top of page
  • Writer's pictureNava

The salad of heroes

The Day of Living Dangerously

An Eastern suburbs tale

Good morning, ladies and gents. I suggest you put the kettle on, relax, go back to bed and enjoy the wild ride/read.

This salad is dedicated to the girls who let me join them on their adventure to Shelly Beach. My big sister (Sara) invited me to go on an adventure; a challenging walk in the rugged terrain near Shelly Beach and then lunch with her girlfriends. It was my day off work and it was a tough decision, stay home, clean, cook, shop do the paperwork or go out for an adventure and a lunch? Somehow I managed to choose for the latter. Armed with bottles of water, sunscreen, wearing lycra for comfort and style, (and possibly camouflage in a couple of cases, taking the prints into account). We waited for our water taxi to pick us up from Watsons Bay. We boarded the open-air, crossed the wild waters of the harbour and made it to Manly Wharf alive! We walked for approx 10 seconds before the need for sustenance hit. After a quick 1 hour coffee break, we regrouped and refocussed, so we could decided which dangerous route to take, but more importantly we had to cover the epic topic of children and grandchildren, who was in nappies and who was toilet trained, whose daughter is getting married and to whom, who was taking ballet classes and what cute tutus were being worn. Then it was a quick half hour toilet break; at our age that’s cutting it fine. There are no toilets in the jungle, so you better do your business now, I was warned. We walked for another 10 seconds before arriving at the foot of our destination. MC(name obscured to protect the guilty) said she had done enough walking for the day and was going to enjoy the cool water of Shelly beach. The rest of us marched on intrepidly. I stopped a young man and asked, which is the most challenging walk. He pointed to the car park to the right of me. We forged on. As we struggled to find the entrance to the jungle I stopped a lady asking for directions to the entrance. She directed us North East (not really, but I thought it sounded cool) and said, “you will need a guide, I certainly did and be careful ladies not to fall,” before walking off in her Bahamas thongs and matching terry towel outfit. We forged on, feeling very adventurous that we were not using a guide, not to mention porters or elephants with sedan chairs. No we were up to the challenge forgoing the usual necessities. Following my instincts, honed from the many minutes I’d spent surviving off the land, I called out to the girls, “follow me, it’s this way, I’ll bet your manicures on it,” and I pointed to a sign which confirmed my hunch with the bold proclamation, ‘this way!’ (Though it didn’t mention us by name). As we entered the bush. There was no visible path and it was a steep ascend, I lead the way.

“Nava, don’t go too far, you’ll get lost,” I heard my sister calling out to me, forgetting that I am 54 not 4, and that I have forgotten the meaning of fear (or is that just early memory loss). I hope there are no snakes said, CS this is rough terrain said DT. But we marched on. As I stopped to wait for the others, I saw a beautiful sight. “Come quick There is an amazing lizard,” I called to the girls.

“Nooooo, did you say a lizard?” Screamed JS. “I hate lizards, can you please make it go away, before I get there, I just can’t look at it.”

I did what every tough Eastern suburbs girl would do, I politely asked it to leave but it just stared back at me, I tried negotiating by asking it to step aside just till we cross and then it could come back but it still stared at me. So I did what any fearless, thrill seeker does on a tough walk, I begged and pleaded. I think it felt sorry for me or it got a headache from me talking so much, because suddenly it turned around and scurried off. Phew, close call. I’d thought for a moment our adventure was all over. But once more, true grit carried the day. “Coast is clear girls,” I said waving them forward hurriedly as it suddenly occurred to me that Mr Scaley might have gone for reinforcements. I’m not a zoologist but lizards do that, right? We forged on for another five minutes, before reaching a dead end... Now what? I spotted a young man at the top of the hill, “How did you get there?” I called out to him.”

“You need to go back and come up the other way,” he shouted back. It was a relief, actually, because if he had levitated we would have been stuck. We headed back...

“Oh nooo this is getting a bit much,” said JS. “It’s too rough,” said DT. “I think I’ll head back.” “I’ll join you,” said JS. At this point I’m wondering what idiot had decided we could do it without the elephants but girding my loins

I forged on with my sister Sara, CS, and SD and only to discover another dead end. The sun was hot and CS was worried about snakes brown ones in particular: I guess brown wouldn’t have co-ordinated with what we were wearing.

We agreed it was time to head back.

A little disappointed but glad we survived those 10 minutes in the rough terrain of the jungle.We crossed the car park to the other side, where a clear path, with stairs and a beautiful view awaited us.

We returned back to Shelly beach safe and sound and alive to tell MK the tale.

Lunch was a nutritious salad with a piece of lean protein, and mineral water. Not a carb in sight in the whole restaurant up to that point, but DT and MK showed themselves to be the true adventurers and dared to go where no size 10 girl would go and ordered a large slice of bread infested with calories. Determined to save them from themselves we shared, no sacrifice too great...

Eating lunch and debriefing from the high octane thrills of the day was by far the longest and the most calorie burning activity we did and I have to agree with the girls that the salad we had, (yes we all had the same salad) was one of the best ones I’ve ever set my jaw to work on.

So in honour of our day of living dangerously I have decided to make a nutritious and tasty melange of rabbit food…..

The salad of heroes

Serves 8

1 bunch kale, 1 table spoon oil 1/2 - 1 teaspoon chili flakes (optional) 1 teaspoon onion salt You can use regular salt but I highly recommend a flavoured salt, it adds so much flavour 3 cups shredded White cabbage (roughly ¼ of a cabbage) 3 cups Purple cabbage (roughly ¼ of a cabbage) 2 carrots cut into matchstick shapes or shreded 1 bunch continental parsley finely chopped 2 small apples (any apples you like)cut into matchstick shapes or grated Seeds of 1 pomegranate

1/2 cup Pepitas 1/2 cup Roasted hazelnuts broken up with the back of a knife. 1 apple sliced for decoration


Pre heat the oven to 190C

Remove leaves from stem and place in a large bowl.

In a small bowl mix 1 tablespoon oil, chilli flakes and onion salt, and mix it into the kale leaves using your hands. Spread kale leaves onto a baking tray

(I needed two trays) and bake for 10-12 minutes, they will come out crunchy and flavoursome. Do not even think of tasting them because you wont be able to stop, they are incredibly Moorish.

Mix all of the veggies and fruit together, with a ¼ cup of peppitas and ¼ cup of hazelnuts. Sprinkle remaining peppitas and hazelnuts on top. Place sliced apple in any way you desire for a pretty effect.

I managed to get the boat house salad dressing from the internet I didn’t use all of it to dress the salad I used about ¼ of the amount. I stored the rest.

BOAT HOUSE SALAD DRESSING 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 1/3 cup red wine vinegar 3 teaspoons maple syrup Salt and pepper

440 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page