I went to the grocery store after the gym today, and kind of got log-jammed in the produce section. It all started with a 5lb tray of blueberries for $5.99. What fresh hell is that?? Do you know how many antioxidants are in that many blueberries? Do you know how pornographically enthusiastic I am about breakfast baked goods that involve blueberries?? Pshaw. But then they had something called a “personal watermelon.” Huh? In the cart it went. I don’t know what that means, but I like the sound of it. It smacks of ownership and servitude towards me, of which I am also a fan. Then I went kind of willy-nilly, tossing in luscious red cherries, unblemished strawberries, cantaloupe so juicy that torrents of payload ran down my arm when I scooped out the seeds. Hot damn! I was a woman possessed. I partially blame this on my kickboxing instructor, Tamra, who is sadistic and had me so hungry for actual nutrition that I was willing to seriously consider raw carrots as a delicious food option. Without ranch!! I also loaded up on fresh vegetables of all kinds, excited to see the return of my beloved fresh jalapenos, which had been ignominiously chucked out of all of our grocery stores due to a random, rapid-fire accusation of salmonella, issued from government officials who were clearly shooting from the hip; (“tomatoes, NO!,WAIT!, jalapenos, NO!,WAIT!, serrano peppers, NO!”) They’re still at it, since the serrano peppers were gone this week (but the jalapenos had returned without any explanation of their safety, leading me to believe this is some kind of elaborate prank designed solely to make sure that I cannot, at any one time, create a complete salsa).
Once I got home I spent, no kidding, over TWO SOLID HOURS just chopping things. It takes a long time to pit cherries, scoop out melons, make teensy little carrot molecules that add color to a salad but are still able to fit into a mouthful of ingredients without taking over…it was chaos. I finally assembled three complete food products.
1) The GORGEOUS fruit salad shown above. Chock full of different fruit flavors and colors, and all bound together with a very light “sauce” of honey and mojito mix to add some depth and a subtle mint flavor. It’s seriously the bomb. I will be eating it for the next week, given that I made about 2 gallons of the stuff.
2) Agua fresca–a drink that is currently comprised of watermelon juice, lime juice, and cucumber juice with just a touch of mint. I say currently because you and I know damned well that it will not last the next 48 hours without being liberally dosed with either rum or vodka, depending on my mood. It’s fresh, as the name implies, and clean tasting in a way that is reminiscent of sunshine, dew, and an awesome facemask. And it’s sweet enough to cover the taste of booze without being so sweet as to become cloying or forward. I heart it.
3) Quinoa tabbouleh with vegetables and diced tofu. This is a vegetarian wet dream, comprised of fresh sweet peas, cucumbers, carrots, scallions, radishes, spinach, and jicama, tossed with little cubes of very firm tofu and quinoa (called the “mother grain” because it contains a full range of complete, accessible amino acids. It’s protein rich, deliciously nutty/grainy, and looks just like little rolled-up condoms, which I adore). I tossed it in a homemade white wine and dijon vinaigrette, and some freshly squeezed lemon juice. Gorgeous and so healthful that it’s basically a nutritional-deficiency vaccine. I get to feel all self-righteous eating it, like what would happen if an earth mother and a dainty forest creature had a baby, only less hippyish.
These are DEFINITELY not yo mamma’s salads.