Mm, rainy morn– er, day.

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It’s raining outside (thank you, Lord), and all I feel like doing is going back to bed for a little while only to get up later to drink some tea and bake cookies and make some fall-inspired food.

What a shame that I have to go to work instead.

– – – – –

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Now that it’s later in the day, and I’m sitting in the office during my lunch ‘break,’ I have time to marvel and wonder at my hastily-fixed lunch. I’m fully devoted at this point to fresh spinach; until I can grow it for myself, I’ll gladly pay for the fresh stuff in the store or on the stand. Same goes for avocados.

When I was fixing lunch, I had a strong feeling that today would be a soup kind of day, but I had no soup to bring! (I’ve got my eye on a corn chowder receipe, though, and I’m jonesing for a bowl of tom kha gai right about now), so I made salad instead. Doesn’t sound like a stellar replacement, does it? Cold salad for good, steamy, hot soup?

It was today. No photo, but here you go. Try this, I swear it’s good.

Wash and pat dry a generous handful of spinach leaves; set aside. Julienne about six baby carrots. Dice a whole, lovely, ripe avocado. Shave some relatively thick slices of Parmesan off the block, about an eighth of an inch or smaller, and cut them into tiny strips. Tear or chop a couple slices of deli turkey breast. Get a little bit of fresh parsley, roughly and briefly chop. Combine all ingredients. Dress with lemon juice, a good olive oil, some balsamic vinegar, kosher salt, cracked black pepper and herbs (dried or fresh) to taste. Toss and serve with some thick slices of toasted, multigrain bread. Enjoy at your leisure.

I believe in chunky salads – I want to be able to taste the individual ingredients in my rabbit food before I taste them all together – and the flavors here pop like you wouldn’t believe. Fresh spinach is a perfect, earthy base for crunchy, lovely little carrots; the mildly salty Parm; the creamy smoothness of avocado; the sweet and meaty taste of the turkey breast; and that sudden kick of fresh parsley. I like to use pepper and salt liberally, so there’s an added crunch and kick with those, too. I also added some dried oregano and some rosemary to my dressing, so it all had time to marinate in the fridge while I waited on lunch.

I think the best parts of this salad are that a) half the chunky stuff falls to the bottom and soaks up all the remaining dressing while it’s waiting for you dig through the spinach; and b) the bread tastes really good when you soak up the last little bits of balsamic with it. Mmm, mmm, mmm.

(It’s amazing really – as a kid, I’d never heard of an avocado or balsamic vinegar, and if I had, I wouldn’t have liked either of them. Now? Now I’ll eat an avocado out of the skin with a spoon, with just a dash of kosher salt on each bite. And truth be told, I didn’t believe in salads as a kid, either…)

It’s awesome that even in a university office, I can still amazed by the taste of my food.