The days of cookbook-writing are winding down (2-ish weeks to go – yikes!) and I have been trying to incorporate more vegetables into my daily life in a counter to my equal need to shove cookies into my mouth during bouts of stress-eating. Some days I slip into a writing zone where I’m working well and am pleased with what I produce, while on others, for example Tuesday, I can barely string three coherent words together in a sentence. It is amazing how daunting writing 70+ head notes can feel; I have written probably more than that over these past however-many years for blog and articles alike, yet when faced with writing them for a book my fingers feel paralyzed and my brain goes mushy. So.
Yesterday I was – thankfully – going along at a good clip and revising (or rather rewriting) my introduction when the morning’s yogurt + cereal suddenly felt a hazy memory. I needed something for lunch, and fast, preferably high in protein and heavy on the whole grains. Avocado toast? Eh. Peanut butter and blackberry jam? Boring. Bean and cheese burrito? Maybe. Egg salad …? Egg salad!
I rarely make it, as I just don’t eat a lot of eggs in general. It’s not that I don’t like them it’s that I can’t eat too many in one go. I think the last time I had eggs was in a tart I made over a week ago for an NPR article (out … soonish?) and even that I could only have a few pieces of. But egg salad? Now, that might be a real treat, eggs and all.
I turned to the ever reliable Heidi Swanson for a quick recipe, wishing I also had pesto on hand to recreated a beloved sandwich served at the Willow Wood Cafe in Graton. Lacking that, I had crisp romaine and an avocado and when the eggs were nicely boiled and then smashed with a bit of (vegan) mayo I toasted two slices of whole wheat bread and smeared them with the aforementioned avocado, placed a piece of lettuce on each, and then generously piled on the salad … Ah. Goodness.
To treat myself even further, I poured a glass of grapefruit juice (rather than indulging in my usual water), set the table for one, and tucked in. The sun streamed through the windows and I watched as the whale weather vane on the house up the street spun crazily in the wind (oh, yet another sight I will sorely miss when we are gone from here). It was a lovely and proper lunch indeed.
Simple and satisfying, that meal carried me through the rest of the day (if I also indulged in a peanut butter cookie and some milk afterward I’ll never tell). And if I winced a bit as I reread the morning’s words the sustenance was enough to fortify me when I dove into rewriting. I foresee many similar afternoons ahead of me in the coming weeks.
Heidi’s recipe calls for a bit more ingredients – chopped celery, chives – which no doubt would be lovely, except I didn’t have any in the fridge. Instead, I stirred in a little mustard and when I made up my open-faced sandwich I spread avocado on the bread first, then placed some lettuce, and then generously piled on the salad (did I mention I was hungry?); it was very, very good. It goes without saying that the bread should be wheat, and toasted.
For one very hungry or two moderately hungry people
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon (vegan) mayonnaise
Salt and pepper
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
Place the eggs in a pot and cover with cold water by a 1/2-inch or so. Bring to a gentle boil. Turn off the heat, cover, and let sit for exactly seven minutes. Have a big bowl of ice water ready and when the eggs are done cooking place them in the ice bath for three minutes or so – long enough to stop the cooking. Crack and peel each egg, place in a medium mixing bowl. Add the mayonnaise and mash with a fork. Add the mayo, salt and pepper, lemon juice, and mustard and whisk and mash lightly with the fork.