RECIPE OF THE WEEK: The Super Life-Affirming Salad to Start Your New Year Off Right

Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to create a super salad to nourish and energize while tantalizing taste buds.
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Claire Lower
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Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to create a super salad to nourish and energize while tantalizing taste buds.

Hello again! Last week I asked for your best morning-after-a-good-romp-between-the-sheets breakfast recipes and boy did you deliver. Some recipes were sweet, some were savory. One was simply cookie butter on toast. (I approve.)

The competition was fierce and early on it seemed like “Barbie’s Cheap Fucker Breakfast Sandwich” was going to emerge victorious. I was pretty excited, because the recipe featured fried bologna, but then CaponeAlonious swooped in with chocolatey, hazelnutty goodness.

Boosh.

Boosh.

This recipe is very timely, as one of my New Year's resolutions is to start a successful sex cult.

This tasty recipe can be found on the blog I Can Cook That, but I'll post the whole thing here for ease.

Slow Cooker Nutella French Toast Casserole with Caramelized Bananas (via icancookthat.org)

Ingredients:

  •  1 loaf challah bread (about 1 pound) 
  • 6 large eggs  
  • 2 cups vanilla almond milk (or normal milk)  [Note: Guess which one I used?]
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon  
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract  
  • 2 heaping tablespoons Nutella, plus more for topping  
  • Pinch salt  
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter  
  • 4 bananas, sliced  
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

Instructions:

Cube your bread and distribute evenly in your (lightly-greased) slow cooker. 

Bread^3

Bread^3

Mix  together eggs, milk, cinnamon, vanilla, Nutella, and salt. Just stir it until the Nutella breaks up a bit as no amount of whisking will create a homogeneous mixture. Once the eggs are fully incorporated and you see small globs of hazelnut spread floating around, pour over the challah.

Saturated with taste!

Saturated with taste!

Heat on high for two hours. While your tasty breakfast is cooking, go bone some more.

Practically bread pudding tbh.

Practically bread pudding tbh.

When you have about 15 minutes of cooking time left, chop the bananas and mix them with the brown sugar. Saute over medium heat in a tablespoon of butter until caramelized.

Scoop out a healthy portion of French toast and top with extra Nutella and those delcious bananas.

Put it in your mouth.

Put it in your mouth.

Well done CaponeAlonious, for you have changed our lives on this day. This is a warm, cuddly breakfast if there ever was one. It's like an edible hug. Though it's almost a dessert (depending on the amount of Nutella you top it with) the bananas help cut through the richness and keep you coming back for another bite. As long as your booty call has a sweet tooth, they won't be in a hurry to leave.

Your trophy is a very impressed Angie in a chef's hat.

Angie says "A+."

Angie says "A+."

The next assignment is something completely different.

As you may have noticed, Christmas is over. The hams, turkeys, and pies have all been consumed and many drinks have been drank. The end to all of the wonderful gluttony is in sight, with the last hurdle being New Year's Eve. 

I always start the evening with reasonable intentions not to be hungover on the first day of the new year. Last year I managed, but only because I had gone out with a certain former xoIntern on December 30th and therefore was too hungover to drink on the 31st. Below you will find the only blurry photo we managed to take; it really captures the energy of the evening.

I was still kind of hungover on New Year's Day.

Anydrunk, I don't really do New Year's resolutions (the exception being the aforementioned sex cult thing), but I usually find myself eating a little healthier every January, not because I'm trying to change my lifestyle or anything, but because I start craving vegetables that haven't been casseroled.

As a result, I find myself eating a lot of salads. It can get pretty repetitive very quickly because -- while I am very creative with alcohol, cheeses, and cured meats -- I am less so with piles of raw vegetables.

I'm good at Bloody Mary toppings though, which is kind of a salad, right?

Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to create a super salad to nourish and energize while tantalizing taste buds. This salad should be full of vegetables and flavor. It should make you feel good but never deprived. This is not iceberg with one of those weird dressing sprays you eat to atone for the pounds of pie you shoveled down your throat. (You shouldn't feel bad about that anyway -- twas the season and all that.)

So give me your best super salads to help me start my year out right. My pancreas is depending on you.