Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Surviving and Thriving

I have been reading Annie Dillard's The Writing Life again, and have come to the conclusion that, as I am still in my twenties, I should give in to this impulse to be fanatic.

The kind of fanaticism I am talking about is what got my thesis done. It is what got me through my pregnancy healthfully. It is what, in high school, let me stay up till 3am every other day and paint a lot. It is the kind of fanaticism that might get my writerly butt in gear to start, map out, and finish this book that's been banging its heavy head against my window. And, it is the kind of focus that might make it possible for me to do it and not sacrifice the safety, health, and sanity of my little family.

I am resurrecting my not-too-much-work veggie salad lunches. This is my kind of salad. Ever-changing. No brain work without having to eat exactly the same thing every day. Key attributes: fine-textured veggie with crunch, creamy binding agent, tart side note for energy, fresh herb for added nutrients and flavor, and nuts or seeds for fatty-protein, for longevity. The basic idea is simple, and it has become the bones of of my lunch meals when I am in a fanatic, productive role, or, when I just want something fresh and reliable.

Fanatic Veggie Salad (inspired by Clotilde's Grated Carrot Salad with Avocado)

Bare Bones:
4 shredded carrots (OR 1/2 head cabbage OR 2 carrots and 1 beet OR a combination)
1 slightly mashed avocado
splashes of vinegar (red or white wine, balsamic or rice)
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
dollop of mustard (or tobasco, or sriracha sauce, depending on the direction of your salad)
nuts or seeds (toasted is nice, but raw is still good)
other fun additions:
dollop of mayonnaise
handful  chopped fresh herbs like parsley, dill, or cilantro
1 chopped or grated fruit (like apple, orange, or pear)

What I did this time:
1/2 head cabbage
1 avocado
dollop of mustard
dollop of mayonnaise
a few dashes of red wine vinegar

grey salt and freshly ground black pepper
raw crushed pecans


In a medium-sized bowl, combine all the first group of ingredients. Stir like mad. Taste and add an appropriate amount of salt and pepper. Taste again. Add more mayo if you want sweet without the fruit, add more vinegar or mustard for more perk, more pepper for bite. Toss to un-globulate it and make it pretty. Spoon into individual bowls and top with nuts. Enjoy!


  1. MMM, sounds tasty! I like the idea of being a fanatic. I think that's my problem. I need a dash of fanaticism.

  2. I'm having Amanda Salad for lunch today. And maybe every day this week...


  3. your make me want to eat... like all the time :) i totally miss eating with you.

  4. This salad looks delicious, easy and healthy. Thanks for another great dish, Amanda.