Some people say they can tell when they’ve been overindulging because their body sends them messages. Their skin breaks out, their pants don’t fit as well, they start dreaming about donuts…. I can tell when I’ve been overindulging (or at least not eating a well-balanced diet) by how quickly we run out of clean spoons. When there is rice pudding in the fridge, or ice cream in the freezer, we go through about five times as many spoons as we normally would in a day. Is this a real statistic? No. But opening the utensil drawer and finding the spoons all gone does seem to coincide with the presence of ice cream quite often. When we run out of spoons and ice cream is not to blame, it’s probably because I haven’t gone grocery shopping and I’ve been relying on bowls of cereal for at least two of my three meals a day. While that might be less unhealthy than going through a container of ice cream in a couple days, one spoonful at a time, it’s still not very balanced.
Anyway, we experienced a spoon shortage a couple weeks ago, and since then I’ve been trying to bulk up our supply of fruits and veggies, but I’ve been in a bit of a rut. As much as I love winter vegetables, I need a break. For weeks I have been fantasizing about asparagus and tomatoes. While I might have to wait a bit longer for those, when I was at the grocery store last weekend I got inspired to stock up on some salad ingredients. I have to admit this resulted in buying some veggies that aren’t really in season around here at the moment, which I generally try not to do. But I figure keeping the amount of produce I buy from faraway lands to a minimum is still better than not limiting it at all. (Please don’t come after me, hardcore locavores…)
I don’t think it’s a secret that I love lime and cilantro. When avocado and jalapeno are added in, even better. It’s not everyday that you get excited about a salad, especially one you prepared yourself. But as I was assembling the salad, the colors and smells of all the ingredients started to play together and, I swear, the salad started to seduce me. Can a salad be seductive? Apparently it can, at least for me. After months of kale, chard, and Brussels sprouts, complimented by the rich, almost bacon-y, flavors of shallots, this salad was a welcome change. The spring greens of jalapeno peppers and avocado, the aromas of cilantro and lime, and the pops of colors from cherry tomatoes and red onion felt so bright and perfect to accompany the unseasonably warm, sunny day.
- Couple handfuls of baby romaine lettuce
- One slice of red onion
- 1/4 large cucumber, cut into long narrow strips
- Handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
- Half of a jalapeno pepper, sliced thinly
- Couple tablespoons of cilantro, roughly chopped
- Half of an avocado, cubed
- Some pea shoots (probably about a 1/4 cup, if you really want to know)
- Raw pumpkin seeds (because a little iron never hurts)
- Dressing made of olive oil and one lime’s worth of juice*, seasoned with salt and pepper
*Technically, it was one lime minus one wedge that was sliced off for presentation purposes.