Friday, June 25, 2010

Flavor Tornado Salad

As I write this post, I am walking 2 mph at a treadmill desk. It is amazing. The desk, which can be raised or lowered at the press of a button, is about 6 feet long and 3 feet wide. That is plenty of room for my papers, and my coffee. I could probably even fit a couple of coffee pots on here. The only drawback to this setup is the location. I am in a tiny room in the heart of the library at the VA medical center. In order to be able to use the desk, I have to sign up in advance. Thinking back to a recent experience where I had to complete an exam that required 12+ hour days sitting at a computer, I have to wonder why no one invented the treadmill desk sooner.

During the sedentary month, my back would often ache and my mind would feel stale. The blood would pool in my legs, and my whole body, right down to the toes, would feel swollen and sore. I had to wear arm socks to keep my elbows from bruising. I kept thinking 'I can't believe people live like this.'

I dream of a future where the word desk chair is filed in the graveyard of technological archives, along with the camcorder, the 8-track, and the telephone chord. The chair will be looked back on as a historical torture device, once revered as a symbol of cultural pride, like the corset or the Chinese lotus shoe (which was used in foot binding). It may seem extreme to compare the desk chair to the lotus shoe, which often caused young women to have broken toes and severe disabilities later in life. However, I feel that it is a valid comparison. My reasoning is not entirely scientific, but I did gather some evidence. Christina and I once had a discussion about the prevelence of pain in the American population, she insisted that most people live with pain, I assured her that they do not. The discussion resulted in the formation of a bet. She bet me that if I asked everyone who came through the coffee shop, most people would confess to living with pain. I wish I could say that I won the bet, but I did not. The most common source of pain described was the lower back. The most common job: the desk job.

Here is a link to the treadmill desk

This salad is simple and elegant. I added lemon to it at first, and so it was too tart. Christina added soy sauce to hers and brought the tartness down. Then she stood and watched me taste it, and waited for my response. She looked like a proud kid showing me a report card. It was the cutest, but I couldn't let her know I thought so. In the dressing I left out the lemon and the soy sauce, but If you want some more complex flavors, add 1/2 tsp lemon juice and a few drops of soy.

Champagne truffle dressing
1 Tbsp white truffle oil
4 Tbsp grape seed oil
1 1/2 tsp Champagne vinegar
1 tsp honey
2 baby green onions
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp fresh thyme

The salad
1 head red leaf lettuce
3 carrots quartered and sliced
1 small tomato
6 asparagus spears

Christina's vote: "I was swirled by a tornado of flavors"

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