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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Last Night I Couldn't Sleep At All

I really hate when I can't sleep.  I'm usually so exhausted that it doesn't happen all that often, but when it does it just drives me crazy.

So, last night I went to sleep at around 11:00.  Usually by 11:00 I'm pretty much comatose, but Ted and Charlie had been at a baseball game and I waited around for them to get home before I went to bed.  (This is not strictly true. I was watching TV on the bed and fell asleep only to be awaked when they got home.)

But I digress.  I turned the light off at around 11:00.

All was well and I was cozily asleep until middle age called at about 2:30 a.m.  One trip to the bathroom and two hot flashes later, I found myself still awake and frankly getting a little bored fanning myself and looking up at the ceiling.

So I got up.  Big mistake.  Big, big mistake.

This is where the real trouble began.  I decided (or rather I was drawn like a magnet) to my computer and all the email that generally skip over and eventually delete without looking at it.  All of a sudden, I felt his unnatural urge to actually look at every email that had piled up in my in box.

In case you were wondering.  Doing that takes a long time.  Like an hour or two.  Or more.

Boy I get a lot of crappy email.

But there's good news in all this.  I came across this recipe from Smitten Kitchen.  I love a good summer salad, especially one with some crunch and this salad sounded like something I just had to make.

At this point it was 5:20 a.m. and had I not been so completely exhausted (and aggravated at being up half the night), and had I had all the ingredients in the house, I might have whipped it up at that moment.

But good judgment got the best of me and I went back to bed where I looked at the ceiling until it was time to get up.  I saved making the salad for dinner tonight.  Hopefully I can manage to stay awake to enjoy it.

Use some nice crunchy veggies for the salad.  I also threw in a cup of cooked quinoa, which added a little bulk to the salad.

Recipe:  Chopped Salad with Feta, Lime, Mint and Sunflower Seeds
(Smitten Kitchen)

To bulk this up into a more rounded dish, you could add a cup or two of thinly sliced lettuce, 1 to 2 cups of cooked, cooled grains such as barley, quinoa or farro, or a cup or so of cooked black beans, to add to the Southwestern vibe. In each case, it would be best to double the dressing so you’ll be able to cover everything evenly.

Serves 4 as appetizers and 2 as more of a meal-sized salad


3 cups chopped, crunchy vegetables
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled feta, queso fresco or ricotta salata
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/3 cup well-toasted sunflower seeds, salted or unsalted
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon coarse or Kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon chile powder or 1/8 teaspoon each your choice combination of chile powder, cumin, cayenne or sumac
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 to 2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh mint leaves


Mix the vegetables, feta, scallions, seeds and mint in a medium bowl. Whisk lime juice, olive oil, salt, spice and black pepper in a small dish and pour over vegetables, tossing to evenly coat. Adjust with more salt or pepper as needed. Garnish with mint and crunch-crunch-crunch away!

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