After we got home from the hospital our good friend Rebecca was kind and thoughtful enough to set up a “Take Them a Meal” schedule. She sent it out to many of our friends and we were blessed with meals every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for over a month! Jeremy and I were humbled and amazed at the love and willingness of others to do this for us and it really helped. Especially in those first weeks when we honestly wouldn’t have remembered to eat unless someone showed up on our door step, meal in hand.

I was impressed too by how many people tried their hands at home cooking, vegan style. I’ve decided to start publishing the recipes from our friends on Mondays. Mondays, as some of you may know, are a part of a movement in the veg world to go meatless on that day every week as a way to reduce- impact on the environment, natural resources, animal suffering, waste. So in honor of “Meatless Mondays” I will share the recipes that graced our home in our time of need and filled us with nourishment and love.

I told my friend Danielle that I was planning on doing this as a way to “transition away from death.” She laughed and I appreciated that. I like when friends can laugh with me in the dark times too. I always envisioned this blog as having things like vegan recipes and products too. Of course I thought a lot of that would relate to what I’d be feeding our boys and cloth diapering and eco-friendly versions of products like diaper cream .  But some days I come here to write and it’s too hard. The pain is too much. So a recipe is a little lighter and easier. My friends had no idea when they brought those meals how even now it’s helping me to still write, still process, but have a little break from it too.

Today’s recipe is a Wheat Berry Salad from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Cooking cookbook. Our dear friends Joellen and Geir made it for us and brought it by with a bottle of wine and spent some time hanging out. It is light and delicious- absolutely perfect for summer. I’m still doing the juicing and hot yoga detox, which Jer calls”baby Auschwitz” (funny and offensive!) because the first time I was doing this combo in January I didn’t know I was pregnant! Our poor little boys were sweatin’ it out with nothing but juice to get through their first couple of weeks. I didn’t know, sorry. The minute I saw a plus sign I ran and ate a cantaloupe. True story. Anyways, when I’m off the juice (ha!) I’ll be making lots and lots of this salad. It’s that good. Enjoy!



Wheat Berry Salad with Citrus, Pine Nuts, (Vegan) Feta and Spinach

2 cups soft wheat berries, rinsed
6 cups water
2 teaspoons fine-grain sea salt, plus more as needed
Citrus Dressing:
Grated zest and juice of 1 orange
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Fine-grain sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 generous handfuls spinach leaves, stemmed and well rinsed
1 cup toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup crumbled (Vegan) feta cheese
Combine the wheat berries, water and 2 teaspoons salt in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, covered, until plump and chewy, about an hour or so. The berries should stay al dente, and the only way to be sure they’re done is to taste a few. Drain and season to taste with more salt.
To make the dressing, combine the orange zest and juice, lemon juice, and shallot. Whisk in the olive oil and season with a few pinches of salt and a few grinds of pepper.
Toss the hot wheat berries with the spinach, pine nuts, citrus dressing, then top with the (Vegan) feta. Taste for seasoning and sprinkle with a bit more salt if needed.
Serves 4 to 6.