A Few Thoughts…and a Simple Salad

Holy moses, it’s been awhile.

Some of you may have missed this…some of you may not have.  Either way, I have been woefully neglectful of my duties these days in trying out new recipes and ironing out the kicks, getting them ready for your consumption.  For this, I must apologize.  It’s fire season, folks, and that means I get a lot less time to work on the things that I enjoy.  This includes such awesome summer activities like mountain biking and barbecuing, swimming and hanging out in shorts.  It also unfortunately includes things to be enjoyed year-round, like seeing friends and family, playing roller derby, and keeping up on finding new awesome foods to power my day.

All that being said, I’m doing what I can.

I’m sitting in Flagstaff, AZ with my hotshot crew, prepositioning in the event we get a fire, large or small.  In essence, we’re waiting for the forest to start burning.  This might sound strange to most of you…most people spend their time hoping things won’t burn. In this case, we’re at the ready…and in the meantime, doing project work for the local district, pumping out lots of pushups and running a whole bunch, in preparation for the “big one.”  True story.

In case this sounds more than a little odd, I should offer a brief explanation: in most years (even this one, when things are fairly quiet), the powers that be will periodically move crews around the country to be where the fire danger is highest…before things start burning out of control.  The hope is that we will be closer to where we are most needed, should something happen.

This is a great idea, in theory, and can work really well.  In reality, we can end up sitting for days waiting for ignition that never comes.

Either way, it’s ok by me.  I get a rare opportunity to see a lot of the country, and work with some excellent people, building great relationships that have enriched my career.

Now, down to the business at hand…which, believe it or not, does relate to what all that drivel you just had to wade through to get to this point.  (Or maybe you skipped through all that to the food part.  That’s cool, too.)

In my career I have run the gamut between eating everything on my plate, regardless of content or quality, and eating almost nothing because none of it appeals to me.  I don’t often get the chance to be that picky; when you’re burning 6,000 calories a day, you aren’t very discerning about the type of calories you consume.  Full disclosure, I eat a LOT of Snickers bars.

But I am getting better, more informed about what is actually healthy and what isn’t.  These last few weeks, I’ve had the chance to be a little more choosey with my food.  So, in this vein, I’ve been eating a lot of salad and berries, bananas and almond butter, foil packaged salmon.  Things that are relatively quick and easy.

This week, I’d like to share with you my method for “dressing” my salad, as I hate buying bottled dressing.  I found this method a few months ago when I was making kale salad with grilled chicken.  It’s super simple and eliminates the need for messy oils; I’ve found that it tastes just as good with regular greens as it does with kale.

Basically, you just get yourself a lemon, a lime, and an avocado.  You cut open the lime and the lemon, and squeeze the juice over the greens (your choice as to whether or not you use the whole lime and/or lemon).  Then cut up your avocado and slice it into the bed of greens.  Now, lately I haven’t been squishing the avocado in because my hands aren’t that clean out here, but in a kitchen, you can get in there with your paws and massage it all together until all the leaves are coated with the lemon, lime and avo.

Voila.  Dressing.

Now you can add whatever you want.  Lately, I’ve been slicing in some strawberries, adding a handful of organic blueberries, sprinkling in sunflower seeds, and tossing in a little bit of feta.  Sometimes I add a little salmon for extra protein.

This is super simple, super tasty, and a good way to get some healthy fats.  Use it with kale or on a bowl of mixed greens fresh from the garden or, if you’re not that lucky (as I am not), from the farmer’s market.

Often I will throw the greens in a tupperware and bring the lime, lemon and avo with me, slicing it up later in the day.

Give it a go, and let me know what you think!