an ode to fall salad + gratitude for the table

Settling a bit deeper into the simple ordinary of sharing a seat at the dinner table with my family. In light of all the is happening in our world, the broadcasted violence and natural disasters that seem to be fresh every week, there is something about the act of gathering that feels more sacred than ever before.  I have always felt a holy draw to the gathering of my people, the long, lingering as meals are shared and the wine is passed around, literal sustenance taken in between the sentences of intimate conversations and lightheartedness. 

Moments of profound measure: the last supper, wedding feasts, birthday's gathered around tables, candles, and cake, generations spooning plates full of sweet potato casserole and pumpkin pie during the holidays. The people that matter and a certain liveliness that can only be but a small mimic of things to come.

Thank you God for the gift of the table.

And because a table is best when covered in something that pulls locally and sources seasonally:

Ode to Fall Salad

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  1. pumpkin seeds
  2. feta cheese
  3. bee pollen (locally sourced)
  4. greens of choice (I tend to pick more mild greens when feta or other strong cheeses are involved, think baby spinach or romaine lettuce)
  5. pears
  6. fig balsamic (or any basic/flavored balsamic you like)
  7. chicken (cooked and seasoned with salt, pepper, oregano, basil)


  1. this part is good because you can choose your portions based on taste
  2. we eyeball pretty much everything we cook, but loosely we used:
    • 1/4 cup austrian pumpkin seeds
    • 1/4 cup fresh, crumbled feta
    • 2 tbsp bee pollen
    • 2 cups spring mix greens
    • 3 ripe bartlett pears
    • drizzle of fig balsamic (we tend to use less dressing with the aim of amping up our salad toppings)
    • 5 chicken tenders cooked and chopped

*One great tip I read a few years ago when making salads as a complete meal, was to think of the toppings as the base and the greens as the topping. This way you have a much higher protein, vitamin, mineral consumption than if the salad were primarily leaves.

Also...just a few of the perks for my fellow nutrition nerds:

Pears: contain a fair amount of vitamins C, K, B2B3, and B6. For expecting or nursing moms, they also contain folate. Pears aren't too shabby in the mineral department either, containing calciummagnesiumpotassium, copper, and manganese.

Austrian pumpkin seeds: (1/4 cup) contain 9 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber, which means they'll do a great job filling you up and satisfying your appetite. They're a rich source of B-vitamins and also contain many different vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin E and K, potassium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, iron, zinc, selenium, and copper.  

Bee pollen: is rich in vitamins, minerals, proteinslipids and fatty acidsenzymescarotenoids and bioflavonoids. It has powerful antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties that strengthen the capillaries, reduce inflammation, stimulate the immune system and lower cholesterol levels naturally.