It's been a nutty 12 months for me and my family. We packed up and moved BACK to the east coast (to our hometown of 14+ years) after living in beautiful Boulder, Colorado for two. We had our (very) good reasons for the move back east and did so with every intention of settling in. But we didn't. In the most comforting way, nothing had much changed at "home" but we had. So, as my kids like to say, YOLO (you only live once...), we made the decision to go west for good.
We went through the (mostly) cathartic process of sorting through every last item in our home, garage, basement, shed and attic and decided if it had a place in our western future. We paired down, sold the house, packed up what we loved and said our goodbyes (once again) to our dear but mostly over us friends. We bought a leash (!!) for the cat and stocked up on organic kitty calming pills (neither worked) and loaded our so-not-cool-with-this feline friend into the truck (never do this).
Our dog, Lucy, was just so happy that she was going ANYWHERE for ride it didn't matter. That is until she realized that she was signing up for 36 hours of trying to calm down her despondent friend while intermittently getting her nose wacked.
Personally, I'm all about the road trip. This was not a road trip. This was an epic journey over the Mississippi, across the fly-over states, past the wind turbines with short pauses at dusty, hot truck stops and the occasional oasis of Starbucks.
We had a blowout on a 100+ degree day on a stretch of highway in Kansas where the exits are nearly 100 miles apart. We were rescued by a man in a tricked-out old-school school bus who didn't seem at all surprised or even amused to find our family of 5 plus 2 pets pacing on the side of the road with semi trucks whizzing by at 90 miles per hour.
We crossed into Colorado and where welcomed by the the most mesmerizing lightening storm you've ever seen. It entertained us for those final hours of our journey and reminded us just how awesomely powerful and stunning nature is.
And then we were home. Back in the mountains. And hungry. So what does one crave after days on the road? A big, fat salad. Sorry if that disappoints. It's just the way it is for me.
In my world, this is everything a salad should be. A cacophony of color, texture and flavor. No matter if you can’t get your hands on watermelon radishes. Substitute whatever radishes you can get your hands on, preferably in a riot of colors.
The super nutty/seed mix is something you’ll be happy to have around. Sprinkle it on yogurt, slice avocado, over almond butter on toast, even ice cream. You can leave out the smoky spice mix altogether or just added it as needed when you are using the mix on savory dishes.
arugula salad with super nutty/seed mix and basil vinaigrette
6 c arugula
1 watermelon radish, cut into thin sticks
1 peach (somewhat firm), sliced thin
1 c loosly packed sunflower sprouts
½ c shaved parmesan
for the dressing:
2 cups of olive oil
2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 clove of garlic
1 T dijon mustard
1/2 cup packed basil leaves
salt and pepper to taste
Put all of the dressing ingredients in a blender (except the oil) and whiz it all together until the basil is almost completely broken up. Slowly add the oil though the feeder until emulsified. Salt and pepper to taste.
For the salad, Toss everything together, dress and serve.
sliced almonds, preferably organic
black sesame seeds
sea salt to taste
Mix together the seeds, nuts and spice blend in amounts according to your preference. I like to keep about 2 cups of the mix on hand at all times.
***SUPER photo cred shout outs to my awesomely talented daughter, Allie, for her "on the road" photo collage and to my son, Brock, for his stunning bus pic. My other son, Sam, is equally arty but prefers to take photos of large moths.***