For the rest of you, if you don’t remember me, let me reintroduce myself. I’m Jenna. I garden, I cook, I eat, I own a business, and I write about all of it. I’ve been away from blogging for a bit because I’ve been reevaluating things. I’ve decided to quit my job in academia to pursue my business, Happy-Go-Lucky Foods, full-time, we’ve moved to the mountains of Western North Carolina, and I’ve been eating a gluten-free and dairy-free diet. Because of some “lady issues,” my acupuncturist, Doctor of Oriental Medicine, and friend (all the same person) advised me to change my diet (on top of the Chinese herbs I take daily). It’s been about six months and I’m feeling great. My primarily vegan diet has helped me so much, and I wanted to learn to cook all over again. So here I am. I’m back. I’m different, but I’m back. It’s nice to see you.
I may be a little rusty at this whole food blogging thing, but here goes…
I’ve been eating tons and tons of fresh produce. From squash to tomatoes to beans, corn, grapes, and kale, I’ve been a total veggie glutton. And living in the Asheville area, I’m so fortunate to have it all at my fingertips. Organic, fresh, local produce perfection is all here, and I couldn’t be more excited. Sometimes, I get a little overzealous, though, and buy more than I can chew. This is totally fine, though, because I get to be extra creative. An overstocked fridge with a spectrum of veggies (some cooked) and an unbridled sense of kitchen adventure led me to my new favorite salad. Are you ready?
For this healthy monster, you’ll need:
- A couple handfuls of kale, chopped into small pieces
- Palmful of cherry tomatoes, halved
- Small but of purple onion, diced
- A few fresh green beans of any variety, cut in small bits
- Corn, cooked and cut from the cob, about two tablespoons
- A smidgen of fresh or pickled jalapeños (add as much as you like if you’re brave)
- Several chunks of roasted and cubed sweet potato (I roasted these babies for soup, but couldn’t help myself)
- Two tablespoons of the dressing that follows
- Mixed nuts for a crunchy garnish
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup plain rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Several grinds fresh black pepper
- Pinch dried basil
- Place all ingredients in a ball jar and shake like crazy. If you don’t have ball jars falling out of every cabinet like I do, use whatever you have. That’s all there is to it. The turmeric gives the dressing the most gorgeous color and the smell is to die for.
Kale and turmeric and super foods, and the rest isn’t so shabby either. Food like this makes me forget that I’m eating vegan. I don’t want for anything.
Happy and healthy munching, my friends. I’ll talk to you soon.