I haven’t felt so good the past week.
In fact, I’ve felt completely crumby for the past week and a half.
4 days ago I noticed a few little red “bug bites” near my left eye. I figured I got bit when I was out tending to my (struggling) garden, so I didn’t really think much of it. I scrubbed my face with cleanser and put a bunch of hydrocortisone cream on the bites, but they only got itchier.
The next day, I had a headache and was incredibly tired. Man, was I tired! Actually, I’m still tired!
I did a whole lot of nothing, thinking my body just needed some rest. Then, I noticed the side of my face hurt. Like, really hurt. I also had a giant, swollen lump in front of my ear. I knew it was my lymph node; so I figured those bug bites were maybe a spider bite and my body was trying to fight off infection–or something.
I didn’t want to think about a spider crawling on my face (that gives me the heebie jeebies!)…so I didn’t. Instead, I took ibuprofen and went to bed.
When I finally crawled out of bed the next day, my eye felt funny. It was really swollen and itchy; and my lymph node was huge (as big as an egg!). I decided I better see the doc.
She walked in the room, looked at my face, and said “I think it’s shingles.”
What?! Shingles?! But…I’m only 27!
I’m young. I’m healthy. I shouldn’t have shingles!
Unfortunately, I do. Apparently they are becoming more common among younger people; and they’re often related to stress.
Stress about what? I have no idea. I don’t feel stressed. There is absolutely no reason why I should be stressed; but I guess I am. Hmphf.
The worst part about having shingles is that I can’t wear my contacts and have to wear my glasses (does that make me vain?). …Also, I can’t be around my niece, my nephew, or my grandparents. I’ve been told I can’t go to work either (sorry co-workers!).
Having shingles is unattractive, inconvenient, unpleasant, and BORING! I’m going stir-crazy being stuck in the house! You’d think I’d have a good time…you know, maybe get caught up on blogging and do some experimental cooking. But the truth is, I just now opened the computer (4 days into this ordeal)…and haven’t had the energy (or motivation) to cook.
I couldn’t stomach the thought that I’d have to eat takeout for another day. I’m sick of takeout. So this afternoon I rummaged through the refrigerator and found a bunch of random ingredients. I had arugula, lots of mint and a bunch of chopped shallots hanging out in my produce drawer. I also had some cut up cantaloupe.
Salad, it was!
Cantaloupe, Arugula and Mint Salad with Chevre
I had no idea how this salad would taste, or if my husband would even eat it, but it turned out to be a success! The arugula added a little bitterness to what would otherwise be a very sweet salad. It balanced really nicely.
I think it would make an incredibly beautiful fruit salad as well. I can imagine less arugula and more cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelon. Maybe add a little more mint and a smidgen of honey drizzled over everything. Yum!
As for a recipe, I simply tossed my greens (I used baby arugula), chopped mint, and chunks of cantaloupe together. I then drizzled with a little homemade dressing, and garnished with some chevre.
The dressing was quite simple, and used things I had on hand. If you decide to try this recipe, feel free to substitute whatever you think would taste good. You could even make a simple balsamic vinaigrette with some olive oil, salt, pepper and balsamic vinegar.
In fact, a flavored olive oil or balsamic vinegar would really enhance the dressing. I didn’t have any flavored oil or vinegar that would work, so I used a mixture of olive oil and vegetable oil. I also used apple cider vinegar–for a little flavor.
Cantaloupe, Arugula and Mint Salad Dressing
This recipe makes quite a bit of dressing. I only use about 2 tbsp to dress my salad, so I’d say this makes enough for 6-10 salads (depending how much dressing you use).
- 1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 c. olive oil
- 1/4 c. vegetable oil (use all olive oil, if you prefer)
- Honey, to taste (I used a few tbsp.)
- 3 tbsp. mustard (I used Blueberry mustard, but any Dijon or dark mustard would be great–steer clear of the yellow stuff in the Heinz bottle).
- 2 medium-large shallots, diced
- salt-to taste
- pepper- to taste
I toss all the ingredients in a mason jar (the medium sized one) and shake it until everything is mixed really well. Drizzle it over the salads, and store the remainder in the jar. It’ll stay good for a week (even longer…) if kept in the fridge.
Fresh salad of Cantaloupe, Arugula and Mint
Hopefully I’ll get back to blogging more regularly soon! In the mean time, I hope you enjoy this salad!