The year of the plant

2016 seems to be the  year of the plant. I keep seeing Michael Pollan’s quote (eat food. not too much. mostly plants.) everywhere. NPR ran this story and The New York Times Food section this week has a luscious-looking roasted cauliflower on the front page. And after almost canceling my subscription to Bon Appetit after they ran this ridiculous story in their December issue (I don’t know about you, but I always wear my best dress and pout my red-painted lips while searing halloumi cheese), they seem to have redeemed themselves this month by denouncing the artisan bottled water trend (there is organic birch tree water?), loving lots of fresh herbs and including plant-forward recipes that I can’t wait to try (like this one! and this one!) I am normally lousy at eating lunch, so I decided to start the new year off right with a grain-based salad made with a lovely winter root vegetable: the beauty heart radish. Crunchy, peppery and hot pink; the beauty heart radish is a great way to brighten the grayest of winter days.

And while cauliflower is getting a lot of attention these days, I have been obsessing over celery. And so is Half-moon, who stopped and cooed at the green stalks as I whipped them out of the fridge and onto the cutting board, pausing to let him reach out and grab at the leaves. (Speaking of leaves, make sure they get into the salad too- 2016 is also about cutting down on food waste.) While my grain of choice- chewy spelt berries- cooked on the stove, I mixed up a dressing of lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil and cilantro. Add in a little tangy, salty feta and- poof!- you have a hearty, healthy lunch. Leftovers are delicious, too.

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Beauty Heart Radish and Celery Salad with Spelt Berries, Lemon and Feta

Ingredients

3/4 cup cooked spelt berries (for more on cooking spelt berries, see this post)
2 stalks celery (leaves too!), chopped
1/2 beauty heart radish (cut away the bitter peel), chopped
juice from 1/2 lemon
lemon zest
handful of cilantro, chopped
olive oil
pepper
handful of feta cheese

Directions

Cook spelt berries. Meanwhile, whisk together lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, cilantro in a big salad bowl. Add the celery and radish. Let the spelt berries cool to room temperature and toss them into the salad. Add feta cheese and season with pepper, if you like.

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I hope 2016 finds you following your path. Happy Nu-Nu! Wink wink.

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Author: erica banks krug

I live in Wisconsin. I love cooking, eating kale, taking photographs, road trips and the Packers. I used to ride a ski lift to work. Now I work as a substitute teacher. But I dream of being able to call myself a "writer." You have to start somewhere....

1 thought on “The year of the plant”

  1. Speaking of water, I was at the new Far East Side UW Hospital facility a couple of weeks ago. There was “fruit infused” water in those drinking-water tanks in the waiting areas. I thought it was scary and I looked for security cameras.

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