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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Farewell to Summer: Roasted Tomato-Corn-Kale Quinoa Salad with Shallot-Buttermilk Dressing


I picked up my first basket of Honeycrisp apples and butternut squash from the market earlier this week. They were looking less plentiful than weeks before, but tomatoes and corn were definitely still present. Before they turn in to a farmer’s market endangered species, this salad is a worthy farewell to what has been a memorable summer. I’ve already made tomato sauce, tomato-corn salsa and frozen fresh corn for winter months. I’m now in the moments of just enjoying this summer produce in our daily meals.

This recipe is adapted from Sara Forte’s excellent Sprouted Kitchen Bowl + Spoon. Occasionally you find a cookbook author whose tastes and flavor preferences align so closely with your own, it’s like the recipes were written just for you. I love Sara’s work, and her husband Hugh takes beautiful photographs of her creations. I’m admittedly envious, as I’d love to have someone follow me around in the kitchen and capture images of it all. As it stands, I call everyone for dinner, then pause and turn off the lamps so we only have natural light. “Wait just a minute! I need a few photos!”

I’ve changed several ingredient amounts, swapped a couple of ingredients, added shallots to the dressing and taken a slightly different approach for roasting the tomatoes. I’ve made this multiple times this summer, and it’s a crowd pleaser – the buttermilk dressing and feta have it feeling slightly indulgent, but quinoa and veggies leave you feeling good. It’s excellent next to a piece of wild-caught fish.
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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 supported 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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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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