Posts Tagged ‘salad’

It’s been a while since I’ve done a “Day in the life of” post. I really enjoy looking back at my earlier posts because they were more of a journal or diary rather than ‘just recipes.’

I guess a mixture between the two is the way to go for me.

Speaking of mixtures, my dinner tonight was a wonderful mismatch of delicious recipes.

Before getting to dinner, let’s start with breakfast.


Breakfast was a yogurt bowl using my new favorite Turkish yogurt topped with raw oats, fresh strawberries from my CSA box, ground flaxseed, raw buckwheat and slivered almonds.


My time at school has been very busy lately. Last week the students had to take their standardized tests which means that this week I’m very busy marking the tests. We have also been busy putting together a musical which has been a lot of fun, but a lot of behind-the-scenes stress for me.

My first break today was spent trying to work out some computer kinks with the tech guy at school. After much effort, neither my SD drive nor my scanner were properly working. Boo.

At least I was able to munch on an apple during the so-called-break.

Regular lessons continued after the break and before I knew it, it was lunch.

Although I didn’t snap a photo of my salad, it was identical to the salad I ate yesterday, so here’s a slightly blurry picture of that salad.


All ingredients, except for the chickpeas and salad dressing came from my CSA box.

Cabbage, red leaf lettuce, zucchini, carrots, red peppers, chickpeas and a dressing made with grape seed oil, white wine vinegar, sweet mustard, salt and pepper.

Lately I’ve recognized that my produce supply is now grocery store free. All of the vegetables in my refrigerator for at least the past 3 weeks have come from my boxed delivery scheme. Really cool to be eating completely locally grown vegetables.

Sadly, I wasn’t able to really enjoy my lunch today as I was too busy arranging microphones and the sound system for my students’ musical.


My adorable 18 students are putting on a musical performance of The Pied Piper of Hamelin. They have worked so hard to create the set, costumes, props and characterizations.


The backdrop for the musical turned out really well, if I do say so myself. I sketched a town scene onto two large bed sheets then the kids took it away from there.


They mixed their paints then painted the entire scene. They worked so well together by organizing themselves into ‘task forces.’ Our classroom assistant and I then went through and outlined everything with black permanent markers.


The amazing music teacher at our school actually wrote all the music for our musical. I told her what I wanted to do, gave her a few lyrical ideas and she created something amazing.


Today my class invited the whole school to watch their dress rehearsal. Although they were obviously nervous, they sang their little hearts out and really impressed the students and teachers alike.

I am so so very proud of these kids.

We have another rehearsal tomorrow with a small audience and then the parents’ performance on Wednesday.

Wish them luck!

After school, I went to the gym and took a new class. It was so hard but so good. While taking a shower, I could barely rub the shampoo in my hair- my arms felt like noodles.

Once finished at the gym, I came home to make dinner.

My refrigerator was getting pretty full of food that needed to be used up or thrown out. Although this meal was a real mismatch of unlike food items, the whole package was magical.


Wild rice, tahini coleslaw, rhubarb chutney and breaded tofu.P5236948

Let’s be honest, I only made the rice to use the rice cooker I inherited yesterday from a leaving teacher. Making the rice was more fun than eating it and all but a couple bites sadly went in the bin.


I used Mama Pea’s recipe for Tahini Slaw but omitted the peppers. Although I accidently went a little heavy on the dressing, this slaw recipe is a keeper. I love the Asian flavor from the ginger and creaminess of the tahini.



This past week, a good looking recipe for Crispy Tofu Kabobs with Rhubarb Chutney was posted on one of my favorite recipe blogs, vegalicious.

I knew then and there that these recipes would help me put to use the tofu and rhubarb that were hanging out in my fridge waiting to be used.

Although I didn’t have panko crumbs, normal breadcrumbs worked very well. This is actually the first time I’ve ever fried anything or made a chutney.

While everything (except for the rice) was delicious, the real star of the whole meal was the rhubarb chutney.

Holy Cow!


Spicy, sweet, warm and flavorful, this chutney rocked my taste buds.

If you have 3 stalks of rhubarb handing around, please make this chutney. It was so simple with outstanding flavor and depth.

Such a yummy, mismatched meal.


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It really is a shame Easter is over.

This refreshing, crisp, spring salad would have been perfect on an Easter day buffet.

Oh well, better late than never, right?

In an attempt to use the fennel from last week’s vegetable box delivery, I turned to one of my favorite cookbooks, Clean Food.

The recipe in the cookbook formed the perfect foundation to build upon- from a side salad to a dish that can stand alone as a meal.

The ingredients in this recipe are clean, wholesome, and revitalizing.


After photographing the ingredients and beginning to make the salad, I decided to double the fennel bulbs.

P5046035 The mint was freshly picked from my balcony.


Although I used spelt berries, I’m sure wheat berries or another firmer grain would be just as good.

P5046046 I’ve been  zesting like crazy since I bought a microplane.


Two large oranges make a lot of zest! P5046050

Chopped fennel and mint piled atop the orange zest.


Add in the orange segments, cilantro and red onions.


Add the cooked and cooled spelt berries.

Give it all a good toss.


Mix up your dressing by shaking it until combined.


Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat.


Fennel, Orange and Spelt Berry Salad

Lightly adapted from Clean Food


2 fennel bulbs, halved, cored and thinly sliced

4 oranges

1/2 small red onion, finely sliced

1/2 cup raw spelt berries (wheat berries would also work)

1/3 cup fresh mint leaves, torn

2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, torn


1 teaspoon ground coriander

Juice from 1/2 orange

2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

freshly ground black pepper


  1. Cook the spelt berries according to package instructions, rinse with cold water and set aside.
  2. Steep the sliced red onions in boiling water for 30 seconds; strain, rinse with cold water and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, zest two of the oranges. Remove the peels and pith of all 4 oranges and add the orange segments to the bowl along with the fennel, red onions, mint and cilantro.
  4. In a tightly sealing container, such as a reused glass jar, shake together the dressing ingredients until well combined. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to evenly coat.


Enjoy in the sunshine with a tall glass of iced tea.

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Our tiny electric balcony grill was put into action this weekend.

P4095311I came home from work on Friday and made a quick lemon dill marinade, based off of the lemon thyme marinade which was my standby last grill season.

P4085147 I chopped up a handful of fresh dill, grated the zest of 1/2 a lemon…

P4085151 added the juice of 1/2 a lemon, some salt, red pepper flakes, olive oil and a dollop of sweet mustard. Once whisked together, I added a bunch of aging vegetables.

P4085154 Mushrooms, red and green peppers, zucchini and red onions.

P4085155 Once the lid was on, these veggies were given a good shake to distribute the marinade.

I thought we would have the kebabs for dinner Friday night, but we ended up spending the evening drinking beer and playing in the park by the Rhine.

P4085214 Josh’s diverse beer collection.

P4085169 Friday was such a gorgeous Spring day.

P4085210 The two German boyfriends from our group.

P4085189 Living in Europe and hanging out with friends in the park after work, who wouldn’t want this life?

P4085194  P4085195

Monkey see, monkey do.

Lucky for us, Matt and Josh both have adorable little boys who provided most of the entertainment for the evening.

P4085158Lucky for them, Jan brought his bike and trailer to entertain the boys.

P4085233 P4085234After detaching the trailer from the bike, the boys took turns pulling one another around. P4085173 It was a fun, relaxing, simple Friday night.

P4085215 So, rather than veggie kebabs, I had a falafel sandwich for dinner. While we were out, the kebabs were back home, soaking up the marinade.

P4095287 On Saturday, after marinating for 20 hours, I finally grilled the vegetables. I was worried that the mushrooms would fall apart so tried to place sturdier vegetables around them. I added a couple of potatoes to the skewers as well.

P4095291 I turned my little electric grill to high power and added the prepared kebabs.

P4095294 Keeping a careful eye on the grill, I rotated the veggies as they began to darken.

P4095297 The charred red peppers were the best!

P4095310 Eaten alongside garlic herb bread, I pulled the veggies off of the kebabs to enjoy as a grilled salad topping.


Fresh and scrumptious!

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Napa cabbage salad is one of my mom’s best potluck dishes. Every time she brings this salad to a picnic, potluck, or party, the bowl comes home empty.


When I was home at Christmas, we went out to celebrate my grandmother’s birthday at a restaurant that specializes in simple dishes made with local ingredients.

While there, I ordered the Napa cabbage salad.

It was delicious.

Since then, I’ve been thinking about this salad but only just now got around to making it.

I tried to make the dish healthier than the original version by reducing or eliminating the oil, butter and sugar, and I think the outcome is superb, if I do say so myself.


P2093068 P2093070 P2103076 Healthier Napa Cabbage Salad

Makes 6 very large servings

For the greens

  • 1 large head Napa cabbage
  • 8-10 green onions, chopped

For the crunchies

  • 3 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 package ramen noodles, broken
  • 3 tbsp. sesame seeds
  • 1 cup slivered almonds

For the dressing

  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 Tbsp. honey or agave syrup
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  1. Finely shred the head of cabbage. Toss the green onions and cabbage in a large bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  2. To make the crunchies, toss together the sesame seeds, ramen noodles, almonds and sesame oil until evenly coated. Spread the mixture onto a lined baking sheet and make at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) until the crunchies become golden in color. Stir every now and then to ensure even toasting.
  3. To make the dressing: In a small saucepan, heat vinegar, oil, honey, sugar, and soy sauce. Bring the mixture to a boil, let boil for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool. Pour the cooled dressing into a glass jar and refrigerate until ready to use. Before using, shake the dressing well.
  4. To serve, combine dressing, crunchies, and cabbage, tossing to evenly distribute the ingredients. Serve immediately.
  5. If you are planning on eating this over a couple of days, just toss together a little bit of the crunchies, greens and dressing right before you want to eat.


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Dare I say?

Dare I say, but it is feeling like spring around here.

To my family and friends still covered in snow, I’m sorry.

The air today had that early spring scent to it.

P2073041 Sebastian and I first noticed it yesterday while out on our walk.

It smells like fresh soil and new green life.


Even my daredevil cats noticed the change in the air.

Today was a normal busy day at school.

The kids were all excited to share what they did over the long weekend. I had students in the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Holland and Belgium this weekend. All of their travel talk made me want to skip town for a week or so.

I think I may have made a new record at school today. I cried over not one, but two books while reading to my students. Ok, I guess saying I cried is too dramatic, I just got teary eyed.

Seeing a teacher get emotional helps develop empathy in children, right?

We’ve been reading Bridge to Terabithia and just got to the sad part. I wasn’t the only one with wet eyes. Nor was I a member of the only gender with wet eyes.

P2073037 Lunch today was a salad of lamb’s lettuce, cooked quinoa, cucumbers, smoked tofu, red peppers, cherry tomatoes and balsamic glaze. It was good.

I tutored after school then came home for a quick snack.


Whole grain English muffin with peanut butter and 1/2 a banana.

Fun fact: When I lived in Kenya, I survived off of bread, peanut butter and bananas. Kenya’s a hard place to be a vegetarian, especially on a student meal plan.

This afternoon I ran to Bonn to buy a new hand mixer and order a couple of books. While on the underground, I witnessed something very scary.

We were pulling away from a stop when the lady in front of me turned around with terrified eyes and pointed out the window. She didn’t speak English or German but her eyes said it all.

I looked out the window to see a lady, probably about 40 years old, sitting in the station with her shopping bags. She looked like she had been waiting for the tram like anyone else.

The only difference was that she was not moving to get on. Her eyes were wide open but rolled in the back of her head. Her head was leaning awkwardly against the wall and seat back. She looked like she was mildly convulsing, fists gripped.

The train was pulling away so I couldn’t jump out to try to help. It was a terrible feeling to pull away and leave this lady in need of help all alone.

I tried getting an old man I had been talking to to call an ambulance. He had no clue why I was suddenly panicking but a young German girl said she could help me even though she hadn’t seen the lady. Unfortunately, there was no reception in the underground.

We got off two stops later and ran to the police station. The police did what they could and called an ambulance. I just hope they arrived in time to help the lady.

I’ve had her image in my mind all night.

She was just waiting for a tram like everyone else.

Please, wherever you are, say a prayer for her health and safety.

Now go out and hug and kiss your loved ones.

I hope my friends and family, an ocean apart, feel my love tonight.

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Straight from the recipe section of the organic grocer’s monthly magazine.

This recipe is simple yet elegant. The original recipe called for blue cheese but I opted for goat cheese instead.


Lentil Salad with Goat Cheese and Apple

4 servings

Ready in 30 minutes

  • 250 grams (just over 1 cup) Puy lentils
  • 3 Tbsp. walnut oil
  • 4 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 red apple
  • lettuce, I used lamb’s lettuce
  • 80 grams goat cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Cook the lentils according to package instructions. Strain and cool cooked lentils. Mix together the walnut oil and lemon juice. Set aside 2 Tbsp of dressing and mix the remaining amount into the cooled lentils along with salt to taste.
  2. Core the apple and then slice into very thin ribbons. Cover the apple slices in the remaining dressing.
  3. Serve the lentils on the lettuce. Top with the apple ribbons and crumbled goat cheese.


Good enough to eat for lunch again tomorrow.


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This weekend flew by.

Friday we went out for dinner and drinks with friends but came home early.

Saturday morning I got up early to go to the gym. My Saturday morning Body Balance class was awesome as usual.

P1292911 Boiled potatoes, boiled beat, lamb’s lettuce, smoked salmon and a dressing mad from yogurt, fresh dill and a bit of salt and pepper.

I came home from the gym, made a quick Sweden-inspired lunch and then Sebastian and I were off to pick up his mom.

P1292915 It was a short visit but a good one. It was her first time in Bonn so we walked around looking at the sights then went out for dinner at our favorite Indian restaurant.

Every time I see Sebastian’s family, I know more German. It’s really nice to be able to participate more and more in the conversations.

To say it was a short visit is an understatement. She spontaneously decided to come to Bonn from Berlin. Arriving at 5pm on Saturday and leaving at 7am on Sunday.

After saying goodbye to Sebastian’s mom, I went back to sleep and accidentally slept until 10:30. Breakfast was rolls around 11 making lunch late- about 4:30.

P1302925 Sunday lunch was paninis with sautéed vegetables.

I cooked up some eggplant, red pepper, red onion and zucchini along with my new favorite seasoning.

P1302926 This Mediterranean mixture even has sea salt and lavender.

P1302924 Spot the lavender?

P1302939 I spread this jarred bruschetta on the mini chiabata rolls,

P1302941then stuffed the rolls with the sauteed veggies, lamb’s lettuce and cheese.

P1302943My cast iron pan made a good sandwich press.

P1302948Messy but delicious.


Today was a normal, busy Monday. I’m starting to feel like I’m coming down with a cold so am taking it easy tonight.

Dinner is in the oven and I have a thermos of hot water ready for tea. The sofa, my mom’s quilts and the TV are looking really inviting tonight.

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