Summer Chickpea Salad

I noticed the morning air was cooler today, as I took Koda for his morning walk.  It’s a refreshing relief from the stifling humidity.  It always starts like this.  A cool morning breeze, and a couple of bright red leaves, one on the sidewalk, a few on my favorite bush.  I know these days well, they carry the very first signs of a new season and I want to both embrace them and push them away all at the same time.

I’m a warm weather girl….always have been.  Give me warm sunshine on my skin and less fleece, please.  Actually, it’s not the fleece I mind so much as the winter down, and down always follows fleece.  I don’t like to be cold, though there are things I love about December.  A few things.  Red cardinals in snowy evergreen trees for instance.  But I’m way off track now.  I get like this when it’s time to transition, and if you follow along you know I’m trying very hard to recognize and embrace change.

One of the things I LOVE about this time of year is the wonderful way summer and fall vegetables meet up.  Tomatoes and sweet corn AND acorn squash and beets.  For a couple of weeks there are so so many choices!  It makes me crazy.  I’m tossing summer salads AND savoring bowls of warm ratatouille.  Even my raspberries are producing yet another round of amazing berries, as if to say, “until next year….don’t forget!”  I always want one more beach day, one more summer sunset, one more awesome homegrown tomato BLT.

Today, is freshman orientation……Mick is in high school!  The start of the school year always radically changes up our routine.  Working nights, it’s harder to greet the early morning school alarm.  I know this is true for so many.  But what I can’t figure out is how we moved from Montessori preschool to high school so quickly…..And I know this is also true for so many.  We document the years with back-to-school pictures and Christmas card photos.  We can see physically, our kids are growing, but when it comes to letting go and allowing them to move into new spaces and experience next steps on their journeys this is where the inside work begins.  What is it about that oh-my-gosh-I just-want-him-to-be-happy-and adjust-and-be-safe thing that ushers in a heaviness in my heart!?  I want to hold on, sorta.

But I’m learning something.  When I dig my heels in and hold on, I’m not holding Mick back, he’s transitioning just fine.  This child is SO ready for high school and new adventures like football games, drivers ed and homecoming.  I’m holding myself back.  I used to think, “If I could just keep him little.”  But how little, 5 or 6 or 10?  Truth is, I don’t want to keep him little…..too many wonderful things have transpired between Montessori school and high school….learning to ride a bike, violin recitals, Easter egg hunts, tree climbing, planting cucumbers, volleyball games, butterflies & bugs, chocolate chip cookie afternoons, serve trips, berry picking and jam making, late night conversations, pumpkin carving, Christmas trees, Lake Michigan adventures, Confirmation, the Rocky Mountains……

No….it’s much better to cherish every sacred moment, and like the delicious and beautiful colliding of seasons, enjoy a little of both, while slowly, one fades and another grows more brilliant.  Tomorrow, when I drop Mick off for his very first day of high school, I’m not going to dig my heels in and be sad.  Instead, I’m going to remind myself not to forget….there are SO MANY amazing blessings and cherished moments ahead for Mick this year, and in the high school years to come.  There will be joy, and new friends, and sometimes all will flow easily and sometimes it will be hard, but all of them are his to experience.  As Mick’s high school journey begins, I couldn’t be filled with more anticipation and joy for my beautiful kid….and when I’m done dropping him off, I’m going to come home and pick raspberries!

Yesterday, we had some beach time with very special friends.  It’s become an annual event that we celebrate together, all the goodness of summer with swimming, sunshine and garden fresh food.  We talk about the upcoming school year and our hopes and dreams.  When I came across Megan Gordon’s Perfect Protein Chickpea Salad, I knew what I’d be bringing!
Megan’s blog, A Sweet Spoonful is exactly that…..sweet in every way!  She’s masterful with whole grains and I LOVE following her adventures.  You’ll find Megan and her original recipe here,, along with lot’s of fabulous recipes and her book, Whole-Grain Mornings!


3 cups water
1 cup (180g) spelt or wheat berries
2 (14-ounce) cans garbanzo beans
1 English cucumber – peeled, seeded and diced (about 1 1/2 cups/120g)
1 green bell pepper, seeds removed and diced (about 1 cup /130g)
3 ribs celery, diced (1 cup/120g)
1 carrot, peeled and diced (1/2 cup/65g)
1/4 red onion, finely diced (1/2 cup/60g)
1/2 bunch green onions, thinly sliced (about 1/3 cup/40g)
1/3 bunch parsley, chopped (1 1/2 cups/45g)
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3/4 teaspoon dried dill
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to season
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon minced garlic

Add 3 cups of water to a medium pot and add the spelt (or wheat) berries. Over medium-high heat, bring the water to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover, cooking until tender but still chewy, about 45 minutes. Drain and cool.

In a salad bowl mix together cooked spelt berries, garbanzo beans, diced cucumbers, green pepper, celery, carrots, red onions, green onions and chopped parsley.

Mix together mayonnaise, lemon juice, vinegar, dill, salt, basil and garlic; pour over salad and mix well. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Salad will stay fresh for up to 4 days, covered, in the refrigerator.

Recipe Used With Permission By:  A Sweet Spoonful, Megan Gordon
Please see above for link to Megan’s Website
Thank You Megan!  XO

Prep Notes:
I made a few adjustments simply because of what I had on hand.  I did not use a whole grain this time around though I added extra chickpeas and I used a red pepper (not green).   Also, I omitted the green onions and used all red, and I used fresh dill from my neighbors garden!!




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