How to make healthy choices every day

Early Summer Abundance Bowl

Early Summer Abundance Bowl

Keep it simple. Use what you have. Make it work.

I’ve been staring at these three ideas for the past few hours. In between breastfeeding my baby, laundry, trying to make food for myself, emails, brushing my teeth and changing a couple diapers, I’ve been back and forth to my computer unsuccessfully getting any further with this post.

Then I read it again and realized that the advice that I was trying to give all of you out there was precisely what I needed to hear myself.

My days are so different than they used to be. Instead of being able to play in the kitchen from dawn until way past dusk, I’m playing with my sweet baby. Instead of making food for all of you to recreate I’m making food for us. Unremarkable, perhaps, but there is a turning inwards, a quiet and simplicity that I’m cultivating, or at least trying to. It isn’t glamorous and most of it isn’t worth blogging, but it’s real life. And I am very grateful for it.

Early Summer Abundance Bowl

Needless to say, meals have been simple and Abundance Bowls have been abundant. I’ve been cooking grains and beans in bulk to use for later, then tossing whatever fresh veggies I have on hand into the mix. If I can bend time and squeak out five or ten minutes worth of creativity, a sauce happens, or maybe a quick pickled condiment. All of a sudden, a pretty boss bowl of tasty, healthy food sits before me and I feel like the luckiest person in the world, living in true abundance. That is what the Abundance Bowl is all about. Keeping it simple. Using what you have. Making it work. And I guess feeling that kind of overwhelming gratitude doesn’t hurt either.

Early Summer Abundance Bowl

Here we are in the first breaths of true summer. My little family and I are back in Canada for the next little while and it feels amazing to be home. The sun is bright and the river is crisp, gardens everywhere are bursting with fresh food. The Early Summer Abundance bowl celebrates all of it, along with the feeling of luckiness that always pervades my thinking this time of year, as we begin to reap the benefits of the season.

I chose freekeh in this edition, a roasted, immature wheat that tastes deep and rich and is the perfect counterpoint to sweet, young beetroots, earthy radishes and vibrant sprouts. The grain is harvested while still young and soft, then roasted or sun-dried. The health bonus of harvesting immature wheat is that it retains more of its nutrients and proteins than its fully-grown counterparts. It even claims to have fewer carbohydrates than regular wheat because it’s young. It surprisingly has more dietary fiber content than brown rice, plus more calcium, iron, and potassium content.

You can find freekeh at Middle Eastern grocery stores and increasingly at natural and gourmet food shops. Sometimes it is referred to and sold as “Green Wheat”. If you have never tried freekeh before, get ready to freak out. It’s seriously amazing stuff! It cooks up like any other grain, keeps very well in the fridge and can be enjoyed hot or cold. I love it in salads, especially with lots of garlic, olive oil and lemon to balance the smoky flavour.

As I was after a sort of Middle Eastern flavour profile, I chose to make a harissa-spiked chutney with spring onion and dates, which is altogether scrumptious. Leftovers of this are excellent smeared on toast with poached eggs for breakfast, accompanying roast veggies or in an avocado sandwich. The colour isn’t very sexy, but the flavour is oh-my-goodness delicious. And to really take this Abundance Bowl to the next level, I may have put a little seared halloumi cheese in there. Maybe. Oh I totally did.

Early Summer Abundance Bowl


As for those of you asking about the Potluck Picnic in Toronto, I have made the difficult decision to skip it this year. There are so many things going on in my life (all positive!) but in the name of keeping things simple and quiet, I am honoring the commitment I made to myself to focus my energy on my family at this time. I so much appreciate your enthusiasm, and also your understanding. And of course I look forward to resuming the event next summer!

Show me your Abundance Bowls on Instagram: #earlysummerabundancebowl

43 thoughts on “Early Summer Abundance Bowl”

  • It is so, so worthy blogging Sarah. It’s real, beautiful life. Nourishing our homes and families and we need so much help to relearn how to do it with grace and also be proud of it. I’ve been so lucky to find your blog when I started my motherhood journey, so I could cook five meals a day without going crazy. And now this beloved blog is just getting better and better!

  • As a beginner in the world of vegetarians (or better to say in the world of those who desperately love meat but are trying to cut it out for at least one day per week following the popular idea of Meatless Mondays), I’m trying to eat healthier but it’s not easy to change my habits and become a friend with vegetables… Your bowl looks a bit exotic for me, but since I’m currently searching for the first recipes and new tastes, I will definitely try to find my own favourite combinations 🙂

  • I came across your summer abundance bowl today, and took a moment to read about how your experience as a mum makes cooking so different to before. As a foodie and a mum, it is so nice to relate to how we can approach food for ourselves and our children…abundance bowls seem like the way forward!

  • HI my dear. I am right there with you on life, the day and cooking looking different with a little one around. My fridge seems so bare compared to the days when I had the day to take at my pace. It is a beautiful change, but still one that requires a bit of adjusting and patience. Hope your family is doing well! Love your abundance bowls!

  • I really enjoy going through your blog and finding incredible recipes. Your blog is very inspiring! This bowl looks so tasty! It seems really perfect for hot summer days:) Thanks for sharing

  • Hi Sarah,

    Your recipes never stop inspiring me. Such beauty! Thanks loads for this!

    I have a question that has been on mind for quite some time: what do you think about FreeLee, the banana girl and her high carb, low fat, raw till four vegan diet? I always appreciate your input on nutrition =)

    Keep inspiring,

  • So good we didn’t remember to take a picture! We substituted perlerug because it was in the cupboard needing using up – delicious! Especially the chutney! Your sauces rock!

  • Hello Sarah,

    Thank you for those inspirational posts.
    I love your abundance winter bowl, as well as the spring one… and finally, this one. Sometimes, the more conventional (every day basis) can be soooo inspirational for your readers ♥

    I really loved the dishes you use on those posts.
    My favorite is the bowl used in the winter abundance bowl, and the second favorite is the spring one.
    Could you please share where did you get them ?
    Thank you Sarah for all what you give us.

    Good luck & vibes for all your project (book…).
    Have a beautiful day.

  • Hi there. I keep forgetting to let you know how much I enjoy reading both your posts and stories behind them. I find you creations very inspirational as I also have recently discovered the magic world of “organic food” 🙂 I wish you good luck with your future plans! Cheers, Cris

  • Hi Sarah,
    I feel compelled to comment because I just finished an incredible Halloumi dinner and I’m always on the lookout for a new way to eat my favorite cheese. I make Halloumi fajitas and it never disappoints. I pan-fry (or grill, weather permitting) the cheese and toss it into a warm tortilla with roasted yellow squash, mushrooms, peppers, carrots, onion, spinach that’s been seasoned with lime, chili, cilantro and garlic. So, so delicious.

    Thanks for the new recipe.

  • Oh Sarah, thanks for the reminder to keep things simple. I have been over complicating my meals lately, resulting in over indulgence! I need more of these simple bowls in my life, thanks dear, and enjoy your family time.

  • Hi Sarah,
    Awesome post as always! I have a question that’s not entirely related to this post:
    I’ve been following your blog for awhile, and we were pregnant at the same time and delivered our babies in Nov, which would mean your little one has started solids, like mine has (who turns 8mo tomorrow): how are you preparing your little one’s veg? Mine seems to only like vegetables if they are shrouded in a sauce that had meat, or chicken stock…… He hates the texture of mashed anything, even if it’s doused in butter I bring back from France. Could you do a post of some inspiring baby food? My little one will eat chunks of fruit and loves cheese & yoghurt & flavoured keffir but I need some ideas for veg. Please & thank you so much!!!
    Ps- good for you for setting limits, that was a hard one for me in the beginning of mamahood but I’m glad I did it

  • You keep surprising me every single time Sarah! Only you can make something simple so special! My heart jumped when I saw the pictures and I can’t wait to make this!

  • Thanks once again for a beautiful post. Good for you for knowing what you need and postponing the picnic! I just moved to Toronto for school and look forward to hopefully meeting you next year at the summer picnic. Xo!

  • This is gorgeous. Technical question: do you have any tips for keeping lots of pre-cooked grains and beans fresh in the fridge?

    • Hi Angela,
      Just keep them in a glass container, tightly sealed. They should last for 4-5 days that way. Alternatively, you can freeze them after cooking.
      Hope that helps!
      Sarah B

  • We live in a city with a big Middle Eastern population and I saw freekeh at the local Middle Eastern market this afternoon! I’ll be going back to buy some. This recipe inspires me to create something similar (no beets for me, but my hubs adores them) with what I can find at that market. Thanks for this recipe!

  • Every time I see a post pop up from you, I feel a whoosh of excitement. Shockingly, I have all of the ingredients for your chutney – sounds like the perfect topping to make for a quick and easy lunch tomorrow. Also just signed up for your emails – WOOHOO! Thank you again!

  • Thanks for this treat! I’ve been refreshing your site since the last delicious post. Thank you for the reminder that simple things are so special too, and that I really need to eat more yellow beets.

    (P.S. we’ve literally been fully stocked on your chocolate buckwheat granola since you posted the recipe. It’s a big part of our special morning’s together!) Thank you.

    -Danielle (from Montana)

  • I’m always so happy to see your blog coming through
    to me. This enthusiasm is – in large part – the hope
    that this time – there might be a photo of your
    little dumpling.
    But no – sigh! – disappointed again!
    I’m sure I’m not the only one who’d love to see those
    wonderful photos of him!
    Enjoy this precious – and quickly-fleeting time fully!
    Have a lovel Canadian Summer together!

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