Can you believe that next week is July? Hello, where did June go?
I can’t believe that one year ago around this time I was graduating with my Master’s degree, freaking out about what to do with the rest of my life, and doing weird things like dying my hair platinum blonde. At home. Using a box of 7-year old hair bleach.
Ladies (and lads), let me share a lesson with you that I hope you never have to experience first-hand: if you are a natural brunette never, ever try to bleach your hair platinum blonde at home. (Spoiler alert: it doesn’t turn a nice shade of platinum blonde; instead it’s a nice mix of bright yellow and orange.)
Or, if you’ve already completed that step and learned by mistake, then quickly head to a salon and have them fix it. Definitely don’t try to dye it back to brown at home ’cause your stressed out and over-processed hair won’t absorb the dye and instead of brown it will become grey. And then you will spend the first few months after your 25th birthday with hair the color of Richard Gere’s. I’m not kidding. It was not pretty.
So let’s just say I’m really looking forward to summer with my natural brown hair this year. And if I ever dye it again on my own? You can be sure that the only thing touching this head is henna.
One of my favorite parts of summer is eating outside and I think a hearty go-to picnic salad is absolutely necessary this time of year. For the bulk of this salad I chose spelt berries and black eyed peas because they both hold up well and don’t get mushy when mixed with the dressing. This is a very simple salad that can easily be adapted for some fun variations. I used produce that was all available from my garden, but as the summer heats up some shredded zucchini or fresh corn would be great additions.
Summer Black-Eyed Pea and Spelt Berry Salad
1 cup black-eyed peas
1 cup spelt berries
5 carrots, shredded
3 radishes, shredded
5 green onions, chopped
1 cup rainbow chard, shredded
1 cup arugula, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
juice from one lemon
1/4 cup Italian parsley, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons mint, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons basil, finely chopped
Freshly-ground black pepper and sea salt to taste
The black-eyed peas do not need to be soaked before cooking. Place them in a large saucepan, cover with about 4 cups of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer until peas are soft and easily chewable. (This can take 20 – 45 minutes depending on your peas.) Drain and set aside.
While the peas are cooking, add the spelt berries to a separate saucepan and cover with about 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer until tender, about 45 minutes. Drain the berries and set aside.
In a small bowl, mix together the minced garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and herbs and set aside. Add the carrots, radishes, green onions, chard, and arugula to a large bowl. Add the black-eyed peas and spelt berries when ready (they don’t have to cool before being mixed together). Add in the dressing and mix well. Add black pepper and sea salt to taste. Refrigerate and serve cold.