Crunchy Rainbow Salad with Sesame-Ginger-Honey Chicken

TKB - Crunchy Rainbow Salad with Sesame-Honey-Ginger Chicken

We’re in “return from vacation mode,” missing our Colorado friends and the mountains, doing laundry, easing back into work and re-stocking the fridge (my personal favorite job!). With Michigan offering lots of rain and wind to welcome us back yesterday and today, I was in the mood for bright, colorful food. I’ve made versions of this salad previously, but nailed the flavors I was looking for tonight. My crew loved the chicken, immediately naming it one of my better marinades.

As always, I think of salads as list of ingredient suggestions. I include measurements, but they are flexible. Add more of the ingredients you love; lighten up or omit the ones that aren’t your favorite (or you don’t have on hand).

I mixed a big bowl of this together, but also created a deconstructed version of the salad on the side for the kids (pictured below). Audrey loves edamame, but Aidan prefers cabbage. Aidan needed a bigger helping of chicken, and neither of them wanted their salad mixed with dressing. They both tried at least one bite of everything and peaceful mealtimes make for happier parents, so the little extra work it takes to do this is fine by me.

This salad is gluten-free, makes you feel amazing when you eat it and is totally delicious. I’m already looking forward to tomorrow’s leftovers for lunch.

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Sausage and Lentil Soup with Kale + Parmesan

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I stood at the counter like a pregnant cliché, turquoise apron covering my rapidly growing belly, eating dill pickles from the jar and staring down my menu plan, which informed me dinner tonight was Sausage and Lentil Soup. I typically put the cookbook or source in parenthesis behind the menu item but in this case, nothing. Interesting. Surely I was thinking of something slightly more specific when I put this on the menu weekend last weekend, but my memory is more spotty than usual, so I shrugged and got to work chopping an onion, as nearly all my soups begin here. As I’ve increased my confidence in the kitchen, I’ve often created recipes by googling the main ingredients to quickly crowd-source ideas, then paired with my own knowledge to develop. After all, I’m certainly not the first person to think of putting sausage and lentils together for dinner.

This soup is exceptionally hearty, more like stew really, and the garlic oil and Parmesan take it to the next level. The garlic oil idea comes from Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen, in her infinite wisdom of stepped-up home cooking.

I’m beyond looking forward to spring and the farmer’s market, but I’ll miss the frequency of soups in our dinner rotation. A one-pot meal is an evening gift for busy parents, and this particular soup left us with very little clean up. It’s plenty filling on its own, but I’d recommend siding it with crusty bread and fresh fruit. Also, if this sounds delicious but you’re vegetarian (my husband used to be!), this is still worth making sans sausage.

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Banana-Nut Smoothie (AKA Monkey Smoothie)

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Let’s mark the only recent memory I have of 60-degree weather in February (in Michigan!) with a smoothie. We often go the green smoothie route, but this one packs a protein punch and tastes kind of like banana ice cream.

I’m almost 23 weeks along, which means I’m eating all. the. time. Sadly, I’m not taking many pictures of said food before I inhale it. I’ll try to be better about that for your sake. In the meantime, I highly recommend making this nutritious treat!

Banana-Nut Smoothie
3 frozen bananas, chopped into pieces for easier blending
6 tablespoons natural almond or peanut butter
2 tablespoons chia seeds
2 tablespoons hemp seeds
2 dates, pitted
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch sea salt
2 cups almond milk

Wishing you sunshine, wherever you are.


Mom’s Chicken Noodle Soup and a Baby

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Feeding people I love is one of the defining priorities of my life. This chicken noodle soup is the ultimate comfort food, the soup I imagine will bring my kids back to me after they’ve left for adult life.

Homemade chicken noodle soup is the quintessential choice for food when one is under the weather. In our house, it’s requested far more frequently – for the first snow, Christmas dinner and anytime the kids want the cozy warmth of home.

I endeavor for our home, and particularly the kitchen, to be a place of respite on the tougher days and always a place of nourishing comfort. To that end, this chicken noodle soup will always in be in rotation in my kitchen. And, since I’m putting the recipe it in this space, hopefully my kids will make it for theirs someday, and you will make it for yours.

Speaking of children…I’ve been growing a third kiddo for the last 16 weeks! This will be our last babe, so every moment feels particularly sweet. Surprisingly, this has been my easiest pregnancy so far. I had a fair amount of fatigue in the first trimester, hence the quietness on the blog. But even through that I wasn’t very sick, and this little one seems to love me working out more than anything. I’m hoping he or she is just as easygoing once they’re here!

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Not-Recipe: Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts + Red Onions

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“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” — L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

We’re off and running into the last week of October, unbelievably. I made this delightful snack last night, while the blazing sun dipped towards the horizon before the 7 o’clock hour. It’s been a brilliant autumn, and I’m thankful for weekends spent in community, around fires, sharing stories and laughter. I love butternut squash soup on the stove, chocolate-cinnamon torte in the oven and applesauce simmering in the crockpot, while one child runs around with a friend and the other peels off dirt-covered socks from another soccer game.

This isn’t a recipe as much as it’s a suggestion. Better than chips, for sure, and better for you.

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