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.

Read More

Sausage and Lentil Soup with Kale + Parmesan

sausage-kale top

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.

Read More

Banana-Nut Smoothie (AKA Monkey Smoothie)


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.

Easy Slow-Cooker Applesauce

Rose, Penelope - Darling - Autumn Recipe roundup - 4 apples in bowl.jpg

It’s in my crockpot right now, and in a few minutes your house could smell amazing, too. This is the easiest way to make applesauce, with just a few ingredients and some peeling and chopping while you sip on tea. I love cooking year-round, but particularly when rain taps at the house, skies are moody and candles are lit throughout the house.

Anyone, and I mean anyone, can make amazing applesauce with a slow-cooker. You can delegate this entirely to a fairly responsible kid, if you’d like.

Read More

Brilliant Butternut Squash Soup with Apple-Nut-Chive Relish


Oh September, how I love you. It’s still bike to the beach weather, but a bowl of steaming soup on the deck afterwards sounds equally amazing. Though I look forward to summer each year, it’s the crisp days of early fall that really have my heart. There are stray leaves in crimson and gold that crunch underfoot when we go for a walk, but not so many yet that weekends are spent raking. As those of you who have been reading Kitchen Beet for awhile know, I’m smitten with soup season, and all food that makes our home smell inviting. I’ve made this soup countless times over the years, tweaking here and there to get to this healthy, delicious version.

Read More