I haven't been cooking. Just eating cereal every day for breakfast, ham and cheese sandwiches for lunch, sometimes various salads, and scrambled eggs with toast for dinner : I am totally uninspired. My over exuberant lifestyle has left me with a state of exhaustion similar to the end of a tree-planting season, a bum knee, and a fairly low moral. Turns out I was trying to do too much. Anyone who knows me personally will probably kinda grin at this and say Really? You were over-doing it? No! You? Never... I really can't help it; I just get so damn excited!
Turns out I can't conquer the world in a day. So here I sit with ice on my knee, getting no exercise, waiting to move into my new apartment, living at a friends house because my roommate was and still is (I'm sure) totally insane (I have a feeling she feels similarly about me....), just kinda waiting, waiting, waiting. While I wait for the endless string of transitions to end, and I'm sure it won't because life is just one huge transition from where we were before to where we might be going, I think I'll console myself with grilled cheese and broccoli salads. Here's a delicious summer salad PACKED with vitamins which, if you ate nothing but cereal, eggs, yogurt, muffins and peanut butter for four days straight like I did, well, you're going to need a bit of a boost.
Broccoli Salad with feta, cranberries and toasted slivered almonds
This recipe was inspired by a terrific woman named Teryl who is the mother of a mutual tree-planting friend of Fabienne and I, Keagan. On our days off our first summer tree-planting, Fabienne and I hung out at their house on the Telkwa River near Smithers, B.C and ate delicious meals from her garden. I remember eating this salad on the deck thinking, god, I could just eat this for hours without stopping. Afterwards, driving back into camp with a full belly I thought to myself, well, now anything is possible....
So for a perfect moral booster that takes very little time do the following:
- wash and cut up a head of broccoli into very thin small spears
- toast 1/2 C slivered almonds under the broiler until you smell them (this happens quick)
- dump the broccoli into a bowl, add the almonds, about 1/2 C cranberries and a big chunk of feta cheese, crumbled.
- make a vinaigrette with 1 TBS mustard, 1 TBS red wine vinegar (or balsamic), 1 TBS honey (or maple syrup) and 3 TBS olive oil (slowly add the olive oil to the vinegar and mustard mixture.
- toss the salad
PSST! Tonight I made this for the second time, because I ate it last night for dinner, and the leftovers for lunch, but I added edamame (soybeans), only adding to the brilliant green scream of health and protein that this salad offers.
Feeds about two..or three..
*the proportions will really vary, so please adjust them. You want the salad to look well-balanced and colourful.
A note on vinaigrettes: I always make my vinaigrettes using the 1:3 ratio. 1 part vinegar (or other additions) to 3 parts olive oil. Fresh herbs or garlic are also excellent additions. A lot of people operate on a to-taste basis, but I find this magic ratio (thank you Sal!) never ever fails to yield a delicious, well-balanced vinaigrette. It's very important to first mix together your flavours (vinegar, mustard etc) before adding the olive oil, which should be added in a very slow stream while beating the mixture rapidly with a whisk.
PS Thank you Kelsey for your coleslaw inspiration. The cranberries and almonds are definitely a nice touch here as well!