There is a strange peace about this place. It is subtle; and she only notices it after a good amount of time inside. After waiting and waiting for the familiar panic to set in, she realizes it’s not there. And, for some reason, it has been replaced with an unexpected calm.
When she first began coming to this place, it was a place of confusion and loss. She should have expected to feel that way. She was warned by many before, but she had foolishly hoped that for her, it would be different. Yet every time she walked in and every time she left, a comfortable stress settled itself across her shoulders.
But somehow, this time, it has been replaced with an uncanny calm. The frenzy has not changed. It is still present, and almost nothing she has tried over the months has eased its existence. The loss, too, can never disappear, as this place is a constant reminder of what used to be. But somehow, someway, there has registered a peace that has quietly grown so strong it overtakes the confusion and bereavement.
Perhaps it’s the established ritual that visiting this place has brought. Perhaps it’s the acquired ability to dim the voices, the noises and the ostentatious colors, and focus on what it important. Or maybe, just maybe, she has just resigned herself to the fact that no matter how she tries, every time, Whole Foods will take all of her money. And there’s not a danged thing she can do about it.
Did you like my story? Yes, I know I’m corny. But that was fun to write! After noticing a different kind of feeling the last time I went into my Whole Foods, I knew I wanted to write about it.
It is always an experience going in there. The grocery store is still new to me, and going in there reminds me that this is one of the only places I can shop because my life has drastically changed with all of my allergies. It is a place of loss, because no matter what, I manage to lose my entire grocery budget in just a few trips, even when I stick very closely to my grocery shopping list! Unfortunately, I usually don’t stick very closely to my grocery list, as the bright seasonal fruits and vegetables begin calling my name the moment I walk in the store. I know they do it that way on purpose. And it works.
But I’m certainly not complaining, because I get to make some of the most delicious dishes I’ve ever made now that I’m trying to make food that doesn’t feel like it’s missing anything. And because there I get the highest quality of ingredients I can find (outside of home-grown). And when you’re limited to very specific foods you can eat, you certainly want them to be the best quality and taste as good as they possibly can!
That’s exactly what this gorgeous salad is. Stunning red strawberries flirt with tangy bleu cheese and fresh cilantro, making a perfect flavor profile of creamy, salty, sweet, and pepper-citrus (how would you describe the taste of cilantro?). These simple, flavor-bursting gems sit on top of crisp, emerald green lettuce for a refreshing summer salad that I’ve already made about a dozen times this summer.
Of course, using the best ingredients that you can makes a world of difference. Although it’s simple, this fresh, vibrant salad is so flavorful, I only dress it with a drizzle of olive oil and some cracked black pepper. If you prefer a more dressing-y dressing, try blending a little bleu cheese with some plain Greek yogurt for an easy, healthy, creamy bleu cheese dressing.
This salad is perfect with naturally flavorful but simply prepared meat. I recommend pairing it with grilled chicken, steak any way, or lamb.
I paired this pretty salad with Pesto Lamb Chops and a fruity Pinot Noir, and it was one of the most simple and divine meals I’ve had all summer. Recipe for the lamb is coming soon!
- 4 cups sliced fresh green lettuce, or about 1/2 of a head
- 4-5 large strawberries
- 3 tablespoons of bleu cheese crumbles
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (or 3 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt + 1 tablespoon bleu cheese)
- cracked black pepper to taste
- Wash the lettuce well and let dry on paper towels. When dry, add 2 cups of lettuce each to two bowls or plates.
- Slice the strawberries into slivers and place equal amounts of strawberry slices onto each bed of lettuce.
- Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of bleu cheese crumbles and 1 tablespoon of chopped cilantro over each of the salads.
- Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the salads and add cracked black pepper to taste. (Or, if you're making the bleu cheese dressing, pulse 3 tablespoons of plain Greek yogurt in a food processor with 1 tablespoon blue cheese until blended well. Drizzle 1 1/2 tablespoons of dressing over the salads.)
- If you love any of these ingredients more than the others, add additional amount of them now. Enjoy the fresh flavors of summer!