I’ve found myself in airports a lot, recently. And you may not yet know this about me, but finding myself in airports has become a cue for me to buy food magazines like there’s no tomorrow. This is not so bad a thing because, not being a print subscriber, the only time I do immerse myself into the world of food magazines, really, is when I’m in an airport. Plus, while I hold off hunger as long as possible before resorting to the world’s most flavorless sandwiches (available exclusively at an airport near you!), I pretend that I am absorbing nutrients and satisfying my stomach by merely eyeing the carefully constructed dish of pastry or roast or fresh salad that made the centerfold of this month’s Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, Whole Living, Real Simple, or other foodie publication.
So it’s not like I have an addiction.
But if you are a food magazine subscriber, or if you pay special attention to the Food section at your local newsstand or grocery check-out line, you may have noticed that a theme is running through many a glossy page these days: being perfectly prepped, getting dinner on the table fast, planning ahead for fast weeknight dinners, making the most of leftovers, multiple meals from the same recipe. Notice a pattern?
It seems that people want tips on planning ahead. I think this is a good thing because it means that there is a growing interest in preparing meals at home. We are discovering that it’s cost-effective, it’s delicious, it’s comforting, and most of all, it can be done!
This, however, is not a post about planning ahead. (Though I myself have also been working on getting our meals more organized, particularly now that I have a handsome husband to dutifully serve).
This is a confessional post. And no, my why-do-food-magazines-look-so-much-more-appealing-when-I’m-in-an-airport confession doesn’t count.
Today I discovered a magical pairing in the fruit and vegetable world. It’s colorful. It’s sweet. It’s just the right amount of chewy. It’s a vegetable and a fruit that when each are consumed separately you have something pretty good going on. But when consumed together you have the closest you’ll likely ever get to an outright jewel-toned candy in the world of whole foods.
I’m talking about beets and oranges.
I’ve gone absolutely bonkers for this flavor combination. I originally made this Avocado, Beet, and Orange Salad (which I found in Whole Living – one of my airport acquisitions) in hopes that Alex would come to love beets when they make an appearance on their own (i.e., not in a chocolate cake). Alas, the guy only ate half of one slice of beet before transferring the rest to my plate when I wasn’t looking–his magenta-tinted fingertips tipped me off. That’s right, I ended up eating an entire beet by myself with my dinner this evening.
And despite the other delicious ingredients that comprised this salad– the addictive pan-fried croutons I made with some slices of pain au levain that I picked up at the store, and the smooth and creamy and always pleasing avocado (both of which I, of course, wanted to consume in copious amounts until next month’s issue of Whole Living hits the shelves), I welcomed Alex’s donation of rejected beets without once brandishing my fork menacingly in his direction. I could not wait to cut up those beets and pair them with a bite of an orange slice!
It tastes like biting into a rainbow. Jewel-tones exploded in a light show of sweetness against my tongue. If Starburst candies were somehow natural and good for you, this is what they would taste like. I pictured myself eating beets and oranges together with a creamy, slightly salty cheese or in yogurt for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I savored every last bite, even as the orange slices began to look more like blood oranges or oranges with li hing mui powder sprinkled on them, thanks to the beet juices lingering on my plate.
Growing up, if my mom served some really delicious fruit for dessert with our dinner, whoever got to the fruit bowl first would feign a disgusted face and say “oh, you all won’t like this” hoping to con the other family members into avoiding the fruit so as to enjoy the actually-really-delicious fruits for him- or herself. So, don’t tell Alex, but I’m glad he didn’t like this preparation of beets. I won’t be lying if I make this again and tell him he won’t like it. I will eat every bite with a childlike twinkle in my eye, and I will inevitably daydream about this salad the next time I am stuck in an airport.
So, come on, what flavor combinations have you discovered recently (or always enjoyed)? Do certain magazines seem 1000% more appealing in an airport to you too? When do you purchase food magazines, and what do you do with them? Do tell.
P.S. As I mentioned above, this recipe can be found here. I promise I made it as is and didn’t tinker with the ingredients. Well, okay, I was out of balsamic vinegar so I substituted half homemade blueberry vinegar and half white wine vinegar. I also didn’t use sunflower seeds. Make it and enjoy. You will feel refreshed and happy.