Kale Chopped Salad with Roots, Millet and Chickpeas

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7:35 am.  End-of-March morning. We were up, out, and running.

From the Inn, we ran a block over to Beacon Hill Park, along the bark trail up Cook Street, past the daffodils waving their morning hellos, to Dallas Road and the Sea Wall.

The sun was shining brilliantly over the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the water smooth and clear. Nature’s morning show stopped and held us multiple times. We shared an experience of taking it in, the view, the moment, our connection to the place—before beginning again.

Will waved hello and called out good morning as is his usual, making an instant connection with strangers. I smiled my greeting and couldn’t help but let my thoughts and gaze glide out towards the sea. “Welcome to this new place,” the sun beamed. My feelings in those miles reflected the spectacular light around us.

“You are not separate from the whole. You are one with the sun, the earth, the air. You don’t have a life. You are life.” – Eckhart Tolle
 
 
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Often, despite nearly-contant connectivity, I feel disconnected. Not up on what the rest of the world is doing, feeling as if something out there is not getting experienced, feeling left behind. In this mindset, I prompt myself out the door to experience life outside, where I draw my energy from running.

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This last week was no exception. We semi-spontaneously took a few days to travel to Victoria, British Columbia, a place we have longed to visit. Pots of tea, delicious food, and reading by the fire were all in order, but first, those mornings spent out on the Sea Wall.

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There is a certain energy about the early morning hours, and to me, it is best experienced over a few miles by foot. The locals are slowly coming about their daily business and the world is unspoiled. Out on the trails, I share a connection to this place, these people, and all the daily concerns and uncertainties fade.

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Victoria, we found, is a city of runners. We spent the inbetweens of the days walking the better part of the downtown neighborhoods and no matter the time of day, there were runners about. Friendly. Hardcore. Peaceful. University girls talking sorority topics. Ladies clearly out for a run-chat. With their pooches. Visitors from our section of the world. Displaying their I-Conquered-That-Race shirts. They were all out and about, running the city.

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When I venture off to other places, I am reminded we are all visitors in this space we inhabit. We wander about all our lives,  knocking into each other, waving cheerfully, yelling obsenitites, and feeling alone.

We are not alone. Over the miles, I am reminded of our connection. We live different experiences and we wake each day viewing a unique piece of the world. There are scars that we accumulate and monumental joys that we have to live through to understand. In the moments when we feel the most separate, we can draw together, smile in greeting to a stranger, and have faith that we are all in this life together. Whether it is through running, cooking, eating, or wherever your passion lies, know that ours is a life meant for celebrating our kinship with the whole of each other.

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Kale Chopped Salad with Roots, Millet & Chickpeas, serves 3
 
Not only did we run in Victoria, but we ate. Amazing food. This salad was inspired by one I ate at Irish Times Pub in Bastion Square. Live music, a cozy nook, Bulmers Cider, and this salad were all I could ask of a good evening. Quinoa was in the pub salad, and can easily be subbed in for the millet. Among all the other ingredients, the flavor and texture comes out quite similar either way.
 
1 large bunch kale, destemmed and chopped
6 small beets, cooked, peeled and diced
3 large carrots, shredded
1 1/2 cups cooked millet or quinoa, warm
3/4 cup chickpeas, cooked and warm
3/4 cup edamame, gently steamed and warm
1 Tbs. dijon mustard
1 1/2 Tbs. honey
6 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbs. white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
  • In a large bowl, toss chopped kale, diced beets and shredded carrots.
  • If not already, warm the grains and beans. Then toss them on top of the vegetables.
  • In a small bowl, stir in mustard, honey, oil and vinegar.  Whisk together, and then add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Pour dressing on top of the mixture, and stir together. Enjoy!
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