Happy New Year Everyone!! Is everyone as excited to welcome 2013 as I am? We have a lot on schedule for this year and at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve it all felt very real! We are still in the middle of packing up our house for the big move to California. The moving truck comes on Friday and our house closes in just over a week and we have been working like crazy to wrap up all of the end of year loose ends with the business and to go through the house room by room to decide what is making the move, what can get donated and what can be sold. It has been an arduous few weeks with the holidays squished into the middle of it all, but it was a welcomed distraction during such a stressful time.
A few days after Christmas we had an emergency scare with our dog Seri, when she got into some gum with Xylitol in it. As you can imagine, this definitely aded to the stress. You can read a little about it here. I do plan to do a post here on Tasty Yummies about our experience, as well. I would like to share my story and get the word out about how dangerous and highly xylitol is for dogs, since the I feel that not enough dog owners know. I am so grateful for the other food bloggers that have mentioned it, otherwise I wouldn’t have known to act quickly. I consciously do not keep it in the house, but I didn’t know it was hidden in so many common things. I was unaware we even had it in the house. She is thankfully (and very luckily) OK now, but it was a very rough few days, my body actually broke out into a full on cold in the middle of it. I could feel I had been fighting it for a few days and I guess the stress of worrying about my baby just brought it on full force.
With our pooch being back home with us now and yesterday officially ending the holidays and making this move our only focus, the stress of it definitely hit me like a ton of bricks last night. I am not at all a person stricken with anxiety in the least, I consider myself to be mostly calm, but wow, is this move testing me on that. You always hear people say that a big move is one of the most stressful things you can ever go through. They aren’t kidding.
I have been trying to find as much time to cook as I can in this time, since like my yoga it is one of the most calming and soothing things to me. I made a huge pot of chicken pho when my cold was in it’s full force and it was so perfect! I also made a big feast on New Year’s Eve for hubby and I. Yesterday we had dinner with my family at my parents house and since I am now in full-on clean out the fridge and pantry mode, I decided to come up with a salad inspired by what is in season and in my fridge!
Everyone absolutely LOVED this salad, which made me so happy! It is full of beautiful vibrant colors and bright fresh flavors. If you can’t find baby kale, you could also use arugula, baby spinach, field greens, frisée, endive, etc.
I am starting to pack up my kitchen stuff today, so this may be the last recipe post you see for a while. We will be temporarily staying with my parents for a few weeks while we fly out to California to find a house and get everything in order. Hopefully I will have some time to cook for and with my parents in that time.
What are you most looking forward to in 2013?
- 2-3 small/medium organic sweet potatoes, cleaned well and cut into 1-inch cubes, I leave the skin on
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- sea salt and pepper, to taste
- 5 cups organic baby kale (or arugula, baby spinach, field greens, frisée, endive, etc.)
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
- 1 small organic pomegranate, seeded – you are looking for about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of seeds
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice, plus some fresh orange zest
- 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
- 2 small cloves garlic, minced
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- sea salt and pepper, to taste
(I didn’t need all of this dressing, so use as much as you’d like and then store the rest in a sealed container in the fridge for other salads)
Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Toss the sweet potatoes with olive oil, thyme, onion powder, salt and pepper. Spread into a single layer on a baking pan and roast for 20-30 minutes until they start to brown and are tender. Set aside to cool.
While the potatoes are roasting make the dressing. Whisk all of the ingredients together. Taste and adjust seasonings, as needed.
After the sweet potatoes have cooled a bit, layer those on top of the baby kale in a large serving bowl, add the green onions, toasted pine nuts, and top with toasted pine nuts and pomegranate seeds. Toss with the dressing just before serving (you may not need all of it, so add slowly). Grate a little fresh orange zest on top as you are serving.