Beet, Pray, Love

Every once in a while, I need to jumpstart the old metabolism and make a few dietary adjustments. Like Elizabeth Gilbert in Eat, Pray, Love, I have a committed relationship to pizza and other Italian carbohydrate-y wonders. (Although, she sees it as a three-month fling, whereas I envision pizza and me with a long-term future.)

In order to find an adequate substitute when I need to clean out the system, I look for foods and recipes that are substantial yet light, simple yet colorful. I need a bit of saltiness to curb cravings but almost no fat to make the swap worth it. With a gorgeous dressing and very fresh flavors, this healthy couscous salad can almost fill the void of a pepperoni pizza. Almost.


Beetroot couscous salad in a lemon-honey dressing:

200 g couscous

300 ml chicken stock

2 beets, cooked and cubed

1/2 feta, cubed

1 tbsp honey

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste


1. Bring chicken stock to a boil with a generous pinch of salt. Add couscous, cover with a lid, and turn off heat. Leave for 5-7 minutes, allowing couscous to absorb liquid and cook through. Remove lid and use a fork to fluff the couscous.

2. In a large bowl, whisk honey, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper. Season to taste. Add couscous, cubed beets, and feta. Gently toss together until entire mixture is coated in dressing.

Enjoy beetroot couscous salad with Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love, and check in at for future recipes and book reviews!


A Dill’s House

One of my favorite meals growing up was cold tuna noodle salad. It’s colorful, rustic, and extremely quick to make. I loved this dish so much that I had no ability to wait until an actual mealtime to dive in. This worked against me, however, because this salad is at its finest when it sits for a while and the flavors can combine.

In Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, Torvald accuses his wife Nora of being child-like. This tension ultimately leads to the demise of their marriage. When I was a child, my impulses caused me to devour the tuna salad without patience. I didn’t understand the marriage of flavors that can only come with time spent melding in the refrigerator. Now that I’m older, I have better foresight and understanding of the dynamic of crunchy raw vegetables, creamy mayonnaise, and flaky tuna.

The conclusion of A Doll’s House is left ambiguous, but what’s clear is that something about Torvald and Nora’s life together needed to change (or improve, in a way). In creating this recipe, I decided that the salad was a bit too unsophisticated. Incorporating fresh dill is the slight modification needed to ensure that the curtain won’t come down on this nostalgic dish.


Tuna Noodle Salad

5 oz can tuna

5 oz (~3/4 cup) pasta (whichever shape you prefer)

1 red pepper

1 yellow pepper

2 stalks celery

2 carrots

1/2 OR 3/4 cup mayonnaise (depending on how creamy you like your pasta salad)

~2 tsp dill, chopped

1 tsp salt & pinch of pepper (more of each for seasoning to taste)


1. Cook pasta in salted water, following time on the box (will vary on size and shape on the pasta). Drain and rinse in cold water (to cool down pasta, as this is a cold salad).

2. While the pasta is cooking, drain tuna and shred with fork. Dice peppers, celery, and carrots. Finely chop dill.

3. Combine veg, tuna, pasta, mayonnaise, half of dill, and salt and pepper in medium-sized bowl. Chill in fridge for at least an hour, allowing flavors to meld. Season to taste and garnish with dill.

Enjoy tuna noodle salad with Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, and check in at for future recipes and book reviews!