Antidote to Desperation: All the Food Groups Salad

I hit rock bottom while holding a bag of frozen succotash. Two years ago I was standing in Trader Joe’s, fifteen minutes before closing, next to a basket so full that I could only get it across the store by dragging it. I had no food in the house and no time to cook whatever I could purchase in the next few minutes.

A week before this episode, Special Correspondent Na’ama pointed out that I could order groceries online and have them delivered. I considered that but there were two problems; I was never home – left at 7am and returned at 12am – and I still didn’t have time to cook. Could I have gotten around that? Probably. But I didn’t have the wherewithal.

I was tired.

I was overworked.

I wasn’t thinking straight.

So, for the months that my work schedule subsumed my life, I ran to the grocery store late at night and grabbed anything that didn’t require preparation and appeared marginally nutritious. I don’t remember what else was in my cart when I picked up the succotash; I do remember wondering wondering why a grocery store would close before 12am and how I was going to get my basket all the way to the registers – and somewhere in the back of my mind was the question of what succotash tasted like.

I wish I had had this recipe then. Because it turns out that I don’t like succotash. Maybe because it’s not meant to be eaten straight out of the freezer.

All the Food Groups Salad

1/2 package frozen corn [If you have time to buy and cook corn, go for it.]

1 cup barley [cooked]

1/2 red onion, diced

1 cup cannellini beans

1 to 2 cups chopped vegetables [I used 1 cup sliced snap peas]

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

spices to taste

It’s excellent served warm. Or cold. And it’ll last until it’s time to go shopping again. At which point, head straight past the succotash.

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