Raw Brussels Sprouts Salad ♥ Recipe

graphic button small size size 10 Today's fall salad recipe: A raw salad, this time with raw Brussels sprouts shaved so thin they easily "cook" (if you will) in a lemon vinaigrette and then are tossed with grated romano for a certain lovely "sourness" and pine nuts for a touch of "crunch". Weight Watchers Friendly, WW 3 PointsPlus. Low Carb. Gluten Free. Primal. Vegetarian. Word to the wise, best left to rest for 24 hours before serving. graphic button small size size 10

My dear college friends Laurie and Susan visited this week, meeting midway in St. Louis. As Laurie wrote afterward on Facebook, "Thirty years melted away as we honored our loved ones' memories, cooked and schemed together. Still friends of the heart after all these years!" We three had much catching up to do and wondered out loud, how and why, when we had once crossed the state just to have dinner together, did our friendship become relegated to Christmas cards? Children? Careers? Something else? Where did the years go?

Funny thing was: beforehand I fussed over what we would, you know, eat. Mid-October is that funny seasonal switchback time: the sunny day turned out to be cooler than the rainy day, we sat outside for lunch but quickly moved inside and almost built a fire. Plus, I wondered, should I have everything all at the ready, my usual style, or would cooking a meal or two together actually encourage our getting-to-know-you-all-over-again conversation?

Whole-Grain Salad with Beets, Beans & Corn ♥ A Simple Salad

Today's fall salad recipe: A mix of whole grains like wheatberries or bulghur mixed with rainbow-colored vegetables in a simple vinaigrette. Weight Watchers Friendly, just 1 PointsPlus. Low Cal. Not just vegan, "Vegan Done Real".

When visiting my dad in northern Minnesota right on the Canadian border, I let myself “just cook” - happily forgetting that my websites are hungry for new recipes and other endless attention back at home. With proper timing, I can hit the St. Paul farmers market on the way north to stock up on fresh vegetables, then the grocery store in International Falls for staples. My poor father: when I arrive, his fridge will hold little more than a jar of peanut butter, a bag of baby carrots, a little cheese, a bottle of ketchup, a stick of butter. Fifteen minutes later, the shelves are crammed with food, none of it “ready to eat” mind you, all of it needing preparation. And so our visits begin ...

Some times though, blog-ready recipes just happen naturally. This is one, a gorgeous bowl of late-summer, early-fall goodness, a recipe I've repeated three years in a row now, first at my dad's, twice at home. It does require some of that “preparation” but none of it difficult. The results are worth it, perfect for stress-free days watching the river roll by. (And isn’t my mother's depression-glass bowl just beautiful? She sure had an eye for pretty glass!)