Spring is a magical season. With the trees blooming. And the sun shining brighter. The days starting earlier. The Farmers’ Markets exploding with sweet peas, green garlic, and young asparagus. Beaches getting busier. People dusting off their hiking gear. Mother Earth waking up from its deep winter sleep.
Every spring. Except for this one.
This spring is the Shelter-In-Place Quarantine spring.
It is a lonely spring.
The roads are silent.
The buildings are locked.
The trails are undisturbed.
The beaches are quiet, except for the occasional wave whisper.
The Farmers’ Market parking lots are deserted.
The shelves in the grocery stores are plastered with the out-of-stock signs.
The restaurants are closed. Some closed forever.
People are cooped up in their homes, with infants on their laps and teenagers roaming around in search of digital entertainment.
Kids are doing school work via Zoom, from their living room couches, while their parents stream workout classes in their pajamas next to them.
Disney+ takes off while the local bars close their doors forever.
The supply chain pauses the manufacturing of sunscreens to catch up with the production of anti-sanitizers and hospital masks.
The grocery delivery services replace isle browsing.
The hospitals are over-crowded.
This spring is definitely like no other.
This spring, I planned to organize a trip to Croatia with my teenagers as it would be the last summer of all of us together before college. And I planned to teach more Barre classes, albeit my asthma. And to share with you a handful of unique low-carb recipes that I’ve been diligently developing for the past many months.
But, no, there won’t be any vacation planning – travel is limited to the essential-only indefinitely. Or new class teachings – all the studios are closed. Or cool recipe sharing – most of us have nothing but basics in our home.
This spring, with the ingredient shortage and the limited access to groceries, our kitchen experiments are all about resourceful “pantry cooking”, reuse of the leftovers, and creative improvisation with the ingredients we have on hand.
The recipe I am sharing today is just that. It is a process, a list of steps, rather than a creative venture: re-use the leftover protein from last night’s dinner, locate the last of the vegetables in the fridge, mix them all with pantry staples and enjoy. This is the time when my Post-Soviet skills of making “something out of nothing” comes in handy!
The Shelter-in-Place Chicken (or Salmon) Salad
- 1 cup leftover Chicken (or leftover Salmon, even Canned Salmon or Canned Chicken)
- ½ cup Cucumber (or Celery, Bell Pepper, Shredded Carrots, Asparagus, Pickles, Radishes)
- ½ Avocado (or 1 cooked Egg)
- 2 Green Garlic (or 2 Green Onions, 1 Shallot, or ½ cup any type of Onion)
- 1 tbsp Sundried tomatoes (skip if you don’t have any)
- ½ Lime (or Lemon)
- 1-2 tbsp Mayo (or Avocado Oil )
- Poppy seeds (or any other seeds. Skip if you don’t have any)
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Dice the vegetables. Place in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
- Dice or shred the chicken. Add to the mixing bowl. Stir to combine.
- Add the mayo, lime juice, salt, and pepper if desired. Stir to combine until the whole mixture is nice and creamy.
- Sprinkle with seeds if you have any.
- Serve immediately, or refrigerate to enjoy later.
You might be worried about your wine disappearing from your wine fridge at a faster pace than before, but don’t you worry – the universe has your back. My next post is ALL about where to source natural wine, from the comfort of your own couch. In the meantime, open what you have in your wine cellar and start chopping those vegetables!