Kale salad, maple glazed tempeh, and 2017.

My job for the past 3 years has dominated a good part of my brain and my life, and therefore has left little room for tangential online ramblings. That being said, I’m endlessly seeking balance, and so while my resolutions are fresh, I will try and remember to stay constant in the things that make me feel grounded. One of which is writing about my feelings and posting them on the internet.

It’s good to be back.

Like so many other people in the world, I ended the year by throwing my middle fingers in the sky and cursing all the shit that went down in 2016. I could spend a lot of time hashing out the things that went wrong last year, while also celebrating the fact that so many things went right. But it’s already a week into January, and there’s no point in looking back. Let’s just say I learned a lot, I broke a bit more, I hurt a few people along the way, fell in love with my nephew more than I thought possible, and bought a house. That about sums up 2016 for me.

Now it’s all about being in my third decade. It’s about being 30 and realizing that my life is so far from being complete and so close to being perfect.

Here are the things I am working on in 2017:

My heart is still a closed up shop. I keep telling my friends that I’m broken. I imagine my heart to be open and receptive to fellas, and the moment one actually wants to spend time with me I panic and ghost. Perhaps it’s because I haven’t met the right person. Perhaps it’s because I’m meant to be alone. Whatever the case, I want to do a lot of heart openers this year, both figuratively and physically.

Which leads me into my next goal. I will make my way back onto the mat. To make time for myself. To sit and settle my brain. To practice being still. I want to get back to long sessions of stretching that lead me to walk through the rest of my day with a sense of calm purpose. Yoga has always been my reset button, and it is time to get serious about my personal health. I’m kicking off the year with the 31 day Revolution challenge – look it up, Adriene is fucking amazing.

Lastly, I need to get better about daily self care. I consistently fall into the toxic world of negative self speak when things start to spin out of control. My life is busy and overwhelming. There’s no way around that. I spent 2016 stress crying on a semi regular basis because I felt overworked, over committed, and surprisingly lonely. All of these feelings were due to choices I made or didn’t make. My hope is that this year I am focused and mindful. Stepping back when I need to step back, tempering my sass when it’ll get me into trouble, saying no when I need to be by myself, and asking for friends when my heart is feeling lonely. I need to be conscious and aware of my own life, and remind myself that I’m only getting older (hello, 30s) and there’s no time to waste.

“You must not ever stop being whimsical. And you must not, ever, give anyone else the responsibility for your life.” – Mary Oliver

Happy 2017, beautiful humans.

The perfect kale salad + maple balsamic glazed tempeh

I’m somewhat obsessed with Oh She Glows. Her recipes are AMAZING and she does vegan comfort food like nobody else. I brought this kale salad to every holiday gathering my family had this year, and it was a hit. I added pomegranate seeds and apples because it seemed like the festive thing to do. And, to make the salad a complete meal, pop on some maple balsamic glazed tempeh. Yum.

Salad and dressing

Kale salad adapted from Oh She Glows

  • 2 medium bunches of dino kale, de-stemmed and chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 3-4 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup pomegranate seeds (optional)
  • 1 honey crisp apple, chopped (optional)

Pecan parmesan

  • 1 cup pecan or walnut halves, toasted
  • 1 ½ tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 pinches salt


Tempeh recipe adapted from Emma’s Little Kitchen 

  • 1 package tempeh
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp tamari
  1. Start with the salad. Preheat the over to 300 degrees and toast your pecans for 8-10 minutes until fragrant and golden. You can substitute walnuts if they’re your nut of choice.
  2. Move onto the kale. De-stem and chop the kale. Make sure to wash and dry and then give those leaves a hearty sprinkling of salt and then massage the leaves. My sister-in-law finds it hilarious that I massage my kale, but it really makes a difference.
  3. After the kale has been given a good rub down, start the dressing. Whisk together the lemon, oil, salt, pepper, and garlic. Once everything is mixed, toss over kale and mix until all the leaves are coated.
  4. While the leaves marinate in the goodness, move onto the “parmesan”. Add the pecans to a food processor and process until the nuts are the size of peas or a bit larger. Now add in the nutritional yeast, oil, and salt and process until it has a coarse crumb texture. Don’t over process of you’ll have a weird powder for your salad, and no one wants that.
  5. Set aside the salad and the pecan topping and move onto the tempeh. Wait to sprinkle the topping until you’re done with everything to make sure it stays nice and crunchy.
  6. Cut the tempeh into triangles and place in a baking dish. Preheat the over to 350
  7. Mix the vinegar, maple syrup, oil, tamari, and garlic in a small bowl, and pour over the tempeh.
  8. Cover the dish with foil and bake in the oven for 20 minutes
  9. Remove from the oven and flip each slice over, return to the oven uncovered and cook for a further 20 minutes
  10. Remove from the oven and let it cool while you get your salad fixing together. Top your serving of salad with a tablespoon or two (or 4) of the pecan parmesan mixture and then pop a serving of tempeh over the top.
  11. Eat and enjoy.

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