kale salad with farro and chickpeas + eating out of tupperware

kale salad with farro and chickpeas
I will always click on a headline for a story about the glorification of busy, this idea that today being “busy” is something to strive for. Somewhere along the way I read that when someone asks you how you are these days, instead of saying “busy” you should reply “life is full.” I like that, life is full, and I find myself using it often.

September certainly started off with a bang. We weren’t off the plane home from New York for five minutes before I found myself going 100 miles a minute. Between work and life and now school — yes school! –, it certainly is so very full.

Last week I started classes at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition, a dream of mine for the past 10 or so years, ever since I first started working in the little health food department of our local grocery story. At the time I was a vegetarian like so many other teenage girls, and I took my job so very seriously — spending any spare time at work or home studying herbs and supplements, learning more about the weird health foods I’d never heard of at the time like quinoa and puffed millet, how to cure the pesky patch of eczema I’d had on my leg forever.

I paid my way through college with that job and then eventually found myself a “real job,” but it was the one thing I’ve held on to all these years, my interest in nutrition. It’s a natural fit with my other love (cooking, duh) and I am so excited to delve deeper into the topics I have spent countless hours reading about online and in books. And of course, to put my knowledge to good use on myself and anyone else willing to listen!

But it also means that I’m now out of the house a few times a week, eating my supper out of Tupperware at the back of a classroom. So on Sunday when I sat down to map out our meals and grocery list for the week I was on the look out for one thing in particular: make-ahead. Each weekend lately I’ve spent a day in the kitchen stocking my freezer with soups and chillis, anything that is easy to grab and reheat. But even though it certainly feels like fall these days I wasn’t quite ready to give up on fresh greens and salads.

When I stumbled upon the recipe for this salad on Pinterest it practically begged me to make it. First of all it head make ahead right there in the title. It made a tonne, meaning I could whip up a batch on Sunday night and not have to worry about lunches (and school night dinners) for the next couple of days. And of course it featured one of my current favourite grains, farro and a miso dressing. In our house we are currently obsessed with miso in salad dressings (and by we I mean me, totally). I penciled it in to our plan.

It certainly did not disappoint. It was delicious and held up well in a Tupperware all day, and when I finally had a chance to dig in to my supper it hit the spot. Everything you want when life is full.
kale salad with farro and chickpeas

Kale Salad with Farro and Chickpeas

Adapated ever so slightly from The Kitchn
Makes about 4-6 servings

1 bunch of black kale (also known as Lacinato or dinosaur kale), washed and dried
1/2 cup farro
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon organic miso
Juice from 1/2 a lemon
14 ounce can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup crumbled sheep’s milk feta

1. Cook farro according to package directions.

2. Meanwhile, stack a few kale leaves on top of each other and role up like a little cigar and slice. Do this with the remaining kale until all of it has been roughly chopped. Put it in a large bowl.

3. Mix olive oil, miso and lemon juice in a small bowl. Add to the kale and, with your hands, mix into the kale until it’s nice and shiny and the leaves become tender. Add cooked grains and chickpeas and mix until well combined and coated with dressing.

4. Top with crumbled feta.


new york, ny

We spent Labour Day weekend in New York, the last stop on our Great North American Cities Tour (see also Detroit, Chicago, Montreal). What could I ever say about NYC that hasn’t been said? So instead of a lengthy blog post, an iPhone photo essay.

shake shackWe took a cab from the airport right to Shake Shack in Times Square.

 The salad bar at Whole Foods on the Bowery > every other salad bar.

levain chocolate chip walnut cookieShit got real at Levain bakery. We ate our cookie in the park.

dirtcandy melted my mind. This photo of the incredible smoked broccoli hot dogs that I ate is not from my iPhone but rather Amanda Cohen’s blog. I hope it’s okay that I borrowed it, this essay would not be complete without it.

the hall of ocean life at the natural history museumThe Hall of Ocean Life at the Natural History Museum was awesome. I <3 whales.

lunch break at the butcher's daughterLunch at The Butcher’s Daughter. Terrible service, but they weren’t kidding when they called that smoothie Heaven on Earth.

black label burgers and fries at minetta tavernJeff fulfilled his dream of eating a Black Label Burger at Minetta Tavern. It was delicious.

vegan ice cream at lula's sweet apocatharyWhatever mind I had left after dirtcandy was blown by the non-dairy ice cream at Lula’s Sweet Apothecary. The peanut butter and cookies ice cream was the best ice cream I’ve ever had, regular ice cream included.

russ & daughtersMy usual at Russ & Daughters: Norwegian lox with scallion cream cheese on an everything bagel. Untoasted.

vintage beer bottles at brooklyn breweryVintage beer bottles at Brooklyn Brewery.

pizza at roberta'sSaturday we ate pizza and got afternoon drunk at Roberta’s in Bushwick.

brooklynMaybe this is what Tony Maselli drove when he was a teenager?

 Tired feet in line for a Bea Arthur at Big Gay Ice Cream.

9/11 memorial Jeff took this beautiful photo at the 9/11 memorial.

biking on the west side bike pathWhen we couldn’t walk any more we rented bikes and took a leisurely ride up the west side bike path.

one lucky duck at the chelsea marketAfter our bike ride in the hot sun I was sweaty and tired and sunburned. I knew I needed some rejuvenation so I high-tailed it to One Lucky Duck at the Chelsea Market and refueled with a green juice.

manhattenOur last night we went back to Brooklyn for dinner at Pok Pok Ny. I took this terrible picture of Manhattan from Pier 6 Park.

I love you, New York. See you next year!

green juice (aka pressing the reset button)

green juice aka the rest button

It’s no secret that green smoothies are in regular rotation around here. But every so often you need to bring out the big guns – like after you’ve eaten your way through New York City. Or you’ve spent the afternoon sipping vodka cocktails and eating cupcakes by the pool with a couple of girlfriends. Or you had dinner on the midway at the CNE. Or when you’ve recently done all of the above and feel like it’s time to hit the reset button. That’s when it’s time to bring out the heavy artillery: juice.

What’s the difference between smoothies and juice? To put it simply, fibre. Smoothies contain all of the glorious fibre from the fruits and vegetables you loaded in to your blender.  Juice on the other hand extracts the fibre (also known as pulp), leaving behind all of the great nutrients from the veggies and fruit in your juice that are easier for your body to absorb, and quickly, since they didn’t need to be digested.

There’s room for both smoothies and juices in my healthstyle; I don’t think one is better than the other. I default to smoothies since they’re super simple, easy to clean up and keep me going until lunch time when I’ve got a long, busy day at work. I reach for a juice when I really want to get the good stuff in me fast; usually when I’m looking to reset like I am this week, or when I need a 3:00 pm boost I’ll head over to my favourite juice bar instead of grabbing a coffee.

Contrary to popular belief you don’t need a juicer to make fresh juice at home. Simply throw all of your gorgeous fruits and vegetables into the blender, add a little water and blend. Strain that bad boy through a fine mesh sieve or a nutmilk bag and you’re on your way to fresh juice. Watch this video from Meghan Telpner on how to transform your blender in to a juicer.

So this week I’m adding this drink into my routine. This is my favourite juice, sweet and tart from the apple with a little bit of zing from the ginger. I love ginger, but if you want less of a kick scale it back.

Green Juice
Adapted from It’s All Good

2 big handfuls of leafy greens (kale, spinach, chard, whatever you like — about 1 cup packed)
1 green apple, cored (skin removed if not organic)
1 lime, skin removed
A chunk of peeled ginger, 1-2 inches
A handful of mint

If you have a juicer, push everything through your juice.

If you are using a blender, put everything into your blender with 1/2 cup of water. Blend until smooth and then pass it through a fine mesh sieve or a nutmilk bag.

Serve over ice.


vacationing like a boss

There hasn’t been much cooking going on at our place these days. Between a big project at work and getting ready for vacation, our meals have fallen somewhere between assembling things on a plate and ordering pizza.

We’re in New York for an extra long weekend, my very favourite place to eat! It’s easy to let vacation mode get the better of you and come home feeling less than stellar. But at the same time you want to let your hair down and not worry about every calorie. Last week Holli Thompson shared her tips for travelling in nutrition style, aka travelling like a boss and coming home feeling great. I know I’ll be keeping these top of mind while we’re here. Check them out and have a great long weekend!

And follow me on Instagram for snaps from our trip.