Tag Archives: salad

normalcy.

After ten days of beachside vacationing and a fully packed weekend in Boston, I have had some wonderful experiences away from home.  Now, however, I am more than ready to get back to normal.

Throughout the past couple weeks, I have eaten a great host of delicious food.  I’ve had a glass of wine nearly daily, which I don’t mind a bit.  I’ve gotten lots of fresh New England air.  I’ve hugged and laughed with my family and my best friend.  I’ve made new friends in Boston.  My summer is coming to a perfectly lovely close.

It’s time now for some comfort and some routine, some home cooking and farmer’s market foods.  I cannot wait to fill my week with my favorite “ordinary” things…

oats and coffee

Stovetop oats covered in almond butter.  I was going through withdrawal.  This bowl was so good this morning.

salad

Ridiculously-sized salads.

outlet purchases

An opportunity to play with my vacation outlet purchases.

thrifted accessories

New thrifted items.

avocados

Avocados!  I am digging into one with a spoon at lunch.

fruit bowl

A stocked and diverse fruit bowl.  I love having options.

barney butter

Almond butter (courtesy of the swag bag!).  Nearly two weeks with no peanut or almond butter – far too long!

battery park

Some New York.


How do you get back to normal?

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danger zone.

Since my refrigerator is officially bare, I grabbed dinner for my train ride at my number one danger zone:  the Whole Foods salad bar.

When I was in Prague, my boss and I used to enjoy lunch at a vegan cafe called “Country Life.”  We often discussed how thankful we were for the few health-conscious restaurants in the city center, as my boss was one of maybe four Czechs who were vegetarians.  Country Life provided us with the largest hot and cold salad bar in the city.

It offered, however, about a tenth of the options on display at Whole Foods.  Possibly less.

I never go to the WF salad bar.  Not that it isn’t delicious – everything always is.  But I am physically incapable of putting less than 2 pounds of salad in my box, which results in $17 that could have bought me salad ingredients for a week.

Knowing that I have a lot of excessive vacation meals on the horizon, I managed to keep myself relatively under control tonight.

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I still went for the largest container though.

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In the mix is roughly every vegetable available, plus some chickpeas and kidney beans, and a couple tastes of prepared salads (far less than normal).  I topped it with globs of hummus (one of the few surviving ingredients in my refrigerator), and now it’s all packed for the train.  Kind of like my suitcase should be.

I’ve got some posts set to show you all around our paradise town, and I’ll be blogging our restaurant visits, because there are some fabulous ones up there.  See you all from vacationland!


Are you as out of control as I am at salad bars?

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telling the tale.

As a child, I never struggled to entertain myself.  My mother still reminisces that she would peek into my bedroom, worried when I’d been alone behind a closed door for too long.  She’d find me on my floor, wrapped up in a toy or a game of my own creation, quietly whispering to the characters that lived inside my head.

I can still recall some of my more elaborate childhood fictions.  Often, they grew from visual inspiration – a piece of clothing found in our cardboard dress up box,a lyric from a musical heard in my father’s car, even a discarded scrap of wrapping paper.

While the days of pretending eventually escaped me, the art of telling a tale has remained a passion of mine.  As I began to develop my own style, for instance, I found that outfits could tell many stories of their own.  Each piece of clothing has a history – where it came from, how it arrived there, why you chose it.  Putting those pieces together transforms simple parts into a complex whole.

salad

And the same goes for a plate of food.  Each element of storytelling preached by my college professors has its place on a plate.

There is the foundation of leafy greens, providing the salad with a universally understood base.  Then, the seasonal ingredients of eggplant and summer squash, relevant and appropriate for the time of consumption.  The carrots and tomato add color and interest, drawing the viewer closer.  Garnished with fresh herbs, their flavor and spice complete the package with a unique twist on an old classic.

Of course, there are the many nutrients, unrecognizable to the eye, yet existing prominently between the lines.  No piece of art is complete without its metaphors.  Those hidden discoveries are by far my favorite part of any tale.


What tells the stories in your life?  Food?  Music?  Style?  

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green machine.

Lately I have been finding myself inspired by all things green.

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Green space  [Grounds of Schonbrunn Palace; Vienna] 

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Produce [My fridge is wonderfully full today]

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Czech liqueur  [I hear it tastes like Christmas morning; personally I smell cinnamon and taste, um, liquor]

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Green smoothie  [Papaya, mango, unsweetened almond milk, baby spinach]

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Peppermint tea [The last remnants of a wonderful birthday gift]

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Reusable grocery bag  [Green in color and use]

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Salad, of course.  [Kale, green beans, cucumber, zucchini, avocado, edamame, cilantro, evoo, agave]

 

I tend to go a bit over the top when a theme enters my life.  Case in point:  I’ve got a green experiment planned for dinner.  

 

How much green is in your life?

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serious salads.

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"side salad."

One of my biggest pet peeves (besides people who blast their ipods too loudly – anyone with me on this?) is the typical salad served at a restaurant.  

I recently ordered an “entree” salad supposedly including sugar snap peas, shitake mushrooms, grape tomatoes, and ahi tuna.  The vegetable combination was the deciding factor for me, so I was understandably disappointed when the waiter appeared with an appetizer-sized bowl of mostly greens, one snap pea (chopped into pieces), and 2 shitake mushrooms.  Yeah, that filled me right up.

I find it unfortunate that salads have a lot of negative associations.  Diet food.  Rabbit food.  Health food.  Female food.  Food that you have to eat before you can have the good stuff.  

There was a time when I thought I had to live on salads to be healthy.  The portion had to be small, dressing on the side.  I was never satisfied, and I couldn’t figure out why.

Now, my sister calls my salads “serious.”  I don’t play around.  They’re usually towering, full of every vegetable in my fridge, on top of a massive bed of greens.  They don’t contain much dressing because I love to taste the natural flavors.  They always leave me feeling energized and well-fed.  

I’ve learned that part of being healthy is eating what you love.  I happen to love vegetables in great abundance.  I’m happy now to savor a serious salad right alongside warm bread and peanut butter, balancing my plate, satisfying my tastebuds.

I hope one day mainstream restaurants will catch on too, using their salads to celebrate fresh, nutrient-rich, and delicious produce, rather than simply touting them as a waistline-friendly choice.  Truthfully, I wish we could take the weight associations away from every type of food – but that’s a rant for another day.

 

What size are your salads?

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