The starvation salad

So you’re down to your last bag of onions and a random assortment of canned goods.

If you are like most vegetarians, you probably still have the ingredients for a tasty salad on hand.

Here’s an adaptable recipe for a salad that provides a modicum of protein, won’t get you fat, and will provide enough energy to get you to the grocery store for more grub.

First ingredient: the base

You can probably find a legume or grain protein among your emergency canned foods. It could be a can of black beans, string beans, beets, or corn. Just about any canned vegetable, with the exception of tomatoes, will work. No canned foods? Maybe there’s some forgotten broccoli or zucchini in your freezer. Use that.

The second ingredient: a savory

The next ingredient is a chopped onion, clove of garlic, banana pepper, jalapeno pepper, a chopped pickle or a chopped olive. This can be a fresh ingredient or come out of a jar or can.

Next ingredient: the crunch

Ideally, this ingredient is any kind of nut or seed you have on hand: peanuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, etc. Chop them up, but not too fine.

However, if you didn’t set aside some nuts for an emergency, use croutons, bread crumbs, crushed crackers, canned dried onions, crushed Pringles, crushed tortilla chips, etc.

If you are using a grain for crunch, don’t mix it into the salad. Instead, sprinkle it on top after mixing.

Last ingredient: the astringent

This ingredient pulls the others together into a salad. It can be any kind of vinegar, lemon or lime juice (fresh or bottled), or that leftover bottle of French dressing from the door of your fridge.

If you really don’t have anything else, you can use the juice from a can of pickles or olives. (And buy some rice vinegar next time you’re in the store! What kind of vegetarian are you?)

Proportions

Proportions are pretty flexible, but in general, it should be three parts base, one part savory, one part crunch, and two tablespoons of vinegar.

Optional ingredients:

Salt and black pepper, garlic salt, paprika, boiled egg, boiled potato, an extra canned vegetable, a leftover apple, grapes, raisins, dried cranberries or cherries.

Stir together and enjoy!

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