Posts in Salad + Bowls
Rice & Lentil Stuffed Carnival Squash
MEL × RIVERBEND: Rice & Lentil Stuffed Carnival Squash - the nomadic wife



Carnival squash

If, like me, you’ve been living under a rock for some time and have yet to experience Carnival Squash let me introduce you to this beauty of a vegetable. You can recognize their quintessential look by their half way orange halfway green stripes on an off-white base (not sure what I mean, take a peek at this recipe for photos of this beauty). They’re an acorn squash cross and just like it’s forest green & yellow fleshed cousin, it’s a little sweet and makes a perfect bowl for stuffing.

I had never experienced carnival squash before starting my stint with Riverbend Gardens. So if you fall in love hard with carnival squash like I do, send them a love note!

MEL × RIVERBEND: Rice & Lentil Stuffed Carnival Squash

Time to celebrate fall flavors

This week’s recipe celebrates some of fall’s favorite flavors. Namely: squash, apple & cinnamon. In the mix, you’ll also find beautifully earthy lentil and the gorgeous chew of wild rice which balances out the sweet flavors perfectly.

It’s not a sweet dish, per se, it’s something I would definitely have for lunch or dinner alongside a beautifully spicy arugula salad.

Pro tip: using a Macintosh apple (if you can’t find them, ask your fruit farmer what the closest thing would be) really makes this recipe shine. The fruity acidity found in this apple really brightens the dish a ton.

If you can’t find some (or a similarly tart apple) add a bit more lime to balance out the sweetness!



* you can find wild rice in most grocery stores now a days, but you could also easily swap for a brown rice or a rice mix of your choice


1 carnival squash
1 C wild rice*
1/2 C french lentil
1 large Macintosh apple
1/2 C dried cranberries
1/2 C pumpkin seeds
1 small head of garlic
3 T olive oil
2 T lime juice (1 lime)
2 t ground cumin
2 t ground coriander
1 t ground cinnamon
Salt + Pepper

Arugula (optional) to be served as a side salad with a drizzle of balsamic & olive oil.


  1. Heat the oven to 400.

  2. Cook lentil + wild rice according to package instructions (usually takes about 30 minutes) then set aside.

  3. While the legumes + grains cook, half the squash and remove the seeds with a spoon.

  4. Place the squash on a baking sheet, drizzle some olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

  5. Cut the bottom off the head of garlic and separate the cloves while keeping their skins on.

  6. Place half the cloves in each half of the squash and bake for 30 minutes or until squash is soft when poked with a fork or the tip of a knife.

  7. Dice the Macintosh apple into small cubes and place them in medium mixing bowl along with the lime juice, olive oil & spices.

  8. Remove the garlic from the squash, squeeze the cloves out of their skins and chop them before adding it to the bowl along with the rice and lentils.

  9. Mix well, add salt and pepper then ladle into the squash bowls and serve.


more Squash recipes

Warm Potato Bowl With Chili Lime Sauce
Warm Potato Bowl With Chili Lime Sauce - The nomadic wife

Photography by Sara Jewell



Sleepless nights call for easy nosh

Many of you have noticed the many photos of Little E on Instagram! But I guess I haven’t really talked about what cooking has been like since he was born. I just thought I would sort of carry on with life, with a little dude in tow and life would be grand.

While that is sometimes the truth, most days I get anywhere between two and four two hour naps during the night. Lack of sleep is taking a toll on me this week and cooking my own meals is basically gone out the window.. but let me tell you this.

When I eat takeout (no matter how easy it is to order and how satisfying it is in the moment) I wind up feeling more depleted than before I had the meal.

The excessive salt leaves me dehydrated (breastfeeding hydration is already tough enough to keep up with). Perhaps I don't make the most judicious choices when I order in, but by the time I do I'm usually in panic mode and starving.

Warm Potato Bowl With Chili Lime Sauce - The nomadic wife
Warm Potato Bowl With Chili Lime Sauce - The nomadic wife

The alternative to takeout

Bowls. Simple one worded answer but the truth none the less. I just can’t say it enough. They’re easy to prepare ahead of time. They keep me sane.

This variation has a warm element ( the baked potatoes but really, you could cook all the produce if you wanted a warm bowl instead of a salad-like feel ) and it makes this particular bowl perfect for this frigid September weather. You want warm the potatoes through in a skillet or eat them cold if you wish.

Warm Potato Bowl With Chili Lime Sauce - The nomadic wife



8 potatoes
1/2 head of cabbage
1 bunch beans, sliced
4 large carrots grated
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 T coconut oil
1 C pumpkin seeds, divided
Black & toasted sesame for serving


1/2 C mayonnaise
2 T grainy mustard
1 t smoked paprika
1 t chili powder
1 t turmeric
2 T lime juice


  1. Place potatoes in a pot, cover with water & set to boil until tender (15-20 mins)

  2. Once the potatoes are tender, grab a baking sheet and lightly “crush” them onto the sheet with a masher.
    The potatoes should flatten out somewhat but not completely fall apart.

  3. Add a little coconut oil on top of each one, then sprinkle a little salt

  4. Bake at 425 for about 10 minutes or until slightly golden

  5. Serve warm with other veggies & sauce


more potato recipes

Kale & Barbecue Corn Bowl With Chili Lime Dressing
Corn, Kale & Cuke Salad with Chili Lime Sauce - The Nomadic Wife-7652.jpg



Corn Boils

Back in Quebec, where I grew up, we would have block parties where corn would get bought, husked and boiled al fresco. I distinctively remember an evening in my early teens. I was at my aunt's place. The humidity of summer was at it's peek and a sheen of sweat covered everyone.

We stepped out into her backyard, where friends and neighbors had assembled. There were strings of holiday lights hung up and picnic tables covered with homemade dishes in every color and style. There was also an abundance of sweet treats that the neighborhood conspired to get their sticky fingers into. They would then run off and hide under the tables to relish their stolen delights.

At the center of all of this laughter and companionship was corn. That was what brought us together under the summer moon. Fresh sweet corn is delicious in all its forms. You can eat it raw, boil it or grill it.

Leftovers can be frozen, canned or included in all matter of dishes like this one.

Corn, Kale & Cuke Salad with Chili Lime Sauce - The Nomadic Wife-7662.jpg


per person

3 stocks curly kale
1 ear of corn
2-3 small cucumbers
1/4 C pumpkin seeds
1/4 C black or white sesame

For sauce

1/2 C mayonnaise
2 T grainy mustard
1 t smoked paprika
1 t chili powder
1 t turmeric
2 T lime juice
1/2 t salt

10 min PREP 

  1. I use leftover grilled corn for this recipe but if you want to make it from raw you can follow the instructions here.

  2. Remove the kernels from the corn using a knife or a fork, then place in a large bowl with cut kale + cucumbers.

  3. Mix the sauce, then top with seeds and serve.


more corn recipes

Bounty Bowls With Minty Labneh Sauce
Bounty Bowl with Minty Labneh Sauce - The Nomadic Wife



Labneh Tzatziki Sauce

This sauce recipe was created to become a staple in your kitchen. It can be served alongside cut vegetables as a quick snack, in a cold or warm bowl or as a garnish on top of your favorite soup.

Like I mention in this post, it's all about the dressing when it comes to bowls, so I figured I'd let you in on some of my favorites.

The goal with these (and every recipe created in The Nomadic Wife kitchen) is “do this easy thing & call it good”. Don’t strive for perfection. Use it as a tool. Most of all, show yourself a little grace and allow yourself the space to make it your own.

I also use a similar sauce in this recipe, as a salad dressing with broccoli and carrots or in this recipe as the dressing in yummy chickpea gyros on naan bread.

Bounty Bowls / Veggie Bowls

I can talk about eating bowls until I'm blue in the face (as you may have noticed). Truth is you can really throw in anything you like. Right now there are a lot of veggies available in your CSA bounty, so don't be afraid to mix it up.

Try a version with mostly greens. Try one with all your veggies raw or all your veggies cooked. Go nuts!

Bounty Bowl with Minty Labneh Sauce - The Nomadic Wife
Bounty Bowl with Minty Labneh Sauce - The Nomadic Wife


Serves 2-4

1 C labneh
2 T fresh mint
2 T fresh dill
1 large clove garlic
2 t Himalayan salt

10 min PREP 

  1. Chop your herbs and use a microplane or the small side on the box grater to grate the garlic

  2. Mix in with strained yogurt (labneh) * see pro tip below

  3. Let sit for a few minutes and salt to taste


Pro tip:

Don't have labneh? No problem, place 1.5 C plain yogourt in a paper coffee filter and let the water drain out into a bowl. Labneh is basically drained yogourt with a little salt!

more yogourt/labneh recipes

Quick-pickled kale & new potato salad
Quick-pickled kale & new potato salad



Quick pickling

Quick-pickling is one of those things I discovered out of necessity. I love red onion you see, however for Tom they are indigestible in their raw form. So, I started looking into ways I could incorporate them into our salad without giving him indigestion. After much googling and pinterest-ing, enter quick-pickling.

The first time I attempted it, I did it with white vinegar. I chopped the red onions finely, set them at the bottom of a bowl and tossed them with a splash of vinegar. I let them sit a bit while I prepared the remaining components of our meal. When I returned to them and did a taste test, I thought they turned out a little too far on the tangy side and made the whole experience a little abrasive. However, I knew it was on to something. It just needed some finessing.

My preferred quick pickling vinegar

These days, I tend to reach for wine vinegar, rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar for quick pickling. They all have a slightly different taste and are somewhat softer and more rounded out in flavor than white vinegar. Since they all have different tastes (and this is also true when you change from brand to brand) this may require some experimentation of your own, but for the sake of this recipe, I used the slightly fruitier Bragg apple cider vinegar.

Moving on from red onions, I figured if this works for them it must work for other things as well (and it does)! I’ve now quick pickled carrots, garlic scapes, cukes, zucchini and most recently kale.

Quick-pickled kale & new potato salad
Quick-pickled kale & new potato salad

About this recipe:

It’s simple. Much like the rest of my kitchen.

However, it’s the small details and technique which elevate this dish past being another simple salad. The kale gets softened by the vinegar & salt, as do the red onions. The potatoes are quickly boiled then pan seared to create a golden exterior and a fluffy soft middle.

Topped with the nutty roasted pumpkin seeds and the crunchy salt flake finish, it makes for the perfect side dish on a barbecue night or a fantastic base for a weekday bowl.




1 bunch kale
3 T apple cider vinegar
1 golf ball sized red onion
1/2 C pumpkin seeds
1 T butter
2 T olive oil
Sea salt for finishing

10 min PREP + Cook 20 mins

  1. Rip the kale into bite size chunks, reserving the stems for later use.

  2. In a medium bowl, place kale, thinly sliced red onion, apple cider vinegar, 1 T olive oil and a pinch of salt.

  3. Mix well by hand making sure all the kale & onion is well coated.

  4. Place potatoes in a pan with enough water to cover half way up the potatoes.

  5. Boil for 10 minutes, turning halfway then drain.

  6. Add butter & remaining olive oil then pan fry over medium for 5 minutes.

  7. Chop the kale stems to the size of a large pea,

  8. Flip the potatoes over, add the pumpkin seeds & kale stems.

  9. Once the potatoes are golden on both sides, remove from the pan, chop them up (careful not to burn yourself) and toss with the kale.

  10. Serve warm or cold, enjoy!

more kale recipes

Minty Pickled Beet Salad
simple beet salad with goat cheese and mint - the nomadic wife
pickled beet salad with goat cheese and mint - the nomadic wife



Pickled beets from my mother's kitchen

I remember a day when I was fourteen & I was watching the snow fall on the lawn of our family home. It was nice and toasty inside, but outside, a big ol' Canadian storm was brewing.

I paced back from our kitchen patio doors to the stairs and down to the basement, where my mother stored row upon row of jars filled to the brim with a liquid that seemed black as night in the dimly lit storage room.

Bettraves 2004, was scribbled on the top of the two-part mason lid, perfect. I knew they had only been made for a few weeks, in the late fall. My mother insisted that they ought to remain there gathering dust for at least a few months before we ate them, but I just couldn't help myself.

I snuck back up into the kitchen, untwisted the ring of the lid and with the help of the side of a fork removed the sealed disk to the sound of a satisfying pop.

I plunged the fork tines into the dark wine-colored liquid, and it found its target quickly. In one swift move, I went from jar to mouth and crunched down on the very first tangy pickled beet of the year. As always, it was the perfect harmony between the earthy sweetness of the beet & the tangy vinegar of the brine.

simple beet salad with goat cheese and mint - the nomadic wife

Beets straight from the jar & on every plate

These days, I still make my mother's pickled beets in the fall, except that now I no longer need to sneak around to eat them by the pint. I'm the only one in our home who enjoys the perfect balance between the sweet root & the sour vinegar.

While eating them like this still has a fond place in my heart, I also serve them as a side dish or plop a jar of them on the table next to the salt & pepper, just in case.

simple beet salad with goat cheese and mint - the nomadic wife
simple beet salad with goat cheese and mint - the nomadic wife

Beet Salad for lunch

Today's recipe is a little salad I enjoy when I manage to convince myself that an entire pint of beets doesn't qualify as lunch. You can lay this salad on a bed of mixed greens with a little olive oil or serve it up with your favorite crackers. It's simple, but not overly so, and brings a vivid color to the plate when the rest of the world is otherwise turning white.




Makes 2 portions

1 pint jar of pickled beets
¼ - ½ C goat cheese
1 T dry mint
Salt to taste

* serve with sprouts & crackers or on top of greens with a drizzle of olive oil.



5 mins prep 

  1. To make the pickled beets, simply follow this recipe but use beets.

  2. Once your jars have sat for a few weeks, place beets on a plate with a good sprinkle of salt, mint & a dollop of goat cheese.

  3. From there you can add your favorite crackers and call it a snack or put this on top of salad greens with olive oil and call it a light lunch.



6 Ingredient Sweet Potato + Butternut Potage
Simple sweet potato and butternut squash soup recipe



keep the soup base simple

I'm of the opinion that every ingredient on a plate, or in a bowl, deserves it's time to shine! Now, I love a good soup or stew packed to the brim with all the veggies as much as the next gal, but there's something about blended soups (potage for the food geeks among us) that has me drawing the line at a handful of ingredients.

I feel that this way, it allows each ingredient to lend a hand to the others instead of competing for space and flavor. This particular recipe could be done with even less ingredients by going entirely in one direction with the sweet potatoes or the butternut. In both cases, it results in a similarly luscious texture and gives the primary veg just that much more space to showcase its complex sweetness. 

easy butternut squash soup recipe

What grows together goes together

Making potage is, I think, is as old as the world. Well perhaps at least the french world, and then maybe a little bit beyond that. In Europe, people often planted potage gardens or potager which were vegetable gardens named this way because if you were to harvest everything and boil it together it would make good soup. Pretty nifty right?

In today's day and age, I'm not sure I'd want to blend together everything in my garden. For one, there are way too many herbs. However, CSA baskets (or farm stands) are a great place to start exploring the potential of doing one or two main ingredient potage because if they old addage is right, if it grows together it goes together. 

luscious and easy butternut soup recipe
toppings make the soup

toppings make the soup shine

I think you've now figured out that I really play by the keep it simple silly approach, but there's one more thing that we really need to have a quick chat about. Creating a base that doesn't compete with itself opens the door to some really fun topping options. I usually dig through with what ever I have in the pantry at that moment, looking for a little punch of salt or acidity to add on top. Sometimes, salt flakes is all it takes but in this case I was really craving a salty & herbaceous blend to cut through the sweetness of the base.

I went for cilantro + feta, with a few sliver of almonds (because they're pretty but also complement the earthy goodness of this soup). I know everyone isn't a huge fan of cilantro, so if that's not your jam, consider parsley or a tiny bit of rosemary or sage. Be warned though, they go a mighty long way!



4C sweet potato
1 small butternut
2 small yellow onions
1/2 head of garlic
4C vegetable stock
2 T coconut oil


Slivered almonds
Fresh cilantro or parsley

10 MIN PREP + 25 mins cook

Peel & chop onions & sweet potatoes roughly.
In a large soup pot, over medium heat, add the coconut oil & the onions.
Cook them until they begin to caramelize then add the sweet potatoes, garlic & stock.
Bring up to the boil & cook until the potatoes have softened.
Using an immersion blender, puree the soup, it should be thick & creamy.
Serve topped with almonds, feta & fresh herbs.


Storing most varieties of winter squash is as easy as keeping them on the counter. They tend to hold up quite well for a few weeks if the kitchen isn't crazy hot and steamy most of the time. If you'd like to hold on to them longer, consider storing them in a cool dry place (basements are usually ideal) where they can keep for a few months.

Pro tip: Rotate them from time to time and check for moisture to keep them from rotting.


Watch out charcuterie boards, vegetable boards are in town
Vegetable board perfect starter dish - the nomadic wife



A quick board for when friends come over

I always love having friends over, even when they pop by for an impromptu visit! Depending on the time of day they drop in, I like to whip up a quick something that we can snack on while we hang out and catch up (or just slow down long enough to take a good deep breath).

So, I started making this little spreads, inspired by the classic charcuterie board or cheese boards that are all over right now. The main hiccup is that we don't really keep fancy salted meats or strong cheese in the house so I got creative and started using what I love most, pulses and veggies.

simple cabbage & white bean salad - the nomadic wife
Cabbage with lime, cilantro & white bean makes the perfect salad - the nomadic wife

Something bright and fresh

The recipe of this post is the one you see above right here. It plays a crucial part in the board by adding a nice dash of bright zesty freshness! I make this salad for people who love cilantro, but you can easily swap that out for a parsley dressing if cilantro is in your hate pile.

The beans in here add a nice little light-lunch feel, where you feel full but not stuffed & to make the process even faster, I usually keep canned beans on hand so you don't need to worry about anything other than rinsing them and draining them well.

Simple cabbage and white bean salad - the nomadic wife

Good bread: The Foundation

If you're anything like me, you know a good crusty bread when you see one. For impromptu visitors, however, I tend to just pull flutes or baguettes out of the freezer, let them thaw a touch and pop them in the oven so they have that fresh-baked feel. It takes about 5-6 minutes for flutes and 10-15 for baguette which is about the time you'll need to put together the rest of the board. Perfect!

Be warned though, once bread is reheated after it comes out of the freezer it tends to get hard, so you may want to consider doing this with any leftovers.

Half smashed white bean dip - the nomadic wife
New alternative to charcuterie boards - the nomadic wife

Mix and match

Now comes the fun part. You have a bright, zesty salad and some good bread...time to round out this board.

My approach is simple. Cut up some veggies, call it good.

If you have avocado kicking around, a quick guac may be the way to go. If you don't use the whole can of beans you can turn THAT into a 5 min dip by blending it with olive oil, salt, paprika & a clove of garlic.

I also like to add freshly pickled or fermented things to the board. So kimchi, pickled veggies or olives make for a great way to take this thing over the top.



1/2 head of cabbage
1/2 14 oz can of white beans
Fresh cilantro or parsley
1 lime, juiced
Olive oil


Shred the cabbage & add it to a large bowl with a good pinch of salt.
Rinse & drain the beans and add them along with the chopped coriander.
Juice the lime over the bowl, drizzle olive oil and toss until everything is well coated.


Herbs tend to be the ficklest of friends in the kitchen, but many of them (basil, garlic, parsley shallot, chives for example) can be stored frozen in ice cubes covered in olive oil. Just remove them to sealed containers once frozen. Others can be hung to dry for later use.



Green Apple, Cabbage & Chickpea Salad
Green Apple, Cabbage & Chickpea Salad by The Nomadic Wife

One season saying hello to another

We're at the intersection of the seasons right now, when spring and summer's fresh herbs like dill are met in market stalls by fall produce like cabbage, potatoes & squash.

It's during these few weeks when summer classics and fall favorites overlap, that our plate vacillates between seasons, depending on the day's weather... and in these parts the mercury has been running high, so this recipe is summer inspired.

It's fresh, crunchy, slightly tart and perfectly filling.

Red cabbage, chickpea & apple salad by the nomadic wife

Goodbye soft greens & fresh herbs

Dill will only be available for a short time still at the market, at least the local varieties. I have a few plants growing in my personal herb garden, but even those are getting ready to call it quits.

So now is as good a time as ever to get the last dilly plates on the table, and dry the rest for winter use (same goes for fresh basil, lovage, cilantro).

Same goes for the soft, peppery greens like arugula, mustard greens & other leafy lettuces. Stock up now, get them on the plate & get ready to say goodbye to these summer favorites!

Cabbage for days

Since a few weeks, cabbage has made its way from local farms to our kitchens. I tend to stock them for a few weeks before I eventually wind up digging into them since they store so much better than most other produce. When the outer leaves begin to fade, I know it's time to get cracking!

Note: You can peel back those damaged leaves to reveal a perfect cabbage on the inside & store it for slightly longer if you're not ready to eat it just yet.



1 bunch arugula
½ red cabbage
1 shallot
1 green apple
1 C green chickpeas
2 T olive oil
1 t red wine vinegar
Fresh dill
Salt & pepper to taste

10 mins prep

Slice shallot & red cabbage thinly, then marinate in a large bowl with olive oil, dill, salt & vinegar.
Place arugula at the bottom of two large bowls.
Julienne green apple then layer it along with the cabbage mixture over the arugula.
Finish with chickpeas & serve right away.