Warm Farro, Squash, Chickpea, and Feta Salad
and why holidays shouldn't be about tradition
Hi! Welcome to “good mood food” from Kale Me Maybe’s Carina Wolff. If you’ve made it here and aren’t yet a subscriber, come join! You can expect recipes, thoughts, and faves in your inbox every Tuesday!
REMINDER: PAID TIER IS CURRENTLY ON HIATUS UNTIL JANUARY 2023!
During this hiatus, your membership will remain paused and you will not be charged until the beginning of January when I resume. The free, Tuesday weekly edition of this newsletter will still continue!
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How is it the middle of November? My brain cannot comprehend that next week is already Thanksgiving. I’ve never been the biggest Thanksgiving gal, but each year I try to make it a little more exciting by whipping a different dish that excites me.
I’ve come up with a few new ones this year that I will be releasing all week, starting off with this Hot Honey Citrus Roasted Turkey. I’ll admit it was my first time doing the turkey myself, and I can’t say it is my favorite thing to prepare. However, I did LOVE how this one turned out, especially that hot honey citrus glaze. If you find turkey to be boring, this bird is for you. I’ll be releasing the rest of the recipes this week, so stay tuned on Insta!
I find the holidays to be interesting because they elicit a wide range in responses from people. You have one group of people who are very festive no matter the season, people who are so excited to finally fly home and spend time with their family and friends. I would call these the lucky ones, and I consider myself to fall into this camp (again, emphasis on lucky).
Then there’s another group of people who find that holidays bring up a lot of emotions. They may have fraught relationships with their parents relatives, they may have family members who have passed, or maybe they can’t afford to take time off or fly home. Holidays can be dark times for those people.
I suppose there’s also one more group: people who love their family, but still find the holiday times to be filled with pressure and expectations. I imagine a lot of people likely fall into this camp.
I think holidays hold the weight that they do because they are traditions, and traditions have quite a stronghold on society, especially the farther up the generations you go. I have never been one to adhere to traditions just because they’re traditions — in fact, I often rebel against the idea that we should simply do something just because people who have lived before us have. I can’t help it, but that logic isn’t enough for me. I like to pick and choose what’s get passed down to help ensure they actually benefit society and make sense.
That being said, I do find a lot of beauty in connecting through meals and food, and I do feel like food is the one area of “tradition” that I feel most compelled to continue. There are many prescribed ways to celebrate seasonal holidays, but I think beyond tradition, the crux of a good holiday is connection, and the dinner table is where much of our connecting happens.
So even if you aren’t one of the lucky ones, I hope you can take the next few months during the peak of the holiday season and find your own sense of belonging in whatever way makes sense for you. Maybe that's a Friendsgiving. Maybe that’s a complete “F You” to holiday traditions altogether and ordering your favorite pizza. Maybe it’s simply trying a new recipe. Or maybe, it’s leaning into the holidays even harder to embrace the people around you who care about traditions more, for the sake of bonding.
Whatever it is, I hope we can all remember that holidays aren’t about the perfect table or perfect turkey or perfect life. We don’t always have to do things just because other people are. In fact, that’s incredibly boring. Holidays are about togetherness, and that’s what we should focus on. I know you can’t control that for everyone in your family, but feel free to send them this newsletter as a reminder ;).
THINGS I’M LOVING!
I received these Vuori Joggers as a birthday gift from my friend Natalie this year, and I cannot stop wearing them! They are so buttery soft. I love how they’re comfy enough for hanging around at home, but also cute enough to wear out (I’ve recently discovered they’re the perfect plane pants).
I’m going to let you in on a secret: Grant is often my fashion guru, and he influences the influencer. He got me into wearing Birkenstocks, and now, he has me on the Blundstone train. I bought these Blundstones in High Top Rustic Brown initially for travel so I could have a cute shoe to wear out but that I could also wear walking on trails or in the rain. That might sound like an impossible ask, but these Blundstones complete the task! I will say, they felt tight at first, but once you break them in, they feel amazing, so keep that in mind when trying them on.
I always love trying new alternative milks, and I was sent a couple of boxes of Táche pistachio milk to try out! Although I will admit I have yet to try it in my matcha, Grant made me a few lattes with pistachio milk, and we were both impressed at how well it frothed! Although I still don’t think you are going to die drinking a glass of oat milk, I think pistachio milk is a cool alternative!
This recipe was heavily inspired by a dish I saw on Milk Street. I subbed out the pearl couscous for farro and changed the preparation of the dish quite a bit by making it essentially a sheet pan meal. I love the way the chickpeas get nice and crispy!!
This dish is halfway between a salad and a risotto — it definitely doesn’t have the risotto prep, but it has a little bit of a risotto vibe. I like to think of it more as a warm salad, but you can also serve it cooled if that’s what you prefer (or if you’re cooking ahead of time).
Warm Farro, Squash, and Feta Salad
Ingredients (serves 2-4)
1 cup uncooked farro
1 small/medium butternut squash, peeled and diced
1 (14.5 oz) can chickpeas, rinsed, drained and patted dry
1/2 small onion, diced
1/4 cup crumbled feta
Handful of dill, roughly chopped
Handful of parsley, roughly chopped
Red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
1. Preheat oven to 425 F. Prepare farro according to package. While farro is cooking, add squash, chickpeas, and onion to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, add a pinch of cumin, salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until chickpeas are crispy and squash is soft.
2. When farro is ready, add to a big bowl along with roasted squash, chickpeas, and onions. Add the feta, parsley, and dill, and add a splash of olive oil and red wine vinegar (taste, and add more if one or each if needed). Finish off with a little more salt and pepper, and mix together. Serve warm (can also be eaten cooled as well).