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the haas machine: Roasted Beet Garden Salad

Friday, June 7, 2013

Roasted Beet Garden Salad

You've heard it said before that certain foods provoke certain memories. Every single time I even see a jello salad, I am transported back to childhood (jello+cottage cheese+whip cream does not equal salad people!) The same can be said for country time lemonaid in an orange cooler (a Lutheran church staple), hamburger helper (a seemingly hearty meal that usually ends up in a gut bomb), & cottage cheese (I can literally count the meals where we did not eat this with our meal on one hand). Food is powerful like that.

This salad was inspired by past memories that I want to re-live. These are moments when we (John+me) stayed up laaaate because we couldn't get enough of each other (compared to now going to bed moments after our toddler because we're dog tired). Moments where we could enjoy & afford a two-hour+ long luxurious dinner. Moments where we had much more exciting things to talk about than day-to-day life happenings. Yes, I am talking about the dating/engaged/newly married phase in life.

When John & I started dating, he made me feel awkward all the time (in a "good" awkward kind of way he would say). He did things like talked about his feelings for me, asked hard questions of me, & most awkwardly, he always, always, always paid the bill. I'm still not sure why this was so hard for me (looking back at it, I so should have taken advantage of this!) but it was. He had literally no struggle with taking me out to a fancy restaurant, ordering whatever he wanted (not looking at the price) & encouraging me to do the same. We always got wine. We always got dessert. Those were basically non-negotiable. He wasn't wealthy or anything, he just really valued good food & that is what he chose to spend his money on (you should have seen the place he lived...)

One of our favorite places to dine locally was/is Kates On State. That's where I drew inspiration for this salad. It's fresh, earthy, & edgy. It's hearty, wholesome, & healthy. And it's timeless, unique, & down-right romantic, if a salad could be so. This salad takes me back.

Even though it's so easy to say "things were better before" or however you want to put it, that's definitely NOT what I'm saying (I know it seems like I am, doesn't it?) What I am saying is that we have had some incredible moments, but also ones that were such a challenge to get through that we wondered how it was all going to work out. We've been through a lot together in our short nearly 4 years of marriage. We just met with a couple last night who just had their first baby to encourage them a little & we were surprised at the moments of struggle that we've had that we were able to share with them with ease because we've had a lot of struggle. We've been through a lot. Don't let my facebook pictures & instagram shots fool you. Life has been hard.

But of course, we've also had many rich times in our marriage. We've had special times of being able to eat at sexy places like Kates, & now our lives are different & that's ok. That's more than ok. I absolutely love the phase of life that we're in. I love having a crazy little person who is learning to become herself more & more every day. I love that we can sing with her to sleep. I love that she needs cuddling every now & again. I love that she actually requests to listen to the Beatles or Bob Dylan on vinyl. I love that she asks me literally every day, "mama, who's coming over? new friends?"

I love that John & I are confident in our marriage. I love that we know each other through & through, but still find things that we are learning about each other. I love watching us learn how to parent & sometimes laugh, but other times cry at the frustration of the whole thing.

Our lives are at a unique place in time & I love it. I want to savor it, but I also love reflecting on where we've been, & of course where we are going. This salad brings me back & now that we make it at home & share it with our daughter, it helps me especially appreciate the moments we are in- not every moment of course because that's impossible, but the moments that are the most meaningful. Plus, I've discovered that when you make your favorite meals at home you can customize them so you can get as much salami on your salads as you would like, which makes for a very happy husband.

Do you have any foods/meals that are especially meaningful or significant to you?
Roasted Beet Garden Salad
Roasted beets, sliced
Hard boiled egg, sliced
Mixed greens
Fresh mozzarella balls
Red onions, sliced
Soy nuts
Tomatoes, cut into wedges

Slice, boil, roast, cut, & place on a plate! Serve with some homemade balsamic vinaigrette!

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At June 7, 2013 at 4:03 PM , Blogger Kathy said...

This looks delicious! I love beets, and need to eat more veggies. I'm totally making one of these, one of these days, soon. ;o)

Also, thanks for your transparency, Gillian. In our public lives (fb!), it's so easy to think (for ME to think) that everyone has it better/easier/whateverier than we (I!) have it. We're all navigating stuff He plans to have us use tomorrow to bless someone else. And I need the reminder, more often than I'd like!

Thanks for the reminder!! Keep up the great, hard work!!

At June 10, 2013 at 1:41 PM , Blogger Gillian @ thehaasmachine said...

Thanks Kathy! It is super easy to think that everyone's life is perfect because most people (including myself) only like to share those super sweet moments in life. Who wants to share pictures of things that are horribly hard? I think the key is trying to be super real in our personal relationships & limiting fb & other forms of social media so that we don't live in those fantasy worlds because more often than not, they are fantasy. Thanks for reading!!


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