Every new year I choose a “word” for the year. It’s a word to reflect on and possibly keep me on track or aspire to.
Last year I chose two words. I couldn’t decide. My husband would tell you the word “Decisive” should have been thrown into the collection. (I’d like to believe “indecisive” just means that I think creatively. My husband loved that explanation.)
However, I felt in some way, both words I chose reflected my thankfulness for friends and family and reminded me how much I value the people in my life. Connect and Listen. That last one is a toughie. And I bet you’re asking yourself “how’d that workout for you Karista?” Let’s just say I felt fairly successful at staying connected. “Listen” is a forever word. For me, a word that will be a continuous work in progress. I hope to master it someday. Not just listening to others, but listening to myself. Sometimes we know best, we just don’t listen.
This year I chose the word “Nourish”. It’s the very foundation of this blog. It’s why I made the decision to go to culinary school 15 years ago; it’s why I decided to change career paths; it’s why I decided I wanted to teach home chefs the secrets to cooking well at home. It’s why I decided to share with you my most loved recipes. Recipes that are creative, sometimes playful, achievable and always delicious. Recipes that bring me joy – putting a smile on my face and on my taste buds.
Nourish is also the word that reminds me to support and encourage, to cherish and strengthen – Not only my family and friends but myself as well.
The new year is about nourishing my mind with new ideas, creativity, new books to read and new techniques to master.
The new year is about nourishing my body with whole foods, supporting local agriculture and yes, more exercise with more time spent outdoors.
The new year is also about nourishing my soul – with more quiet time, more time with friends and family, more time spent listening. Ah… we’re back to that word again.
In this busy world of ours it’s so easy to forget to nourish ourselves. Despite what our busy minds tell us, it’s not a selfish act; it’s an act of love for those around us. If we’re nourished and feeling happy and healthy, we’re better able to care for those we cherish.
I realize it’s easy to say that now while I’m sitting here at my computer – first day back from a refreshing winter break. I know it will be much harder to achieve when the work deadlines are looming and the family is pacing in front of my office door because they’re hungry and in need of dinner. But I vow to nourish myself so that I can support and cherish others. Including you!
This is going to be one DELICIOUS year. I’m excited about all the new recipes, classic recipes revised and revisited, recipes to make your dinner hour easier and recipes that will nourish, enlighten and delight!
Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,
This is a refreshing salad with the most delicious combination of flavors. Don’t let the simplicity fool you! For a quick meal, I pair this salad with grilled or pan seared shrimp, scallops, salmon or chicken.
A dear friend made this salad for me years ago. She’s no longer with us in person, but she will always be with me in spirit. Thanks C!
- 4-5 cups of your favorite washed greens. I like a mix of seasonal greens.
- 1/3 cup assorted chopped nuts (pistachios, hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, whatever you like)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- one sheet of wax paper or aluminum foil
- 1 cup mandarin orange slices, or more to taste
- 1/4 cup sliced scallions/green onions (I like about 1/3 cup. I love green onions and they are excellent for gut health)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
Place the greens in a bowl. Reserve.
If you don't have wax paper, grease aluminum foil or parchment paper with oil. Heat a small skillet over medium heat and add the sugar to the skillet. Just when the sugar begins to turn into liquid, add the nuts and quickly stir. Take the pan off the heat and pour the candied nuts in a single layer onto the greased foil or parchment or the wax paper. Let them cool and then break into small pieces.
Next, in a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey and Italian parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Toss the greens with the vinaigrette and then transfer to a salad bowl or platter, or individual plates. Top the greens with the sliced scallions/green onions, mandarin oranges and garnish with candied nuts. Serve immediately.