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Gameday Funeral Salad a healthy alternative
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Earlier this month, a group of five Tribune employees, me included, took up the Club 1 Fitness Challenge, and are working on changing the food we eat to develop healthier lifestyles.  Okay--we’re on a diet.  But you’re not supposed to say “diet” anymore, right?  But we’re working on coming up with good tasting, easy to make dishes.  With this in mind, I’m extending that to the meals I make my family and friends.  
So, Saturday, I was at the Great Bend invitational watching my son play basketball, and ran into a friend who frankly was dressed way nice for something like a basketball game.  I had to ask why.  It turned out, she planned to attend a funeral later that morning.  That reminded me, suddenly, that I promised Wednesday night at my United Methodist Women’s meeting that I would bring a salad for a funeral dinner Saturday morning.  Yikes!  
Luckily, there was about an hour between the first game, which we won, and the second game.  So, with Dear Husband in tow, we headed for Dillons to get ingredients for a salad.  He suggested I just get something at the deli, but I wanted to do better.
“I want to be that person that is dependable, not flakey,” I said.  He just smiled...and started humming the “crazy” tune.  
I knew I didn’t want lettuce in the salad, because it always goes limp, so I started thinking out loud about what would be in it.  He started reminding me of the time I had to work with.  
We parked, and for good measure, I marched into the store well ahead of him and began filling my basket with veggies, and rounded the corner on my way to the salad dressing aisle.  He was laughing at my speediness, and I had to remind him that I normally shop fast when he’s not with me...and well, I told myself I’d only say nice things or nothing at all.
We paid, and headed for home.  A few minutes later, I had my bags in hand, and into the kitchen I marched.  I pulled down a big bowl, two cutting boards, a veggie peeler and two knives.  I washed veggies, and we started cutting.  It was an undeclared race, of course, but we were making a heck of a salad.

• 3 cucumbers, peeled and diced
• 3 tomatoes, diced
• 4 carrots, peeled and diced
• 2 yellow squash, diced
• 1 white onion, peeled and diced
• 1/2 bottle of Kraft Italian dressing, small

We began assembling the salad, onion first, covered with the dressing to keep the fumes from escaping.  Then more veggies and dressing, until the bowl was full.  I mixed the salad several times until it was completely blended and coated with dressing, popped a piece of aluminum foil on the top, and we headed out the door and over to the church.  We were right on time to drop off the salad before the dinner began, and made it back to the middle school with minutes to spare before the tip-off of the second game, which, by the way, we won.

Tribune reporter Veronica Coons can be reached at