Cooking has been something I have always been able to say, unequivocally, that I am awesome at. Even from a young age. In fact, I always joke with people that I can make a fantastic meal from whatever ingredients are currently in their kitchen. Or your kitchen. Or my kitchen, for that matter!
I’ve been goaded into making some impromptu meals before (all with success, I’d like to think), but my boast was truly put to test several years ago. I had just finished DCA* school with a friend, Cassie, in San Diego. For both us, it was our last night in town before I moved to Seattle and she moved to Jacksonville. We had painted the town red with some other friends and were finishing up the night at Cassie’s place. And, as a night of partying typically dictates, we were STARVING. After debate on late night delivery food, followed by the disappointing discovery that pretty much every place was closed, I announced I would make food. Cassie kindly pointed out that pretty much everything in her kitchen had been packed and the only things left were things that she was either leaving behind, throwing out, or perishable. That’s when I threw down the gauntlet. And was promptly laughed at.
I don’t remember exactly what I made (some sort of pasta with orange zest…I’m not sure what I used for the sauce). Regardless, everyone declared the meal a success, a fact on which I rest many of my laurels.
I have spent the last week debating on what recipe I should put for my first post. I swing from one extreme to the other: something simple or something complicated; something sweet or something savory; something I make often or something new. The first post IS NOT an important post – the only people who will read it are my parents and my close friends (all of which will be forced.) The first post IS and important post – my future fans will read every article I write, in reverse order, until they reach this historic first post.
I was driving myself nuts.
And the the solution came to me as I was making myself lunch one day earlier this week. I had a very limited selection ingredients in my fridge due to an impending vacation. I was literally just throwing stuff together, and it hit me: my challenge. That should be my first post.
So, here it is. For those of you who read my inaugural post, whether it be right after I launch my site or years later, welcome. I hope to enjoy the rest of this journey with you. Cheers, and enjoy.
Roasted Carrots, Cabbage, and Avocado Salad
(Gluten free, Paleo, Vegan)
2 cups carrots (I used baby carrots, but you can use regular carrots, sliced in either medallions or 2 in spears)
2 cups cabbage (I used red)
2 tsp grapefruit zest
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1. Turn the oven to 350°. Toss the carrots in the olive oil and a large pinch of salt. Spread carrots on a pan (parchment paper optional, but makes for easier clean up) and bake for 20 minutes. (Reduce cook time if you like them crispier. Increase cook time if you like them softer.)
2. Chop the cabbage. Depending on how big you want the pieces will determine how you cut it. If you prefer chunky bits, you can slice 2-3 quarter inch pieces off the head and give a rough chop. If you prefer finer bits, you can slice 4-5 one-eighth inch pieces off the head, and dice the slices into smaller pieces.
3. Slice avocado into quarter inch chunks.
4. Combine carrots, cabbage, avocados, and grapefruit zest. Squeeze grapefruit juice over salad, making sure to catch the seeds. (Don’t worry if you don’t catch all the seeds, they’re very easy to pick out if you miss).
5. Toss and enjoy. Makes either 1-2 lunch-sized salads, or 4-6 side-dish-sized portions.
*DCA (Damage Control Assistant) is the naval division officer in charge of fire fighting and other shipboard casualties.