Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Onion, Kale, and Butternut Squash Farro Salad

I have an announcement to make... I am now the proud owner of a real, live YELLOW SPATULA!

It's so beautiful! Thank you, Clara!

Sorry I haven't posted in awhile. I was just busy getting my doctorate... YAY!!!!

Walking across the stage...

Happy Parents!

A little surprise...

This happened...

My beautiful classmates! Minus the one boy in the class!

And then my parents had a wonderful amazing fun party with LOTS of Katella Deli food in their backyard to celebrate!
I'll post pictures from the party when I get them... but here's a preview. My friend Jessica has good taste in ear-related graduation gifts!

So back to business!  Tonight, my mom came over to help me start packing up my apartment (thanks, mom!)  so I made us a little something for dinner to reward our packing efforts.

I've made this salad a few times.  It was originally a Smitten Kitchen recipe (surprise, surprise) over the course of making it several different ways, I ended up with this creation:

It's just as delicious as it is colorful! And here's how to make it:


2 cups of farro (I used semi-pearled)
Steamed, cubed butternut squash (mine was the steamer bag from Trader's)
A bunch of kale
Small red onion
Pepitas, to taste
Red wine vinegar
Optional protein source to add in later (I used basil chicken sausage)


  • Cook the farro according to the package directions
  • Dice the red onion. Let it pickle in 1/4 to 1/2 a cup of red wine vinegar (just enough to cover the onion) while you make the rest of the salad
  • Steam your squash and kale using your preferred method
  • When all of these hot ingredients have cooled, pour it all into a bowl
  • Add pepitas and red onion/vinegar mixture. Toss.
  • Serve along with your "protein" to make a meal out of it!
The farro itself is pretty filling.  I added the kale and the sausage this time and they were both excellent complements to the salad.  There are so many amazing flavors combined in here that every bite is just a little bit different and all the colors make it a beautiful dish to eat! 

That's all for now!  I feel so lucky to have such incredible family and friends who help me pack/move/celebrate.  I love you all so much, and i'm so grateful to have you in my life!  And i'm happy to cook anything for you, any time :D

The dinner table wouldn't be complete without the beautiful graduation flowers. Thanks, Jess! 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Pasta with Non-Artichoke Non-Marsala Sauce

Hi guys!

I'm back from an unintentional blogging hiatus taken due to things like finishing my doctoral research project (YES!!!!), finding a new apartment (can't wait to show you!), eating Native Foods several times per week, and fixing my kitchen sink which exploded in a terrible, terrible way (yep, time for a new apartment!)

Now back to regularly unscheduled programming!

I intended to make this Mushroom and Artichoke Marsala Pasta but what I ended up with was almost entirely unlike it, yet nevertheless, sensationally scrumptious.

You see, when I arrived at the store to buy frozen artichokes and marsala wine, the store was out. But it DID have a conveniently packaged "green bean sautee" full of green beans, red onion, and mushrooms and I knew there was a half-full bottle of cabernet sauvignon on my kitchen counter.

And thus, Green Bean and Mushroom Pasta in a Red Wine Reduction was born!


Green beans, chopped
A few mushrooms, chopped
A small onion, chopped
A bunch of parsley, chopped
Olive Oil
Pasta (I used Rigatoni)
A splash of "cream" (or soy milk)
Red, red wiiiiiiiine (stay close to meeeee) (ok maybe I had a glass before writing this post)


Start cooking the pasta until al dente
Heat olive oil in a large pan
Add onion and sautee until almost translucent
Then add the green beans and mushrooms
Once everything looks nice and sautee-ey, add 1 cup of wine
Turn down the heat and simmer until almost gone
Drain the pasta, add to the veggies
Add the chopped parsley
Add a splash of soy milk and stir it all together

One of my dinner rules I try to stick to is to always include at least 1 green thing and some protein.  This dish was missing the protein so I crumbled up and sauteed a little tempeh in the pasta pot to mix in with the pasta.  If tempeh doesn't sound tempting, you could do the same thing with chicken (mmm cooked in the wine sauce) or serve the dish with some grilled salmon. I think i'll have to make it several more times and try it with all of the above!

Pasta with Tempeh

Happy Cooking!