at 227 Bowery, to deliver food and supplies—all donated by the general public, restaurants, and food recovery organizations like City Harvest—to the Harlem location as needed.

Many of the Harlem Center residents were known as “chronically homeless,” meaning that they found themselves on the streets for long periods of time—sometimes decades—or in emergency rooms or crisis service centers over and over again without any improvements to their health and well-being. Having mental health issues or being institutionalized at some point also played a big part in their substance use or abuse.

According to a 2004 study, homeless persons and addicts stated that they sold their personal belongings, provided sexual favors, used rent money, or panhandled to purchase drugs and alcohol. Once they ran out of money, lost their jobs, or became addicted, they found themselves living on the streets. However, half of these respondents claimed to be less involved in drugs and alcohol after leaving recovery programs (such as The Bowery Mission’s) because of the personal attention, guidance, and intervention they received while in the program.

In a more recent article, homeless persons were positively affected in recovery programs because they offered constant social and personal reinforcements in addition to providing them with medical, mental health, and substance abuse support. Being in this kind of environment gave them a sense of normalcy and security, both necessary components of a successful recovery process. They appreciated the structure and routine this type of recovery program gave them.

Regardless of the reasons that brought these men to the Harlem Center, they are now better equipped and motivated to live independently once they graduate from the program.

Since my field work at the Harlem Center involved meeting specific criteria for my DPD program, I was fortunate enough to be involved in the inner workings of some of the center’s food service management components. For example:

  • HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points)—This is a food service management system where an organization can address processes for everything from receiving deliveries from vendors to managing inventory to preparing, cooking, and distributing meals to consumers.
  • Inventory control—The Harlem Center, like most Bowery Mission locations, relies on food donations which vary greatly each day and week, so receiving and inventorying is always a challenge.
  • Purchasing—Since the Bowery Mission relies solely on donations, there is no food purchasing involved, but there is regular and ongoing correspondence between the Harlem Center and the main soup kitchen, and the organization will sometimes send a blast out on social media to request needed items and supplies. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee as to what items will be received or in what condition they will be once they arrive, e.g., sometimes donors don’t check their stock beforehand to see if they’re sending out moldy cheese and freezer-burned fish which have to be thrown away instead of being used to feed the residents.
  • Food preparation—I assisted with and/or handled on my own the preparation of hot meals during lunch and dinner each week. Thankfully, from time to time, additional volunteers (like the kind souls from the United Nations in the photo above) would come to help with peeling and chopping massive amounts of potatoes, onions, and other veggies.
  • Service—I assisted with and/or handled on my own working the lunch and dinner tray lines each week in the Center’s cafeteria. On any given day, we would feed about 70 residents. I really enjoyed getting to interact with these guys and learning about their journeys over the few months I was there.
  • Menu—I assisted with and/or created on my own the dinner menus on the days I worked. The kitchen staff and residents would always give me feedback (usually positive) and I would make adjustments accordingly for the next meal.
  • Cleaning—I monitored and participated in kitchen and cafeteria cleaning procedures like sanitizing cook and prep surfaces and dishwashing. I also helped create a daily cleaning schedule for the pantry/stockroom. Even though the center doesn’t serve food to the public, it still must adhere to strict food service guidelines since it does getting inspected by the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene every so often just like a restaurant would.
  • Supervision of personnel—On every occasion at the Center, I observed managers commend staff for a job well done or provide feedback about learning and teaching moments. Sometimes, a little “thank you” goes a long way in establishing staff morale, even if you’re volunteering your time and not a paid employee.
  • Time sheets/payroll—A weekly schedule was always posted for kitchen and cafeteria duties. Most of the center’s kitchen staff are residents and unpaid. These duties are a part of the “on-the-job” training component of the recovery program.
  • Miscellaneous—I helped create a fluid pantry/stockroom system for easier storage and retrieval of ingredients needed for the kitchen. Again, because the center receives donations only, there could be racks full of peanut butter or a complete shortage of pasta at any given time. Figuring out how to accommodate these situations without redoing the entire room layout was a little tricky, to say the least.

My experience at the Harlem Center was fantastic, but extremely humbling, as I’m sure all volunteer opportunities are. As a hyper-organized person by nature, I cannot imagine having to face the daily challenges of running a kitchen without knowing what food exists to be served. Add to that the patrons are previously homeless men who now reside in the facility and the responsibility to create a quality meal for them becomes overwhelming.

I have a lot of respect for the staff at the Harlem Center who can pull together a menu—for nearly 70 men, no less—like they are on the Food Network’s TV show Chopped* where they are forced to use whatever ingredients they are given at that moment. It was fascinating to watch the choreography between them and learn how to conduct that same dance on the days I worked on my own, even with so many years of food service already under my belt.

I also appreciated how everyone in that facility—from the front desk receptionist to the counselors—worked to create an interdependent, cohesive, and dynamic environment. Every moment spent at the center revolved around its mission to support and motivate the residents in making their new life possible.

I encourage you to volunteer your time, money, or goods at an organization that is close to your heart or click here if you’d like to donate to some of my faves.

*Fun fact: Gretchen Roth was recently a contestant on the Thanksgiving episode of Chopped. Click here to check it out!

TEDxManhattan (Sat, 3/7/15): Changing the Way We Eat

If you’ve been keeping track of my Twitter feed or are a part of my LinkedIn network, you know that my boyfriend and I will be hosting a viewing party of the TEDxManhattan live-streaming event “Changing the Way We Eat” at our apartment in the East Village, New York City, on Saturday, March 7, 2015. As I did last year, I’m opening the invitation to anyone who follows this blog.

OTHER INFO:

  • Food will be provided (menu still TBD), but you can BYO food or beverages, if you wish.
  • Kids are welcome.
  • We have cats in case you are allergic.
  • This is not a fund-raiser/there is no charge to attend.

The entire event is from 10:30 am – 6:00 pm ET. Since we have a teeny apartment, we are asking everyone to RSVP by Wed, 2/25 for their preferred session(s), noted below, so it doesn’t get too crowded. (I’ll e-mail you our exact address after you’ve replied).

Session 1 (10:30 AM – 12:25 PM)
Introductions
Nikiko Masumoto – Legacy of three generations of Japanese American family farmers.
Anim Steel – Food justice.
Ali Partovi – What’s the real reason organic food costs more? (Hint: It’s not because it’s more expensive to produce.)
Stephen Reily – How do cities build platforms to help the local food economy achieve sustainability and scale?
Film clip: The Meatrix, re-make and re-launch of the hugely successful 2003 viral phenomenon
Michele Merkel – What is legal is not always right: Fighting for justice in rural America.

BREAK 12:25 – 1:35 PM (webcast offline)

Session 2 (1:35 – 3:35 PM)
Marcel Van Ooyen – Scaling up local food distribution to take it from niche to mainstream.
Robert Graham – Teaching doctors about the importance of food to health.
Stefanie Sacks – How small changes in eating can make big differences.
Joel Berg – The only real way to end hunger in America.
Dana Cowin – The power of ugly vegetables: Why ugly, bruised vegetables are the future of food.
TEDxManhattan Award Winner – Stephen Ritz, Green Bronx Machine. School. Kids. Community. Food. The educational community center Steve is building in a school in the Bronx.
DJ Cavem – Health education through art and hip hop music.

BREAK 3:35 – 4:15 PM (webcast offline)

Session 3 (4:15 – 6:00pm)
Henry Hargreaves – How end-of-the-world doomsday preppers are thinking about their food.
Film clip: Anna Lappe, Real Food Media Project winner
Shen Tong – The impact of venture capital money and investment dollars in the food system.
Kendra Kimbirauskas – The rift between the good food movement and the explosion of factory farms in the U.S.
Film clip: Regina Bernard-Carreno and Alison Cayne
Danielle Nierenberg – Why the food system will fall apart without women farmers.
Danny Meyer – Fine dining and chain restaurants: The evolvement and overlap of the two.

END 6:00 PM (webcast offline)

We look forward to sharing good food and conversation with you!

If you are unable to attend, but would like to learn more about the event or watch on your own, click here to visit the official TEDxManhattan website. Please feel free to post comments below about what you thought after watching the event.

Take the cannoli

Even though we only live across the river, it’s rare the bf and I get many visits from our friends and family in New Jersey, so you can imagine how excited we got when my cousins came into the city a couple of weekends ago to spend the whole day with us.

What I love most when we have visitors (aside from eating with them) is getting to view our neighborhoods through their eyes. Rushing through the streets of Manhattan, as a resident is wont to do, I often miss out on the little details like sidewalk vendors and graffiti art on buildings. It’s only when I’m walking with an “outsider” that I manage to stop and take in these nuances.

Our tour was very haphazard; we zigged and zagged according to the traffic lights’ changing patterns. We started at our place in the East Village, then meandered over to SoHo, then pitched a hard left and shot our way toward the East River Promenade and South Street Seaport, which, while the effects of 2012’s Superstorm Sandy were visible, still thrives with everything from an outdoor trapeze school at Pier 16 to a food market where vendors’ wares are housed in individual shipping containers.

I’m outside!

After our leisurely stroll through the south end of Manhattan, we realized how hungry we were getting, so we high-tailed it back up the busy streets of Chinatown toward Little Italy and decided to be super tourists by plopping down to dinner at the ever-famous, ever-infamous Umberto’s Clam House, now relocated down Mulberry Street a bit from its original Broome Street location.

While I took in the sights, sounds, and smells of our venture outdoors, I noticed something else: I was moving slowly and loving it. I sat on a bench for nearly ten minutes and stared at the Brooklyn Bridge. I watched people dressed in colorful leotards hurl themselves in mid-air on trapeze bars and then land softly on the net below them. I took pictures of things and nothings. I often joke that I don’t go outside (unless I’m on a beach) because I’m very busy and important, allowing pressing tasks or other priorities keep me indoors, but being out and about was a true gift that I would very much like to continue giving myself.

 

TEDxManhattan (Sat, 3/1/14): Changing the Way We Eat

If you’ve been keeping track of my Twitter feed or are a part of my LinkedIn network, you know that I’ll be hosting a viewing party tomorrow, Saturday, March 1, 2014, for the TEDxManhattan live-streaming event “Changing the Way We Eat.” This may seem like a nutty move, but I’m very trusting of my readers, so I’m opening the invitation to anyone who follows this blog. I’m not crazy enough to post my exact street address here, but I’ll say that it’s at my apartment in the East Village, New York City.

If you’re interested, please click here to RSVP and I’ll send you the address.

OTHER INFO

  • Food will be provided, but you can BYO food or beverages, if you wish.
  • Kids are welcome.
  • We have cats in case you are allergic.
  • This is not a fund-raiser/there is no charge to attend.

The entire event is from 10:30 am – 6:30 pm EST, but you can drop by whenever your schedule allows and stay for as short or as long as you wish; however, if you’d prefer to join us for a particular session, here are the details:

10:30 AM – Session 1
Brian Halweil, Editor, Edible East End; Publisher, Edible Manhattan and Edible Brooklyn
Peggy Neu, President, The Monday Campaigns
Kathy Lawrence, Program Director, School Food FOCUS
Michael Rozyne, Executive Director, Red Tomato
Tama Wong, Principal, Meadows and More
Megan Miller, Founder, Bitty Foods
Steve Ritz, Founder, Green Bronx Machine
Andrew Gunther, Program Director, Animal Welfare Approved
David McInerney, Co-Founder, FreshDirect
Dr. Lance Price, Professor, George Washington University
Bill Yosses, Executive Pastry Chef, The White House
David Binkle, Director of Food Services, Los Angeles Unified School District

1:40 PM – Session 2
San Van Aken – Tree of 40 Fruits, Artist
Stefani Bardin, Faculty, The New School
Matt Moore, Family Farmer, Artist, Activist, The Digital Farm Collective
Maisie Ganzler, Vice President, Bon Appetit Management Company
Regina Bernard-Carreno, Assistant Professor, Baruch College, CUNY
Ann Cooper, Founder, Food Family Farming Foundation
Sunny Young, Director, Edufood Consulting
Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director, Food & Water Watch
Virginia Clarke, Executive Director, Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders
LaDonna Redmond, Founder, Campaign for Food Justice Now
Alison Cayne, Owner, Havens Kitchen
Elizabeth Meltz, Director of Food Safety and Sustainability, Batali/Bastianich Hospitality Group
Nikki Silvestri, Executive Director, Green for All

4:20 PM – Session 3
Mitchell Davis, Executive Vice President, James Beard Foundation
Myra Goodman, Co-founder, Earthbound Farm
Kerry McLean, Director of Community Development, WHEDco
Saru Jayaraman, Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC United)
Cheryl Kollin, Founding Principal, Full Plate Ventures
Clint Smith, Educator, Parkdale High School
Peter Hoffman, chef owner of Back Forty and Back Forty West
Chellie Pingree, Congresswoman, U.S. House of Representatives (Maine)
Kenneth Cook, President and Co-founder, Environmental Working Group
Tom Colicchio, Chef, Restaurant Owner, Head Judge “Top Chef”, Cookbook Author

We look forward to sharing good food and conversation with you!

If you are unable to attend, but would like to learn more about the event or watch on your own, click here or here. Please feel free to post comments below about what you thought after watching the event.

Brunch Bunch: The Pancake Edition

Not too long ago, a group of us were craving pancakes and met up for brunch at Café Orlin on St. Marks Place. The lines outside of this place are notoriously long and if there’s one thing I won’t do it’s wait in a long line. (I am very busy and important, plus, there are a gajillion places to eat in New York City and, if you keep me waiting, I will move on.) Thankfully, our party was seated quickly and I was excited to find out what the big deal was inside this place.

My first impression was, “It’s huge in here!” Exorbitant rents usually keep city food establishments from having more than a handful of tables and barely inches between them, if that. At Café Orlin, there was room aplenty and enough tables to accommodate a large family gathering, but it never seemed overwhelming. The dark woods and large windows made it feel warm and bright at the same time.

The restaurant’s fare is deemed “eclectic and international,” though it leans Middle Eastern with baba ghanoush and tabbouleh plates on the menu. Brunch, offered on Saturdays and Sundays, is your usual choice of eggs, pancakes/French toast, or salads/sandwiches, but Café Orlin puts such a clean and organic spin on everything that you’ll think you’re eating on a farm instead of at a bustling restaurant in the heart of the East Village. Everyone at our table chose a main omelet dish and then split a side of pancakes in order to sample as much as possible in one sitting. The verdict: delicious!

One of my rules of living in the city is that I rarely frequent an eatery twice because there are just too many places from which to choose and I want to try as many as possible, but, with Café Orlin, not only will I make an exception, I already did. My boyfriend and I loved it there so much that we invited his entire family out to join us one Sunday and they fell just as much in love with the place as we did. And I’m glad we went back because our first server was underwhelming where as the one we had during our second visit was extremely friendly and accommodating.

As mentioned above, everything in Café Orlin is fresh, fresh, fresh, including their freshly brewed coffee, which means refills are not free, but it’s a small price to pay for quality.

Meat, meet un-meat.

One of my favorite vegan spots, Peacefood Café, has recently opened in the East Village/Union Square area and I am thrilled! There are so many creative savory and sweet options to choose from there, mostly made with meat substitutes like tempeh and seitan, but there are also some whole food dishes, like roasted or steamed veggies, green salads, and that sort of thing.

For our meal the other night, my bf and I shared The Other Caesar Salad with tempeh “bacon” bits and a plate of deliciously spicy Chickpea Fries as starters, then he ordered the Penne Un-chicken Parmesan for his entrée and I had the PFC Un-chicken Basket (meat-substitute chicken fingers) served with a mild chipotle “mayo” dipping sauce on the side. I barely ate my meal since I couldn’t stop picking at my bf’s dish, so I ended up having it packed up as leftovers. Our dessert was a shared slice of peanut butter dairy-free cheesecake, which was a little on the gummy side; I might have preferred one of the monster cookie options instead.

The issue with vegan foods is that not everything is healthy, so, if you’re opting for one of the meat substitute dishes (which are, technically, processed) or anything that doesn’t resemble a whole or raw food, just be sure your tummy can handle whatever’s in the recipe—like deep frying, soy, or wheat gluten—and be sure to ask your server if you’re not positive about what’s in the dish.

For me, this kind of vegan eating is a treat as I have a very sensitive stomach, so I can’t overdo it; otherwise, it’s the same as someone eating a gallon of ice cream when she’s lactose intolerant. Since I’ve been on a liver detox cleanse the past two weeks, I probably should have waited it out before stepping into Peacefood Café, but I gave into temptation and, unfortunately, ended up paying the price for it—a sour stomach and a raging headache. Was it worth it? Probably, but I’ll definitely mix it up a little more next time and not eat something so heavy and processed in all three of my courses.

Rehash: Sunday Brunch

Seven years later and we still love this place, so, lazy as it may seem, I can’t do much better than just lead you back to my original post from 2006.

Recipe: Leftovers Salad

The East Village is not exactly known for its spacious apartments. As a matter of fact, my building, much like many of the surrounding ones, is a renovated tenement, which once contained large, shared areas, often housing hundreds of residents at a time from the late 1860s through the early 1900s.

When the buildings were renovated, some of the new apartments inside couldn’t hold “normal”-sized items like stoves, refrigerators, and bathtubs, so, in ours, for example, we have a slim stove, an under-cabinet refrigerator and a stall shower.

All of this to say that, when we make a meal at home or order dinner in, we’d better eat everything right quick; otherwise, there’s not much room for us to store leftovers (our freezer is slightly larger than a shoebox). Unfortunately, sometimes we do end up with extras, but they don’t stay in the fridge for very long. When this happens, I clean out whatever leftovers have accumulated and incorporate them in some way into a second meal, usually in a salad, so I’ve named this post’s recipe “Leftovers Salad.”

For today’s salad (served 2), I had some leftover mujadara and string beans that I had made earlier in the week; you can use whatever dinner leftovers you have on hand, be it grilled chicken, shrimp, or even pasta salad.

Part 1

2 c Romaine lettuce, washed* and chopped
2 c kale, washed and chopped

Part 2

Leftovers

Part 3**

2 Tbsp sunflower seeds
1 tomato (plum/Roma, beefsteak, or whatever’s in season or your favorite), chopped
1/3 c pitted olives, any kind, drained, rinsed & chopped

Part 4***

juice of 1/2 lime (acid)
1 tsp Dijon mustard (emulsifier)
1 Tbsp olive oil (oil)
Salt & pepper to taste

Part 5

2 thick slices sourdough bread, grilled or toasted (a whole wheat baguette would work well, too)
4 Tbsp plain hummus

*the best way to wash lettuce/leafy greens is to peel the leaves from the bunch and drop them into a large bowl while running cold water on them, shaking them around and letting dirt fall to the bottom; then, lift out the leaves and place on a dry towel or paper towels
**the sprinkly part can be substituted by whatever goes best with your leftovers; for example, if you were using grilled chicken, you might want to use chopped walnuts and dried cranberries instead of the tomato and olives
***traditionally, a vinaigrette is made of one part acid, three parts oil, and an emulsifier like mustard, garlic, or egg yolk; so, if you’d rather use red wine vinegar instead of the lime juice or canola instead of olive oil, go right ahead

Toss together ingredients from Parts 1 and 2 in a large bowl; sprinkle with ingredients from Part 3.

For the dressing (Part 4), whisk the lime juice and mustard together in a small bowl, while you slowly drizzle in the oil until everything is emulsified (mixed well with no separation). Add salt & pepper to taste and whisk some more. Drizzle lightly over salad mixture. Serve salad up with the grilled bread, each slice topped with 2 Tbsp hummus (Part 5).