Well, guess what?
I still don’t have a kitchen.
So what if it’s been almost 4 months? So what if I haven’t picked up my camera? So what if I forgot how to think, write or edit? So what if there are swatches of paint, slabs of stone, and visions of couches dancing through my head. SO WHAT!!
I apologize if I sound cranky today. That’s because I AM. Forgive me.
Okay, so there is a space where the kitchen is going to be but I don’t have any cupboards, sink or a place where I can actually COOK and BAKE. What this means is this, I have to come up with ways to prepare meals that are effortless and don’t require a stove or oven.
You wanna know something? I think I can relate to the pioneers. They leaned towards making dishes using their survival skills and cooking over wood fire burning stoves. Tempted to do so in my living room because, frankly, it’s been too cold outside to cook on the barbecue.
It’s May for Godsakes. Come on.
Even though it’s been months of prepping food in my bathroom, I haven’t succumbed to grabbing a rifle and hunting squirrel
(but I’ve been tempted to).
I’ve rarely read that pioneers included kale in their recipes, most likely because KALE is the new possum in present day culinary terms. Pioneers were basically good at foraging through the forest gathering herbs, roots and berries. The rest of their food came from their fields, gardens and farmyards.
Last weekend, I looked outside my window and saw mushrooms growing out of the grass. They looked scrumptious, and the thought of stir frying those in a skillet on my hotplate swirled through my head. Before I attempted to forage, sauté and most likely die from mushroom poisoning, I decided to leave them for the dang “raccoon pioneers” who seem to be destroying my lawn lately. Besides, I need to be around to see the new kitchen
if it ever happens.
Since the start of this renovation, I have considered Steve and I to be very imaginative with our meals. Not exactly pioneers, but close enough.
For instance, we had our new staircase installed last week. When I came home from work, the installer told he required us to stay upstairs for at least 2 hours so that the varnish had a chance to dry. That meant that the three of us were sequestered to the upper level (I’m including Tiffany the kitty in this head count, because in my opinion, she is human).
What do you do when you have time on your hands, hungry for dinner and trapped upstairs?
Not only did I end up with a beautiful salad here, I also added another recipe to my ever growing list of things I can make without major appliances.
One more thing before I go (which is useless information), but important to know about my past. When I was 16, I was hired part-time in a store downtown, situated in a very large shopping mall. If you are from Toronto, I’m talking about the Eaton Centre. The store sold dresses that were very reminiscent of the ones that pioneer women used to wear. When I went for the first interview, I was told that all sales staff were required to purchase and wear these dresses during work hours (in order to give the customers a visual on how pretty these garments were)
or how idiotic we looked in them – clearly there was a market for these fugly frocks.
On day ONE I quit.
Do I look like the pioneer type to you?
- 1 bunch kale, thick stems removed and leaves torn into bite-size pieces
- 4 cups shredded red cabbage
- 6 tangerines, peel, segment and dice 3 and juice the remaining 3 for the dressing
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 medium bell peppers, cored, seeded and diced (I used orange and yellow)
- 2 medium carrots, julienned
- 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained
- ⅓ cup sunflower seeds
- ⅓ cup pepitas
- ⅓ cup sliced skinless almonds
- ⅓ cup fresh blueberries
- 1 avocado, sliced
- ⅓ cup crumble feta cheese, optional for garnish
- Place the kale, cabbage, tangerines, onion, bell peppers and carrots in a large salad bowl. Mix well with salad tongs. Top with the chickpeas, sunflower seeds, pepitas, almonds, blueberries and slice avocado. Sprinkle with feta, if desired.
- Make your dressing (see recipe below).
- Pour the dressing over the salad. Mix with tongs until well combined. Serve.
- Good news is, you can keep this refrigerated, covered, for 2-3 days.
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed tangerine juice
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons honey, maple syrup or agave
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Make the dressing. In a small bowl, combine the tangerine juice, vinegar, olive oil, Dijon mustard, honey salt, and pepper. Mix with a whisk until well combined or you can whip this up in a blender.