I don’t know about you but this summer weather has me itching to get outside. We’re hoping to go for a long bike ride or hike this weekend or maybe take some paddle boards out on the lake. No matter what we end up doing this Crispy Broccoli and Barley Bowl from Izy Hossack’s new book The Savvy Cook is definitely making an appearance. Continue reading for the recipe and some thoughts on eating healthy…

The struggle has been real. These past few weeks I’ve been in an almost constant state of worry. I worry about my health, my hormones, my weight, my skin. Being a  highly sensitive person, I’m hyper aware of physical sensations and changes. A twinge here, an ache there, a bump, a rash. The smallest thing can send me into a state of panic. I also worry about being vain and self-absorbed and about worrying too much. I try so hard to be healthy and sometimes I wonder if I should just let it all go.  The other day Anders casually asked me, “But, do you feel good?” I paused and thought for a moment. A question so subjective and hard to answer. I’ve convinced myself that I can always feel better or be stronger or healthier but in reality, I do feel good. Of course there are some days that are better than others, but overall, I’m good. I pride myself on being a person who doesn’t let perfect get in the way of good enough, but my health may be the exception. They say awareness is the first step and I’m trying to remain aware and cut myself some slack when it comes to lifestyle and diet. Because, sometimes you just have to let go and enjoy life; something Izy Hossack of the blog Top With Cinnamon has already figured out.

Izy is a strong proponent of eating well without restrictions or worry. She’s a student of Food Science and Nutrition and advocates for real food and a little bit of indulgence every now and then. She often says what I am thinking but don’t have the guts to say. This is from the landing page for her book: “there’s no weird superfoods in here, no coconut oil and I don’t go on about ‘detoxing’ or avoiding ‘refined sugar’. This is sensibly-healthy food and to me, that means LOTS of vegetables, whole grains, legumes & fruit but ALSO cakes + cookies – because hello you need to nourish your soul as well as your body.” Thank you! Her new book is full of approachable, nourishing, delicious recipes with lots of tips, tricks and helpful info as well. Be sure to check it out.

Wishing you all a happy, care-free weekend.

P.S. The nomination period for the 2017 Saveur Blog Awards begins today. If you value the recipes, photos and content here on the blog please take a moment to nominate me for best special interest food blog or for any other category you think is a good fit. The more nominations the better. These awards are a great opportunity for me to expand my audience which will allow me to continue to make a living bringing you the content you enjoy. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

*Be sure to follow me on Instagram and to tag photos of my recipes with #tendingthetable. 

Crispy Broccoli and Barley Bowl

Slightly adapted from The Savvy Cook by Izy Hossack

Serves 2


3/4 cup dry pearl barley

1 large head of broccoli, cut into medium florets

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 tablespoons pumpkin seeds

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1/4 teaspoon maple syrup

2 tablespoons tahini

juice of 1/2 lemon

pinch of salt

radish sprouts, arugula and sliced red onion to garnish


Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Put the barley in a medium saucepan and pour in enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until chewy but soft, 35-40 minutes. Drain, rinse, and return to the pan, and cover with a kitchen towel and a lid. Let stand for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, toss the broccoli in the oil and a sprinkle of salt on a baking tray. Roast in the oven for 20-30 minutes until golden and crispy.

In a nonstick skillet, toast the pumpkin seeds over medium heat, stirring frequently, until they start to pop. Add the soy sauce and maple syrup, then stir until the seeds clump together. Transfer to a plate or cutting board and let cool.

In a small bowl stir the tahini, lemon juice and salt together. Add enough water to make a drizzle-able dressing.

Divide the cooked pearl barley, crispy broccoli, pumpkin seeds and tahini dressing between two bowls. Sprinkle with the sprouts, arugula and red onion. Serve warm.