Vasilia+Yordanova%2FChronicle

Vasilia Yordanova/Chronicle

Spring Break-Down: Cooking

With the arrival of spring comes loads of fresh fruits and vegetables, all of which are perfect for cooking experiments. Spring break is just around the corner, which means days full of time free from schoolwork, so I turn to my kitchen for a creative and relaxing activity. I open the refrigerator doors and scan the shelves of groceries to curate something new and exciting. Spotting baby spinach, arugula and strawberries, I realize I am craving something fresh and flavorful that will capture the essence of the new season, and I venture away from my classic kale salad with tahini dressing. Chopping berries soothes my nerves and worries as I focus on stirring balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, lemon, salt and olive oil for a dressing. Sprinkling chopped almonds on top of my salad, I still feel something is missing: avocado or feta cheese? Avocado. Following my gut instinct is rewarded when I taste my salad. Creamy avocado, tart strawberries, crunchy almonds and a sweet yet sour dressing blend together to create the perfect flavor profile. Strawberries are iconic spring fruits, and the other fresh ingredients of the salad complement them perfectly. Now that I have dipped my toes into experimental cooking once again, I cannot wait to leap into baking and make strawberry shortcakes. The next time you struggle with stress or are overcome by boredom, enter your kitchen, open the cupboards and refrigerator, find some ingredients that inspire you and start experimenting.