Salad days


I worked from home this morning, which meant I went straight from my shower/dress/primp routine to sitting at my desk for a few hours – which meant I skipped breakfast. Not clever. At 11 AM, I heated up a bit of rice, which I ate with soy sauce, Tabasco, and coriander. That plus an apple kept me full(ish) until I got into the office, whereupon I had some chilled prawns, cottage cheese with pineapple, and another apple. (My never-fail apple of choice, by the way, is the glorious Granny Smith. I cannot abide an apple that is even vaguely soft or lacking in crispness, and Granny Smith never lets me down.)

Fast forward seven hours, during whiich I had only water (plus a pint of Diet Pepsi in a pub near our company’s new offices in Covent Garden). I was (and am) still at the office, and a colleague of mine very kindly ran out to fetch me some plain pasta and fruit salad from the local Tesco Express. While he was gone, I tried to make myself look forward to this desk dinner. It didn’t work. So I was very pleased indeed when he returned with a chicken avocado salad from Pret a Manger instead (queues at Tesco were too long). The salad was quite filling and extremely tasty, and came with much more French dressing on the side than was needed – always better than ending up with a dry pile of leaves. I normally shy away from avocado and oily dressings, but this salad will be worth a repeat.


  1. […] I had a full day of work on-site with a client yesterday, which I figured would mean one of my stand-by chicken avocado salads from Pret a Manger. So I brought a bottle of balsamic vinegar into the office with me, so I could skip the oily dressing. (I’m not afraid of oil; I just don’t enjoy such dressings enough to justify the hit to my daily caloric budget.) As it happened, one of the client managers and I decided to go out for lunch, and wandered around Covent Garden for a while before heading to the Strand, where we fell upon Zizzi with eagerness and hunger. Zizzi is a chain of Italian restaurants that provide reliably tasty meals. As someone who hates chains – especially Pizza Express – my endorsement should count for something. I had Zizzi’s satisfyingly predictable insalata con pollo, which pairs chicken and green leaves with goats cheese, caramelised balsamic onions, roasted artichokes, and other goodies. (If you go there for pasta, I highly recommend the strozzapretti or pesto and roasted vegetable penne.) After work, my boyfriend and I paid an unexpected visit to Samizdata HQ, where Perry de Havilland went out of his way to prepare a healthful meal for us. The dish of choice? His famous chicken salad, which features pickled walnuts, green olives, and (a new addition) crispy hot pancetta bits. Dessert was a hazlenut and praline yoghurt which seemed to contain a fair bit of cream. All delicious, and even more so for being eaten outside – the first English al fresco meal of the summer for us. […]


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