slaw salad

I’m not sure anymore whether Syracuse feels like home. In any case, it’s good to have my own jug of milk and a fruit bowl with peaches in it. Life on the road teaches the joy in simple things. Natural peanut butter. Homemade granola. Kefir smoothies. Iced lattes that don’t cost $4.

Missouri and Colorado were good to me. Stacking up the archives with their own memories. Creeks and campfires, peaks and rough roads. Glancing back through pictures, they feel like different lives.

I haven’t hit the cutting board with the kind of excitement I was expecting. Trying to create 8 decent multimedia pieces in 2 weeks is eating up more of my time than I have to, well, eat. The work is rewarding, but tedious. The final push is here, Friday’s deadline looms like with giant jaws.

On Thursday our team was exiled from our cozy lab by the new masters class. It was a beautiful day for bonding, so we dragged our office chair-imprinted bottoms to the park for some lunch and a strange sport called wiffle ball. (It’s a conspiracy: Canadians do not excel at wiffle ball.)

I was instructed to make “a delicious salad” by our faithful event planner, and so (as any disenchanted foodie who’s been wrenched from her Henckels for too long would do), I consulted my mother. She came through faithfully, and so for all those requesting the recipe, here it rests.

It’s not really salad, with its torn leaves and chunks of veggies. It’s not really ‘slaw either, at least in the southern sense. In fact, I think it was inspired by a salad at some insipid restaurant chain, but no one needs to know that, right? Besides, any cabbaged loved by your own two hands maketh a far happier bowl of ‘slaw. At least in my home, wherever that may be.

The thing I love best about this salad is that you don’t have to follow the recipe. I bought all the ingredients on Thursday, and I’ve made it twice since the initial picnic debut, with different amounts. It doesn’t matter if you use more red cabbage one day and more Napa the next. Feel free to omit and substitute as you wish, whether it be using chopped up snap peas instead of the carrots, or leaving out the bean sprouts. ¬†Use all the the cabbage heads to make a bowl for a large crowd. Top it with BBQ’d tofu or chicken strips, or roll it up in a wrap.

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purple protein salad

Now that reading magazines counts as school work, I’m amassing them more quickly than ever. Despite my rather obsessive collection of food magazines, when I saw this salad splashed across the cover of Vegetarian Times, I had no second thoughts about shelling out the five bucks.

Not usually one drawn to potato salads, this one promised something new. As opposed to the dominantly creamy and heavy versions, this one is fresh and light–perfect for the transition from summer to fall.

Another plug for the salad: it got me through at least a week of on-the-go eating that characterizes grad school. It’s delicious at room temperature too, making it an excellent traveler between classes and interviews. Each time I’d open my plastic container and see those amethyst potatoes glistening in olive oil a wave of comfort in the face of mounting stress would wash over me. Cafeteria food just doesn’t have quite the same effect.

I’m not a huge potato lover, but I do love how in this picture you can almost see the growth, as in an oak tree’s rings. Beneath the russet skin, purple flesh tells of nutrient-rich soil. Speckles and veins are revealed by the swift glide of a knife, leaving little chunks ready to be dressed.

Edamame, or young soy beans, are one of the healthiest ways to get your soy. While there is much debate about the health benefits of soy, most researchers agree that soy in it’s “whole food” form is almost indisputably positive.

Miso, tempeh, soy milk, and edamame are considered “traditional” soy foods. Prominent soy researcher Mark Messina recommends no more than two servings of these forms of soy to maintain safe estrogen and phytic acid levels. With soy as with everything, moderation is key.

One thing I do know about these beans is that they’re delicious. They’re meaty and bright green, while being high in good-quality protein. Tossed together with cabbage, garden tomatoes, chickpeas and a simple dressing, they surpass their destiny as mere appetizer to sushi. You can find them in your grocery’s frozen section, conveniently shelled and rearin’ to go.

If you find yourself feeling grey, try this little rainbow feast. Continue reading