During the past few months, Matt and I have spent a couple nights here and there looking up real estate in western Canada. We are by no means ready to buy anything soon, nor do we even live in the country, but it helps feed the dream that we will one day be back in the rocky mountains.
In our dreams there is a small wood cabin on a large plot of land, preferably with a landscape view of snowy peaks. There is enough space for a dog, maybe a few little people running around and a room for visiting friends and family. For Matt there is a river or a lake, a fire stove, and ski hill near by. He sees lots of kayaking, fresh powder, adventures in the north and a few bears he can try to hug. There is small town close by to get what we need, with a cozy little coffee shop and some friendly faces. Perhaps a quaint pub to grab a pint après ski.
For me, there’s a small eclectic kitchen with a big window over an old clay sink. There’s a heavy wooden table with place settings that probably don’t match. Outside there’s a garden, a really big one. It has all the usual suspects; garlic, potatoes, and onions to get us through the winter, carrots, radishes and beets for some color. There are also all kinds of greens, different types of kale, chard and collards. I’ll have to gift away zucchini and cucumber because there are always too many, but the neighbors are happy. We’ll have big red, juicy tomatoes if the summer has been good and an apple tree if we are lucky. There’s a place nearby to eat outside on warm nights, and an outdoor wood oven for making pizza and breads.
I imagine that we will have jobs or work of some sort, but time will tell what they will be. For now this is the dream. It’s humble and quiet, a place to build a life. One day. We’ll see you there.
KALE SALAD WITH TAMARI TOASTED SEEDS + FRESH PEAR VINAIGRETTE
A simple and quick autumn kale salad for the season. Double or triple quantities to feed a crowd.
Giving the kale a quick massage before making the salad gives the leaves a much nicer texture when eating them raw. Click here for some great massaging tips and techniques.
Vegan + Gluten Free. Serves 2.
5 cups kale, I used a mix of lacinato and curly purple kale (all home grown!), ribbed and thinly sliced
1/4 cup pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds)
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 teaspoons tamari
1 ripe pear, halved and pitted
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon maple syrup of honey
2 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Good pinch sea salt
Place the thinly sliced kale leaves in a large bowl, sprinkle over a touch of sea salt and massage the leaves with your fingertips. Work the kale until the leaves darken in color and begin to soften. Set aside.
Place all the seeds in a dry shallow pan over medium heat. Toast for a minute or two, until the seeds become fragrant and begin to ‘pop’. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the tamari, then return the pan over low heat until the liquid is absorbed and the seeds are dry. Scrape off any bits of tamari stuck to the bottom of the pan, remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Peel one half of the pear, then chop it and place in a small blender. Add in the apple cider, olive oil, sesame oil, and maple syrup. Blend everything together until smooth and thick. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
Dress the kale with half of the dressing, toss to coat, then top with toasted seeds. Thinly slice the remaining half of pear and add to the salad. Serve immediately with remaining dressing on the side, or place in fridge to rest. Salad will keep for a day in the fridge, longer without the dressing. Dressing will keep in the few for a few days in a sealed jar.
Let me in on your kitchen creations – tag your photos #happyheartedkitchen and share the love!