There's something about the prospect of a nearby summer season that really fortifies my creative side; and ironically, as the months are growing warmer, and the beautiful days are growing longer, I find myself spending more time in the kitchen! Maybe it's the ease of finding a wider variety of locally grown, well ripened, fruits and vegetables; I don't know. But I thought I'd spend the first day I've "had off" (other than running errands and grocery shopping) in a while making something delicious. I rarely plan meals ahead of time, and the idea for a sliced steak sandwich hit me in the grocery store.

Apparently, sandwich steak is just steak that's been thinly sliced; which proves that you learn something every day. I purchased four sandwich steak slices from a local grocer, took them home, squeezed the juice of one lemon over them, and then grilled them on the George Foreman Grill until almost completely charred. I placed them on slices of toasted artisan bread, with lettuce, cherry tomatoes, Vidalia onion slices, and Dubliner cheese. The cheese melted quickly and the whole thing was far better than a burger!

The salad was derived from a diet I attempted years ago, and is made with arugula leaves, microwaved-from-fresh beets, bleu cheese, walnuts, and vinaigrette made with red wine vinegar and walnut oil. The beets are sweet, the cheese is sharp, and the arugula is peppery and mellow.

The whole meal was delicious, and probably cost me around eight dollars, which is even cheaper than fast food these days, and the ingredients (with the walnut oil as an exception-but it is available if you look closely) are easily located at average grocery stores.

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