weekend joy

Snippets from an eventful and tasty weekend…heirloom rainbow

An heirloom rainbow, all from the organic farm I work on.

Saturday market

Another Saturday market. Selling our never-ending heirloom tomatoes and the beginning of our fall harvest — sweet potatoes, acorn squash, rutabaga greens, beet greens & radishes.


Forrest & I at a family-friend’s lovely wedding on Cold Saturday Farm in MD. The big stone farmhouse behind us used to be a hospital during the Civil War.

wedding things

Cute and functional wedding favors!

this guy

this guy…

tahini buckwheat granola

My first attempt at buckwheat granola – and it is crunchy! Perfect in a bowl of kefir and peaches because it doesn’t get soggy so quick like other cereals. I used hello veggy’s recipe and subbed tahini for the nut butter for an earthy sesame flavor. mmm :)

farm party!

My weekend concluded with an end-of-summer potluck up on a hill at my neighbor’s farm. Delicious, healthy food, a beautiful sunset, and chatting with good friends until the only light left was the stars. Hoping to make this the first of many seasonal farm dinners!

Hope everyone’s having a happy week : ) -mich

really good falafel

really good falafel

I really miss my falafel bar in Charleston. Can’t believe it’s been a year since my college graduation and FIVE years since I was a freshman, exploring and orienting myself around that amazing little city. A city with a wonderful, wonderful food scene. New restaurants were popping up on the narrow historic downtown streets every other day it seemed, having to compete in a food culture that demanded unqiue, eclectic, quality eats. And the day I saw the new Patat Spot Friet & Falafel pop up on one of the streets that ran right through campus, I was psyched. This girl is a falafel lover.

Plus this wasn’t just any order of falafel – you could get it grilled or fried, in a pita or on a bed of greens, and then head over to the ‘Garden Spot’ and fill your plate with over 20 toppings ranging from pickled beets to baba ganoush to tabouli. I surely did my best to keep them in business.


Anyway, just reminiscing about how great I had it back in the day. Now I have to make it all myself and provide all the toppings?! Ugh. Fortunately, making falafel is pretty simple and the finished product is so worth it. I’ve probably used a different falafel recipe every time and this combination of ingredients definitely makes for the best, as does soaking and cooking my own garbanzo beans. Much better texture and easier on the digestion. I also wanted to experiment with baking vs. pan frying — both turned out equally delicious. When the time came to serve, the only form of bread in my house was corn tortillas so… I made do with a falafel taco. Not bad! If you’ve got pita, by all means use it or serve over a bed of spinach or romaine with a 20+ topping salad bar, ideally ;) Continue reading

fall sauté

I’ve been eating this all week.

Or maybe every meal of every day of this week would be more accurate. Any way these ingredients come together—whether as a raw salad, a veggie-egg scramble, or a warm sauté served on a bed of quinoa—they make for a comforting, filling, and most importantly, healthy meal.

Let me explain to you how this goes: I chopped up a big bunch of kale with some onion, sweet peppers and carrots, and kept it in a bowl in the fridge. For breakfast I’d make an egg scramble with the veggies and beans, and top it with salsa. For lunch I’d have a big hearty kale salad with either more beans or shredded chicken, drenched in this lemon-tahini dressing. And for dinner I’d sauté the mixture in chicken broth with garlic, sliced apple and white beans, served on a bed of quinoa or brown rice and drizzled with more tahini sauce.

A pretty versatile meal, huh? The combination of textures and flavors makes it deliciously satisfying, and the protein and fiber make it filling. And I don’t think anything makes me feel healthier than eating a big bowl of kale. It’s a win-win-win-win.

All this was inspired by a salad my sister Tara made this summer with kale from mom’s garden…. the very moment I fell in love with kale. I knew I had liked it cooked, in soups and such, but I’d never tried it raw! I imagined it being tough and more bitter or pungent than other greens—which is exactly what I love about it. No it wasn’t my typical spring mix salad, but it was earthy and hearty and filling. Tara’s salad was pretty basic if I remember: a mixture of chopped kale, peppers, white beans, maybe onions, olive oil and lemon juice and a crank of black peppercorns.

So I found myself at the market with a big bunch of kale, remembering and wanting to recreate this delicious salad. And then it got cold….. therefore this warm sauté was born, accompanied by a mixture of brown rice and quinoa and a lemon-tahini dressing I’d been wanting to try.

So. Here I am today, just home from the market where I stocked up on more kale, and still enjoying every bite of this healthy, hearty meal in its various forms.

That is the story of my week.

for the sauté: Continue reading

Tahini Date Cookies

I was not expecting to post this recipe. I was not expecting it to taste good, much less come out right, after 2 failed attempts at meringues earlier in the day (ugh). But I was intrigued, as I always am by odd combinations. Tahini, oats and dates in a cookie? My mom was not excited. And I’m not sure if I even was, but I was just too curious not to try them.

Wow. A completely surprised wow. My mom tried one first and said, “those cookies are really good.” What?! She never likes my cookies because hers are always better. But she was right, these were really good. The texture of a perfect oatmeal cookie, the sweetness lent by honey and soft dates, the earthiness of the tahini, and the lingering touch of spice…… They in fact reminded me of my favorite oatmeal raisin cookie in my freshman year dining hall in college, although I’m sure these are much more nutritious =]

As for the recipe, it’s incredibly simple and nutritious. Tahini, oats and honey are your main ingredients; add anything else you desire. Tahini had me thinking hummus, which had me thinking Middle Eastern…. which brought to mind my awesome little jar of garam masala! I decided it would definitely make an appearance. I also used this Ceylon cinnamon mom had in the cabinet, which has a slightly spicier taste than typical cinnamon, similar to Saigon cinnamon if you’ve ever had it. Although I’ve never been a fan of dates, I used them as the recipe called for and was pleasantly surprised. But I think I’ll use raisins next time just because I love raisins!

Continue reading