Someone once said “The sun always shines – and is always beautiful”. Today the sun shined and it was exceptionally beautiful. It touched my skin so gently and warmly, it hugged my arms like a cashmere shawl in a late summer evening, and it felt like a soft loving kiss on my face. In a day like this everything feels somehow different, noting has changed and yet life around appears as seen for the first time.
I grabbed my bag and I went on my daily trip to the store. I was about to fill my basket with the usual stuff, you know – the things we buy by habit, the ones that we grab with such certainty as if no other food existed. And I am not talking about basics like eggs, oil or flour – I am talking about the repetitive meal combinations that we end up eating every day. To me this ‘safe’ food is salad greens – the kind you can find at the American markets all year around. I grab those so quickly when I am at the store, not even realizing that other foods are fresher and in season.
Today appeared to be no different. I was about to grab the greens when I felt the warmness and the energy of the morning sun. It made me excited and it somehow woke me up. I decided to put the salad greens down and to just walk around the fresh produce area of the store and pay attention to what else is around me. To my surprise, and right under my nose, there was a display of fresh local spring veggies and herbs. Beautiful radishes and turnips placed on display to be seen as you walk in the store, and which I had not for who knows how long. And as it often happens in life, abundance is right before our eyes, we just need to shift our focus so we can see it.
As I dropped the salad greens, I grabbed some fresh radishes and turnips. I had no idea if together they will taste any good, but I wanted to try them anyway. I left their nature to guide me on how to prepare them, rather than my habit. They were so crunchy and fresh, so I thought cabbage might go well with them. Since their taste and texture was fairly similar, I figured out a creamy avocado and a zesty and a bit more complex dressing will be a nice complement to the salad.
The end result was a refreshing and different salad. It made me feel happy and joyful about challenging myself, and it and it thought me a valuable lesson – to stop going on autopilot and to see what really is around me.
Cabbage, radish and turnip salad with spicy dressing
• 1/2 medium cabbage (about 1 lb), shredded
• 1 bunch radishes (about 7-8), thinly sliced
• 1 bunch turnips (about 6-7), thinly sliced
• 1 cup arugula (optional)
• 1 ripe avocado, thinly sliced
• 1 cup Greek yogurt
• 1 cup cilantro leaves
• 1 tablespoon chopped pickled jalapeños
• 1 lime, juiced (about 2 tablespoons)
• 1 teaspoon grated ginger
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
Place all dressing ingredients in a standard or immersion blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Taste and add more lime, jalapeños or seasoning if preferred. Set the dressing aside or refrigerate (up to a week) if not used right away.
Place the cabbage, radishes, turnips and arugula in a large bowl, add 2/3 of the dressing and mix well. Taste and add the rest of the dressing if needed. Top with the sliced avocado.
Note: Shredded (undressed) cabbage and whole trimmed radishes and turnips keep well for about a week in the refrigerator.