Tag Archives: salad

Content.

If you had told me a year ago that I would be where I am right now I’d look at you, wide-eyed, in a daze of disbelief and then hug you really hard once it had all nestled in. I’d thank you for sharing the good news then nearly collapse, pleasantly surging with relief. My boss reminds me to “enjoy every moment of every day,” a very simple piece of advice that often takes a tragedy or streak of sadness to jar us into implementing. My little jolt came from the latter.

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For me, days would go by in a very fast blur. Like sitting on an express train, passing by stops and towns that could possibly mean something to me, I was hurrying through chunks of time without considering where I’d like to head, who I’d like to become. But from what I gather, time and getting older is much about unraveling who you are.

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My life is not perfect, that’s not what I am getting at. My room is a mess, I procrastinate, remain a little out of touch with my passions, don’t travel as much as I’d like, treat working out as a sometimes thing, and tidiness is lost on me. Those are teeny tiny worries that I possess now instead of a dreaded sense of aimlessness. I am in a good place and am grateful for so many things. Following this past birthday, which turned out to be a rather grown-up affair, I began focusing on how things have changed since my early twenties. How the people I surround myself with mean more to me. How I have little patience for superficial ties or, on the other end of the spectrum, toxicity. How wonderful simplicity is.

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This hot morning I came home, dry and tired, to a quarter of a ripe watermelon sitting on the table. Glistening. A knife resting beside it.  I wanted to pick up the entire piece and bite right into the center, let the fruit dissolve and the sugar perk me up.  I decided against hacking away at the fruit with my teeth. I daintily cut up little chunks, threw some stuff together in a bowl and called it a salad. A spontaneous, refreshing little salad inspired by restraint and my own contentment.

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Watermelon salad

Fresh ripe watermelon

A couple glugs of really good olive oil

Fresh mint, finely julienned

Salt

Cut watermelon into good-sized chunks and place in a bowl. Toss with olive oil and mint. Finish with salt of your choice.

 

 

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Chunky Bunny.

The other day, well, yesterday actually, I went to go put on a pair of jeans I quite like. They did not fit. It wasn’t just the common but endurable “oh these are rather snug” tightness. The button and hole suffered a good inch or so gap. Opting for some denim with more give I pondered my culprits. The third helping at Easter brunch? The weekend of discovering the best places for beer in our new neighborhood? The empty dish of what was once filled with cheesy strata after one of those bacchanalian nights? Hmmm… Summer is just around the corner and in Chicago, as in most places, this means the beaches open up and the bulky clothes that let us ‘conceal’ a few extra pounds when we indulge in winter comforts like pot roast and shepherds pie, well, those fleeces and sweats are replaced with shorts and two-pieces.

Eating out needs to quiet down in my household. Not only is the dining tab pricier than cooking at home, but unless I am in a situation where it is nearly impossible to gorge yourself (tapas-style with 5 servings of each item and 6 guests) I will overeat and usually order something richer than I would eat at home. Having recently moved back to the city from a two-year stint in the suburbs I feel so spoiled with dining options. I have to pace myself or I’ll be crawling back to the suburbs just to afford rent again. It will be my challenge this week to figure out the best grocery stores in the area and get back into a routine of weeknight cooking. All the money I save with grocery shopping can go towards a new pair of jeans…maybe a scale wouldn’t be a bad plan either?

 

 

Tuna Salad with Dijon-Citrus Vinaigrette

When I mixed this little salad up I had a genuine hankering for some canned tuna. Unlike many times, this wasn’t one of those moments where I am just trying to tastefully get rid of my canned foods. Whats so great about a simple recipe like this is once you have the dressing and proteins, you can throw in anything else you like. If I had some tomatoes and a cucumber in my fridge, those probably would have been in there too.

1 can albacore tuna, drained
1 can cannellini beans, drained
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup celery, diced
1/4 cup kalamata olives, halved

Add the tuna and cannellini beans together in a small bowl. In another small bowl, whisk the olive oil, lemon juice and mustard together. Sometimes I will throw in a splash  of white wine vinegar to give the dressing a bit more of a bite. Pour this onto the tuna and beans. Add the celery and olives. Toss everything together gently until blended. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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