Thursday, June 7, 2012

Lunch Break

You know what I should be doing?  Probably writing up the pattern for the new purple top you've been seeing so much of around here.  Because it's almost done except the sleeves, and it's always good to type my notes into a pattern when it's fresh in my mind instead of having to go back and think, "What did I mean by____?"  Last time I did that, I had to spend an hour experimenting with increases because I had only written "M1" in my notes and I thought maybe I had meant it in a generic way (like "insert increase here")  Turns out, I actually meant "Make 1" in the real knitting increase sense of the word.  You see, this is why it's good to write when it's fresh: I don't even believe what I've written when I actually do write it down correctly!

Anyway, instead of writing a pattern, I thought I'd share something un-knitty today.  It's an absolutely gorgeous day here in Central Illinois - the sun it out, the temperature is in the high 70s and the birds are singing.  It's the kind of summer day you think of when you think of summer.  And when I think of summer, I think of eating lots and lots of fresh foods.  Today I made up a batch of the summer lunch that is my absolute favorite: Avocado, Mango & Shrimp Salsa.


It takes about an hour to make up a batch because there's lots of washing & chopping involved, but it'll last me about 3 lunches, so I don't mind the extra work on the first day when I get to just pull it out of the fridge and eat on days 2 and 3. 

If you want a nice dose of healthy fat as well as a whole lot of other nutrients that your body will say "thank you" for, here's the recipe, my friend!  PS: use this recipe as a loose guide...I don't measure anything when I make it, so none of these measurements are set in stone.  Likewise, if I start shopping up my avocados and one of them is rotten, I just make the recipe with 3 instead of 4.  It's really, really adaptable!

Avocado Mango Shrimp Salsa
4 avocados, diced
2 mangoes, diced (the recipe pictured only had one mango because when I peeled the second one it just     
                   looked wrong.)
15 fully-cooked frozen shrimp, run them under water in a colander for about 5 minutes until thawed, then 
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 c chopped cilantro leaves
4 green onions, chopped (just the white parts)
a few squirts of Frank's Red Hot Sauce
1/2 tsp salt
3 Tbsp fresh lime juice

All you do is prepare all the ingredients then mix them up in a bowl.  I like to serve it on top of a hand full of crushed tortilla chips, but it's a great side dish for a fish entree, too.  To store it (and not have the avocados turn mushy & brown) pack it tightly into a bowl that isn't much bigger than the amount of leftover salsa you have, making sure you can't see air bubbles in the salsa (clear glass bowls work great because of this).  Once you have it packed in there, place a sheet of plastic wrap over the top of the salsa, and press it lightly onto the surface (again, you're just getting rid of the air).  Then, put the lid on and pop it into the fridge.

A little time saver for this recipe is every 3rd or 4th time you make it, just wash & pluck the leaves off the entire bunch of cilantro that you had to buy.  Use 1/4 cup of the chopped leaves for this recipe, then freeze the remainder of the leaves in a tupperware container for use in future recipes.

What's your favorite go-to lunch in the summer?  I have a pasta salad with tomatoes, black olives, corn & a vinaigrette dressing that I love, too, and I pretty much alternate between those two homemade things and lunch at Panera or Qdoba when I get sick of cooking!

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