Those Salad Days of Chicken & Chips
I was happy when most of the Red Rooster stores on the Coast re-opened for business this past week. Seven stores had shut their doors last month after a tough ride financially, so it was wonderful news to hear the national chain stood in and opened most of the stores. In the process, 100 local jobs remained. That is a lot of families who will be very relieved.
Now that alone is reason to shout the family a roast chicken with a side of mashed potato and gravy.
Red Rooster is a bit of a primal memory for me as when I was a kid we would often celebrate birthdays and Mother’s Day with a roast chicken meal in our family. I think it was because Mum was really strict but this form of take away was pretty affordable and not a heart attack on a plate compared to some fast foods.
Fast forward to now when I am a mum and some nights when I am driving home from work at 7:00 pm it is just easier to grab take away than face the kitchen Olympics. And I feel less guilty buying take away that at least comes with vegetables as an option. And the chips are pure heaven, right? Hot chips and hot donuts are a secret wonder of the world when it comes to comfort food.
In other food-related news this week my husband and I had a deep and meaningful about the fact he hates salad and this aversion to anything that resembles a salad is starting to make our kids swerve it too. After a decade of marriage I am putting my foot down: he needs to give salad a second chance. Bring back the beetroot. Let lettuce return to the fold. So he insisted he would prepare a surprise salad for us to have with our spaghetti that night. He made a broccoli, bean and kale dish served warm with lemon juice. It was delicious. But is it a salad? It really is a serve of vegetables don’t you think? It belongs in a warm bain-marie, not a cold salad buffet. But, baby steps in my battle to bring back the salads.
All this re-labeling the basics is driving me a bit bonkers. At the Hobart airport recently I bought nachos, with no corn chips. Is it still a nachos I found myself asking … well … myself. It was sour cream and salsa served on a bed of brown rice. Corn chip-free nachos it was labeled. Hmmm. Seems a bit dodgy to me. It is more of a spicy rice dish than nachos. A naked burrito is not really a burrito is it? It is a fancy salad.
And what about these meat-free burgers that are all the trend? Hungry Jacks has released its zero beef burger called ‘The Rebel Whopper’. It supposedly tastes like beef but does not have a scrap of meat in the burger. In the United States, the beef free burgers have long been trendy along with shots of wheatgrass, acai bowls, and charcoal lattes. The boss of Hungry Jacks in Australia says the franchise is targeting new customers. “There is a growing number of flexitarians and meat reducers who, while not necessarily vegan or vegetarian, welcome a plant-based option in their diet”, he said. Yep, you can be a flexitarian. It is genius. You are a vegetarian most of the time. But when you need a good serve of bacon or a big fat juicy steak then no one can call you a hypocrite because you already have a title of flexitarian.
I am keen to try one of these Rebel burgers but I cannot imagine anything tastes as good as a double whopper.
Vegetarians, please do not send hate mail as I am quite in awe of your strength and animal cruelty ethics but I just cannot do life without lasagne, chicken Penang, and hot salami sticks at happy hour.