We were lazy for most of the time, except when getting really dirty riding four-wheelers through amazing open fields sprinkled with wildflowers (I still have dirt in my ears) and heading to the river for swims. So, still sort of lazy.
I'm not, and probably never will be, completely used to the natural beauty this world has to offer, and felt myself gasping for more reasons than the revving of the engine. The mountains around us made it feel like the field was a natural home. We stopped and picked some wildflowers, and set them free while driving as fast as we could across the plain. His mom sold some of her organic local honey while we lazed about the house after the Fourth of July parade.
It was all a great way to say goodbye to Idaho before I leave for California and then Colorado next week.
Coming home, we were ravenous, and everywhere we'd want to eat in Boise was closed, so we cooked. I should say Eli cooked. I chopped and assembled like cray.
Mostly-raw vegan nori rolls. The ones in the middle are a mess, albeit a delicious mess, before I got the hang of rolling using just raw veggies.
These were avocado, toasted sesame seeds, red, yellow, and orange bell pepper, tomato, cucumber, shiitake mushrooms, green onion, lettuce, and cilantro wrapped in nori and drizzled with a sauce of soy sauce, minced garlic, garlic chili paste, and honey.
This meal was a powerhouse of nutrition, flavor, and satiating healthy fats. It took a few tries to get the rolling down. I started using some of the liquid the mushrooms were soaking in to dab on my fingers to make the roll stickier, which worked well. I also found that if you smear the nori with avocado, or something soft, or even lay down the lettuce first before adding the other fillings, that the roll stays together much more tightly and prettily when you cut it.
Eventually though, my seaweed cravings dominated and things led to this...burritos!
...and then this...salad! aka mess plate!
Watched a Woody Allan movie full and happy, feeling clean and nourished. I love the combination of nori, toasted sesame seeds, rich avocado, and meaty mushrooms with crisp veggies and a salty sweet sauce that left my mouth burning. So much yum.
It was a pretty happy Fourth, but I missed my brother, as it's his birthday, and I missed my family because we always made a huge deal out of the Fourth of July. Although I have a hard time being patriotic, kitschy stars and stripes decor, squirt guns, and creamy cakes with strawberries and blueberries always take me back home where all of the huge tanned tattooed boys would get wildly drunk and flip around in the pool and on slip n slides in the backyard while dad made fajitas and tanned bikini'd chicks made Jello shots and guacamole with my mom and I. Now that brother is on residency in a Houston hospital and I miss him dearly.
Anyhow, in the morning, I made a simple fruit salad: Papaya, kiwi, African mango, Champagne mango, leftover coconut, and peaches with a sprinkle of chile con limon.
So glad I learned to love papaya. Just the smell of it used to make me gag and the taste could only be described as gamey. I still get the gaminess (if fruit can be gamey), but now I love it. I also love that papayas are so good for the tummy and are full (so I've read) of natural probiotics our bellies need to be happy and not grumpy (a happy tummy is mandatory before a run).
I promise I'll do what is considered "real" cooking (more than just assembling, whether heat is involved or not) within the next few days. I'm just loving the surprising complexity of what ingredients on their own are capable of at the moment and am seeing very little tweaks to be done given their natural awesomeness.
Tweaks later. Now, it's courteous mango time.
Have a gorgeous (hot) day!