Go To Kale/Quinoa Salad

So there's some serious snow on the ground here.... fortunately my roommate and I are well stocked and are using our snow days to watch as many Oscar nominated films as possible, drink prosecco, play board games, and eat all the cheese. We figured we might be snowed in for a while, so stocked up before the storm and have since made hummus, veggie pizza, a kale, sweet potato, & goat cheese tart, mushroom soup, and three different kinds of pesto (because you can never have too much pesto). 

While all our snow cooking adventures have been fun, it's also nice to have easy fallbacks to make when you feel the need to eat healthily and/or make something quick and simple. Enter the kale/quinoa salad. It's incredibly basic (in every sense of the word) but I love it. 


The kale is raw but the lemon and warm quinoa help relax the leaves so they have a soft texture but keep their fresh flavor. I often make this on Sunday and then take it for lunch throughout the week (it keeps for about a week in the fridge and can be eaten warm or cold). I'll add a dollop of yogurt to this salad or eat it on top of a roasted sweet potato. If I wasn't allergic to eggs, I would probably add a fried egg and call it dinner. 


Rinse and cook the quinoa in a small pan. While the quinoa cooks, tear and wash the kale. In a large bowl, massage the lemon juice into the kale. Finely dice the red onion. 

Add quinoa and red onion to the bowl of kale. Crumble in the goat cheese, pour in the balsamic vinegar and olive oil, and season generously with salt and pepper. Mix vigorously. 


1 cup quinoa 

1 bunch kale

1 small red onion 

1/3 log goat cheese

juice from 1 lemon

good splash of balsamic vinegar 

olive oil 

salt & pepper

Roasted Parsnips with Apple and Chorizo

Despite dodging Hurricane Joaquin (or did Joaquin dodge us?) there was still a shit ton of rain this past week... so much so our little basement flooded on Tuesday night. Don't worry, we're fine! The apartment is fine and the cats are fine (in fact, they had a blast playing/nesting on the pile of sopping blankets in our hall). But after the place dried out and we picked up some sandbags to prevent future disasters, all we really wanted to do was spend the weekend indoors, sheltering from the rain, playing Settlers, drinking wine, and watching West Wing

It also seemed like a good opportunity to eat as much fall food as we could fit in our fat little mouths. So my roommate pulled an apple pie out of the freezer, I made a mushroom soup, we drank some pumpkin beer, spiked some apple cider, and I got really excited about parsnips.

I adore roasted parsnips. They're a little peppery, a little nutty, and go perfectly with sweet apples and spicy chorizo. Bring this to a fall potluck or think of it as an alternative side for your Thanksgiving spread? Honestly though, I'll eat this by itself topped with some crumbled goat cheese. Vegetarians can skip the chorizo and add some paprika to the apple sauce.


2 lbs parsnips

2 shallots

2 apples (gala or another sweet variety)

6 oz chorizo

pour of maple syrup

good pour of apple cider vinegar

pinch chili flakes

olive oil

salt & pepper


Preheat the oven to 400F. Wash and chop the parsnips into 2" sticks. Toss in a baking tray with the maple syrup, olive oil, chili flakes, salt and pepper. Roast in the oven until tender (approx. 50 minutes), stirring half way through.

Peel and dice the apples, shallots, and chorizo. In a saucepan on a medium heat, sauté the shallots in olive oil for 3 - 4 minutes, add the chorizo and the apple. Cook for another 4 - 6 minutes. Add the apple cider vinegar and turn up the heat. When the apples start turning soft and the liquid has reduced, remove from the heat.

Mix the shallot, apple, chorizo sauce with the parsnips. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Homepickled Pickles

A while ago someone bought homemade pickles to a BBQ pot luck and I was like 'get outta town, you made pickles.' Everyone at the BBQ went fucking nuts. So I asked her for the recipe and she shrugged and just said 'water, vinegar, sugar, time'. And that's pretty much all there is to pickling. So when now whenever I have an abundance of cukes or jalopeños, I pickle them! (I also take them to potlucks and people love them. Trust me, it's a great life hack: bring pickles to a potluck). 

This isn't a great recipe if you want your pickles to last forever (if you want that, you need to make the water vinegar ratio more 1:1 and also add like a cup of sugar or something.... ). But this recipe will pickle your pickles fast, they'll be ready in just 2-3 hours and will last about a week or so. For jalopeños, I add fresh cilantro and skip the chili flakes. Feel free to play around with different flavors and ingredients, depending on what you're pickling and what you like. This is just a basic recipe to show you how wonderfully simple pickling can be.  


1 medium cucumber 

2 cups apple cider vinegar

1 cup water

2 tbsps brown sugar

a few black peppercorns

a few coriander seeds

pinch chili flakes 


Add the cider vinegar, water, sugar, peppercorns, coriander seeds, and chili flakes to a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat.  

Cut cucumber into discs. Add discs to a jar/s and pour in the pickle mixture. Make sure all the cucumbers discs are covered with the mixture before sealing the jar. Store in the fridge for up to two weeks. 

Pink and Green Salad

Here's the thing. I don't love green beans. They're fine, but if they didn't appear in my CSA or cross my path at Thanksgiving, I'd probably never touch the things. It's not that I actively dislike them, I'm just very "meh" on them. When they do show up in my CSA (hi SPRING), I usually end up throwing them in a pasta dish or a curry or covering them with cheese and pesto so they just taste like, well, cheese and pesto. 

But this time I was determined to find a way to eat them that was a little bit more adventurous but still really easy. So I do what I always do when I'm looking for inspiration... ask myself WWDMD (what would Deborah Madison do). After looking over the green bean recipes in Vegetable Literacy, I discovered I kept almost all the ingredients for the last  recipe on hand at all times (olives, onions, garlic...) so I was set. The recipe did not disappoint and it is now my go to for green beans. The strong flavors of the onion and olive balance out the blandness of the beans. It's a perfect lunch or light dinner and with all the different colors, it always looks delightful. 

Madison's original recipe uses shallots in apple cider vinegar instead of red onions in red wine vinegar and tomatoes instead of almonds (but I wanted some crunch). I usually have red onions kicking about and I adore them, but I can't eat them raw without some considerable stomach upset, so I've started pickling them for salads. It's pretty simple and can be done anytime from 30 minutes to 1 week in advance. I simply slice the onions, put them in a bowl or jar, cover them with 50% red wine vinegar and 50% hot water, and add a pinch of sugar. 


Put water on to boil and add a pinch of salt. Top and tail the green beans and put them on to boil. Roughly chop the olives and mince the garlic. Mix them together in a small bowl with a good splash of olive oil. Roughly chop the almonds. 

Once the beans are cooked, remove from the heat and drain them. In a bowl mix the green beans with the olive/garlic/oil mixture. 

To serve, place the beans in a bowl and scatter the almonds and red onions on top. If you don't care about presentation, just mix everything together and go at it. 


green beans

small handful of olives

1 garlic clove

small handful of almonds

olive oil

pickled red onions (see above)

Yogurt with Winter Veg and Chimichurri

Full fat yogurt is the bomb. If you can, buy it local. Otherwise, make sure it comes from happy cows. Happy cows tend to eat a lot of grass, which can make the yogurt slightly yellow. So look out for that. Also, who has time for 0% fat yogurt? Like, what even is that? Once you have your yogurt, put it on everything. At least, that was my motto for a long time. Toast, grains, soup, roasted veg, fish, meat, curry, potatoes… everything I ate, I just dropped a dollop of yogurt on top of it. Fucking amazing.

But then I went to this scrumptious spot in Seattle and there was this yogurt, butternut squash, applesauce dish that changed my life. They didn’t use yogurt as a late addition or sidenote, they used it as the freaking base of the dish and I was like, game over, from now on I'm putting my yogurt in a bowl and dropping a dollop of food on top of it.

It’s winter, so my CSA is bringing me some gnarly looking vegetables right now. Once they're peeled and roasted though, they look great and taste even better. For this dish, I used half a kabocha squash, two carrots, and three golden beets. But pretty much any combination of winter veg will do, so just roast whatever you have on hand. Likewise, you can sub the chimichurri for pesto or another herb/fruit sauce.


assortment of winter veg

drizzle of honey 

pinch of cumin

few shakes of oregano

big handful of parsley

big handful of cilantro 

2 garlic cloves

juice and zest from 1 lemon

big splash of white wine vinegar

olive oil 

salt & pepper

handful of pepitas 






Preheat the oven to 450F. Peel, deseed, and chop the vegetables. Arrange on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and honey. Sprinkle on the cumin, oregano, salt and pepper, then mix together so the veg is evenly coated. Spread the veg in one layer on the sheet and roast in the oven for 45 mins, shuffle the veg around half way through.

To make the chimichurri, blend the parsley, cilantro, garlic, lemon juice and zest, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper in a food processor. As you blend, drizzle in olive oil until you get a loose pesto like consistency. 

Put pepitas in a small pan and lightly toast on a medium heat. 

Pour yogurt in a bowl, top with roasted veg, chimichurri, and pepitas. Drizzle with olive oil and season to taste. Eat while the veg is still hot and the yogurt is deliciously cool.