Life and Garden Update + A Giant Summer Salad

For all of last month, I did something I’ve never done since I started this site: I took a break from blogging, complete with not posting on my Facebook page, logging into Pinterest, or doing any other of the tasks that seem to be required these days if one wants to keep a steady stream of traffic coming to visit their blog.

I needed the break and I’m really glad I took it. Stepping away from blogging gave me time to reflect on how different my life is now from when I first started Healthy Green Kitchen. Some examples: when I started blogging, my kids were pretty young and now they are teenagers; I was casually doing karate and now I am competing in powerlifting. I was content to sit in front of the computer for many hours every single day working on this blog and now I am not (there are simply too many other things I want to do, including becoming a nutrition and strength coach…I am currently taking the steps necessary to make this happen). I’ve been thinking a lot about how I can switch things up here to better reflect the current state of “me”. I don’t quite have it all figured out; I’m trying to just be patient and see how things here naturally evolve.

winnie abramson garden

winnie abramson garden

Something else that’s evolved quite a bit since I started this site is my garden. After focusing on expansion year after year, my husband and I recently made the decision to change direction a bit. We had built so many raised beds for veggies: I really couldn’t keep up with all the maintenance. So we made the garden smaller in order to create a space that’s more manageable. We also fenced in portion of of our yard next to the garden to accomodate five fruit trees (2 varieties of heirloom apples, 2 varieties of plums, and one nectarine) and more room for our chickens to roam.


It’s been raining a ton, so I haven’t had to water much, which is always nice. I am of course looking forward to our first cukes, tomatoes, etc. In the meantime I’ve been enjoying lots of fresh herbs, radishes and all sorts of greens daily. Here are some garden photos…I’ll share more as the summer moves along!

Marigold and Tomatoe


Salad Greens




Dahlia and Zinnias



Herb garden

As for the giant summer salad- oh wow here comes that evolution theme again- it’s inspired by a Tofu Brown Rice Salad I’ve been riffing on for about 25 years. I think I had the original salad at the Cabbagetown Cafe, which was a super “crunchy” veggie restaurant where I used to eat when I was in college at Cornell. I don’t think it’s there anymore :(

Summer Salad with Jasmine Rice, Tofu, and Broccoli | Healthy Green Kitchen

I don’t use a recipe when I make this salad and it’s got different things in it depending on the season and what I have on hand. For the summer salad you see here, I used a combination of four different types of lettuces from my garden chopped with radishes, nasturtium flowers, and fresh herbs (basil, cilantro, lemon balm, and parsley, also from my garden). I added steamed broccoli, about 3/4 cup cooked Jasmine rice, lots of pan-fried tofu (the recipe for how I make mine is here), a few handfuls of of raisins (I love raisins in salad!), and sprinkled it with sesame salt (a combination of crushed sesame seeds and sea salt). Then I drizzled the salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. And yes, I eat the whole bowl myself, so when I make it for more people than just me, it’s truly humungous.

Summer Salad with Jasmine Rice, Tofu, and Broccoli | Healthy Green Kitchen

Related posts I think you’ll like:
David Lebovitz once worked at the Cabbagetown Cafe and blogged about their hummus recipe
Big Ass Salad from Oh, Ladycakes
The Big Salad from Oh, She Glows
Chopped Salad with Feta, Lime, and Mint from Smitten Kitchen
Shredded Everything Salad from Food In Jars

Leave a Comment

4 thoughts on “Life and Garden Update + A Giant Summer Salad”

  1. Sometimes taking a little bit of time away can work wonders. Blogging activities that at one time were fun can turn into an arduous task without the occasional mental break. Kudos for having the ability to “go dark” for a few weeks. Besides…there’s so much to do outside anyways!

    Your photos are terrific and your garden looks outstanding. Best wishes for a bountiful harvest

  2. Winnie your garden is beautiful, and I’m jealous of how intact and whole your greens are! I admire you for stepping back and taking an intentional break, it seems like it was the right thing at the right time. All my love, all the time.