Mary Beth Johnson is a wife and mum to four schooners, as she’s dubbed her children. On a normal afternoon, you would find her in moccasins, skinny jeans and a comfortable tee, camera in hand. Recently moving to the suburbs of Atlanta, Mary Beth spends her days homeschooling, sneaking away to the bookstore, trying to act the part of a southerner, and sifting through recipes in The Vegetarian Times. Food is her love language.

We planted a new round of fresh herbs in our pots last week – another year renting, another year of portable pot gardening. 🙂 The kids get so excited running outside in the mornings or after we’ve been out of town to check on the growth progress. It creates the perfect opportunity to talk about the earth and how plants, rain, and sunshine keep everything in balance. We will be driving down the road and they’ll point out trees that have been bulldozed for upcoming apartments and they’ll ask me if it will change our environment and I say yes. As they get older I am constantly reminded of the important things I can teach them from simply keeping the headphones off, the laptop lid closed, and my brain uncluttered with tasks needing to be done and open up time for discussions. These little people are incredible.



We head out on a 9.5 hour road trip tomorrow and I’m excited to drive even further south and see the sunshine in all its glory. I’ve got a stack of new books and an online course I want to take in the early mornings while the kids are (hopefully) sleeping! While there I also hope to transition into lighter/fresher foods for spring and get into the habit again of drinking smoothies in the morning for breakfast. Always a salad lover, I’ve been looking around for new inspiration and have tried a few I hope to share here. We love Thai food and so I pulled the tri-color quinoa out of the pantry to try this colorful salad and it was so perfect! I am appreciative of anything that I can keep cold in the fridge and pull out for lunch the next day and this is one of those. Play around with the flavors if you dare. I’m still new to cooking with ethnic spices and seasonings, so I kept straight to the recipe and found the rice vinegar and sesame oil in the asian section of the grocery store. The tamari is gluten-free and right next to the soy sauce, in case you like a little help in finding things like I do. 🙂

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  • ½ cup broccoli, finely diced
  • ½ cup quinoa, cooked according to package directions
  • ½ small red onion, diced
  • ¼ cup grated carrots
  • handful cilantro, chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped green onions
  • 2 tablespoons peanuts, chopped
  • For the Dressing:
  • 1 lime, zest and juice (start with juice from half a lime, and add more if needed)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon gluten free tamari
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, minced
  1. In a large bowl toss cooked quinoa, broccoli, red onion, carots, cilantro, green onions and peanuts together. Mix until combined.
  2. In a small bowl combine dressing ingredients.
  3. Pour dressing over quinoa and mix until combined.

post by Mary Beth Johnson


April 16, 2016


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