Kohlrabi-Mint Salad

Chickpea Summer15 - Kohlrabi-Mint Salad (P. Rose)

The passage of time continues to amaze me, especially in the thick of summer. Somehow, it’s the middle of July. In the weeks since my last recipe, I’ve been working hard on a fun project for new foodie magazine, Spoonful. I’m incredibly excited about the gathering, recipe and essay I created for this one. (My feature will be published in their spring 2017 issue.) I also spent nearly two weeks in Oregon with my family, exploring Eugene, Bend and Portland, both by hiking and dining at several delightful local places. The trip reaffirmed my desire to travel with our kiddos, and experience places and people outside our normal routine. At home, we’ve been to the beach, biked around town, eaten too much ice cream and frequented the farmer’s market.

I was there this morning, and there were so many people and baskets of local food, it was hard to move from one farmer to the next. It’s a good problem to have – I’m grateful to live in a town with a thriving farmer’s market that is so well support by the community. I noticed recently-picked kohlrabi from one of my favorite farmers, and it made me want to share this recipe, which is refreshing in a healthy-mojito kind of way.

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For My Mom: Grilled Chicken Tacos

chicken tacos

There are many reasons I write this blog and collect recipes in this space. One of them is my family. As I mentioned in the first “Even My Sisters Can Make It” post, I have four sisters. None of them like to cook quite as much as I do, but I’ve been quite impressed with how many recipes they’ve made from what I’ve posted so far. I also, somewhat weirdly, write this for my kids. I love family traditions and passed down histories. The thought of my children, or even my grandchildren, pulling up this blog to make dinner for themselves or those they love brings me joy. Then, of course, there is my own mother – the one who taught me to make the best tomato sauce that exists and perfect pancakes. She’s the one who made me eat curry when I was little and literally almost always had carrot sticks on the table, no matter what was for dinner. You know what they say – the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. I’m now serving my kids up curry, like this favorite one, and forever chopping raw veggies to serve next to our meal.

My mother, who spoils us often with freshly baked bread (another one of her specialties), texted me a couple of days ago. “Any chance you’ll be posting the grilled chicken package recipe soon?” She went on, “(Instagram…)” in case I needed a reminder.
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Chocolate-Pistachio Energy Balls

TKB - chocolate-pistachio energy balls

They’re vegan, gluten-free and addictive. If you’re the kind of person who can’t stop eating stuff that falls in the sweet, salty and delicious category…consider this your warning.

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of cacao balls – I’ve previously posted these coconut-heavy energy bites, and this crunchy version with brown rice crisps, sunflower seeds and cacao nibs. And while I love both of those recipes, I have to admit – these are my new favorite. If you make anything this week, let it be this! I pretty much always have some sort of quick bite similar to this in the fridge or freezer. This type of thing saves us when it comes to returning from school and work and feeling ravenous. If we need to head out for a soccer game, or spontaneously decide to ride to the beach, we never regret bringing a little food with us. They feel like a treat, but pack a good nutrient punch.

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Kale-Quinoa Greek Salad

TKB - Kale-Quinoa Salad

The older I get, the more certain things change. Specifically, the food I have packed for the day makes a huge difference in the way I feel by the end of it, the presence or absence of sunshine can have a remarkable effect on my disposition, and I place an increasing value on experience, versus material anything. I’m not exactly ready to move to a studio apartment with my family of four, but if I had to pick between a trip versus a new couch, the exploration will prevail almost every time.

I’m not sure if the shift in eating relating so directly to the way I feel is a result of getting older, or if I’m more aware, or if my body has just acclimated to getting nutritious food the majority of the time and revolts when fed crap. Maybe all three. After all, I fondly remember several years of high school in which nachos were pretty frequent in my lunch rotation. Those round, yellow chips and the “cheese” I’m not so sure was really such a thing somehow got me through track practice. At any rate, I’d really pay for such a food choice these days. I’m always trying to hit the sweet spot of delicious and nourishing. Bonus points for something that keeps a couple of days and packs well for lunch. This salad gets bonus points.

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Weekly Menu Plan: March 2016

 

The Kitchen Beet :: Farmer's Market Asparagus

I’m barely squeezing this in, since it’s April in less than an hour, but I’m determined to make this into a series! If you read last month’s post, I put together a weekly menu round-up after realizing I actually prefer the structure of assigning a meal to a specific day. My weekly menu plans attempt to include lots of variety, copious amounts of veggies and meat or fish once or twice a week. My goal is always to have my little family of four, with kids aged 11 and 2.5, eating the same thing (in some form).

Below is the exact menu we followed for a week (Saturday – Friday), with notes where I modified a recipe, or deconstructed to better meet the desires of a kiddo. I’ve linked to the cookbook or recipe where I can – several of these recipes are mine, but many come from other wonderful sources! As I mentioned in the last round-up, my menu plans always include a few “other” items intended to help with breakfasts, snacks and packed lunches.

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