Sage Pumpkin, Kale & Couscous Salad

Lately, my lungs have been filled up with all of my worries. I think people have started to see it in my eyes – how I calculate the firmness of my grasp to this world I call my own. The weeks have been steadily marching by with or without me. Somedays, I wake up wearing somebody else’s clothes, sleeping in somebody else’s bed, going to work at what I think is somebody else’s job – simply to find that it is all my own.

I’m trying harder than ever to answer questions, but it seems like the harder I try the more elusive they are. I got a letter from my kindergarten teacher a couple weeks back. She used to take me out to dinner when I was a kid. She is one of the many reasons why I am here today, in Boston, trying to eek out my ever-shifting dreams.

I remember driving in her car one day and I asked her, “Do I call you Mrs. Cline or Carol?”

She said, “You can call me Carol when you graduate from college.”

I open the letter to find congratulations about my recent graduation and scrawled at the bottom, “p.s. You can now call me Carol.”

It’s amazing how after all these years she didn’t forget that conversation in the car. To be honest, I had forgotten about it.

I have forgotten about a lot of things these days. I am trying to write, to cook, to run, to live, to dream – but the doldrums of life are everywhere. I now know why it’s hard to escape the shallow-eyed look on the train, but I’m  determined to not be there.

I woke up to snow this morning. For the first time in weeks, I felt as though I woke up in my own bed.

I stook at the kitchen sink this morning and knew that the heartbeat in my chest was my own.

Today, I am forgetting the things that hold me be back in the morning.

I am turning on some slow Miles Davis in the kitchen and making a mess.

— Rubbed Sage Pumpkin & Roasted Apple-Kale CousCous —

Preparation: 45 min.
Cook Time: 45 min.
Servies: 6-8 persons


Rubbed Sage Pumpkin
– 1 small sugar pumpkin, cubed 1/2″ (or 1/2 larger sugar pumpkin)
– 1 sweet yellow onion, chopped
– 2 tsp dried sage
– 2 tsp brown sugar
– 3 tbs olive oil
– pinch of sea salt & ground black pepper

Roasted Apple Kale
– 1 bunch Scots Kale, stripped
– 1 Macintosh (red) apple, peeled & chopped
– 2 tbs olive oil

Brown Rice CousCous
1 cup brown rice cous cows
-2 cups water
– pinch of sea salt & ground black pepper

– 2 parsnips, peeled & ribboned
– 2 carrots, peeled & ribboned
– handful of dried cranberries


Although this recipe has three parts (and does take a bit of time) it is super easy and delicious! After this lengthy fall season my house had a collection of pumpkins we never got to carving or baking so I really just used whatever was in my fridge to throw this together. If you would like to add some crunch feel free to throw in almonds and whatever else you like!

Preheat oven to 400°. Start my chopping & peeling the pumpkin. This will take the longest and require the most muscle. My strategy in dismembering the pumpkin was to chop it in half, scoop out the seeds & strings using a big spoon. You can set the seeds aside to roast later, use them in your garden next year, or use them for compost! Once you have chopped the pumpkin in half & emptied out the “guts” – peel the pumpkin using a potato peeler and cube into 1/2″ pieces.


Divide total pumpkin pieces in half and place equal amounts in two 9x11 baking pans that are about 1″ deep. Chop sweet yellow onion and add 1 1/2 tbs olive oil to each pan. Add 1 tsp of dried rubbed sage & brown sugar to each pan & mix well before placing in the oven. Bake in the oven for 30-34 minutes or until pumpkin is golden brown and can be pierced through with a fork.

In a large bowl strip & tear kale into bite-size pieces using your hands. Add peel & chopped apple. Mix in 2 tbs of olive oil & mix to cover kale & apples. Set aside & bake for 15 minutes, or until kale turns golden on the tips, once the pumpkin is done.


In a small pot bring 2 cups of water to boil. Once boiled, turn the water off & pour in dried couscous, sea salt & black pepper & let stand for 10-15 minutes until all the water is absorbed. At this point, the pumpkin should be done roasting and you can pop your kale & apple mixture into the oven.


While you are waiting on the kale & couscous, peel & ribbon carrots and parsnips into separate bowl. Once you have done this the kale & cous cous should be ready and you can whip it all together!


In a large bowl layer cous cous, kale & apples, pumpkin & onions, and top with dried cranberries & parsnips & carrots. Admire, mix & enjoy!