I’m No Martha Stewart, But I Found My Kitchen

As a long-time vegetarian, I’ve always been aware of eating healthy. Until the last couple years; however, I was content to use my kitchen as a receptacle for frozen dinners and a storage location for my microwave. I led a busy life, and I used that to explain why I never cooked.

After the divorce, I began to find a new found respect for the kitchen. I was surprised to find that it was the room I was most excited about once I had my own space again. I almost didn’t recognize myself as I began to collect recipes and cookbooks, wander through farmer’s markets, and enjoy Sunday mornings in the kitchen with NPR on the radio.

I discovered that it felt good to cook, to spend time preparing healthy and nourishing food.  I enjoyed sharing food and recipes with others, especially when I could help to introduce them to vegetarian cooking or a new way of eating.  My health improved and my weight stabilized as I replaced prepared foods with fresh.

My life is still busy, and I’m no Martha Stewart, but now I prepare most foods from scratch. Below is a flexible recipe for one of my favorite salads.  It got its name because I made it for a special someone on his birthday this past year:)

Birthday Salad

1 bag baby spinach

1/2 red onion, sliced

4 oz mushrooms, sliced

1 cucumber, sliced

1/2 grilled asparagus, cut into 1″ pieces (optional)

4 tbsp feta cheese

2 tbsp walnut pieces


4 tbsp pomegranate seeds

1 tbsp olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

alt and pepper, to taste

Blend dressing ingredients in blender until smooth.  Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.

This recipe is easy to adapt to your preferences and what you have on hand. Some additional add-in ideas: marinated and baked tofu slices, artichoke hearts, Portobello slices marinated in port, or chicken strips.  To make it vegan, replace the feta with diced, high quality black olives.


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