I landed my first boyfriend with a cold call.
That’s right. I spotted him playing the trombone at a band convention, noted the initials “FMS” on his teeshirt, and swiftly borrowed my friend’s yearbook (she also went to Frenchtown Middle School). There he was, sk8r boi hair and all, sitting among the brass section. I cross referenced his name with each grade to confirm he was my year – 8th grade. I scanned the phone book, luckily there was only one family in Frenchtown with his last name, and I cold called.
I pitched myself to him and soon, he sent me a text message embedded with the picture of a single red rose saying, “Will you go in with me?” His flip phone changed “out” with “in.”
Before long, my mom was dropping me off in her Toyota Sienna at the bowling alley to meet Quinn, truly, for the first time.
I should feel like I’ve closed the deal of all deals, that the calls I’m making to strangers daily on behalf of my company are trifling in comparison. Eh, no.
Like waitressing for all of college and learning to be a good tipper, inside sales has taught me: never be coarse to anyone, ever, on the phone.
This lesson is why I recently told a woman at Bank of America, “I’m sorry for being a total wench, I know this is not your fault.” She gave me a nervous pity laugh and quickly moved on.
I’ve been packing killer lunches to get through the abundant sales calls. My roommate owns Sara Forte’s Bowl and Spoon. Though elaborate, the recipes are imbued with healthy and vibrant ingredients.
Here are some memorable recipes I’ve made from this book:
The Last Meal Salad//Serves 4 to 6
Note: Cook the lentils prior to starting
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil or coconut oil
- 1 large leek, halved and cleaned
- Sea salt
- 4 cups arugula
- 1 head chopped red leaf lettuce
- 1 English cucumber, finely diced
- 1 cup pitted and halved cherries (or 1/3 cup dried)
- 1/2 cup cooked black lentils
- 2 avocados, pitted and diced
- 1/2 cup Marcona almonds, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup crumbled sheep milk feta
- Every Day Green Dressing
In a large pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Slice the leek into thin half circles and add them to the hot pan. Add a pinch of salt and cook, stirring off and on for 6 to 8 minutes. Let the edges get crispy. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Wash and dry your greens. Put them in a large salad bowl. Add the cucumber, cherries, lentils, half of the avocado, the almonds and feta. Once cool, add the leeks. Toss everything with the dressing to your desired consistency. Top the salad with the remaining avocado and serve. There will likely be leftover dressing. Save it in a jar and use it on any other salad.
Ever Day Green Dressing//Makes 2 cups
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 green onions, white and green parts
- 2 tablespoons drained capers
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Zest and juice of two lemons, preferably Meyer
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup whole Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 cups firmly packed basil leaves
- 3/4 cup flat-leaf parsley
- 1 cup cilantro
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
In a food processor, pulse the garlic, green onions, capers, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, zest and juice of the lemons, and honey to combine. Add the cider vinegar, yogurt, Parmesan, basil, parsley, cilantro. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil. Taste and add more of the ingredient you find lacking. For me, this is always salt.
Herbed Falafel Bowl//Serves 4
For the falafel
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 Medjool dates, pitted
- 1/2 yellow onion
- 2 cups cooked and well-drained chickpeas
- 1/2 cup toasted pistachios
- 1 small bunch, chopped cilantro (about 1 cup)
- 1/3 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped mint leaves
- 2 tablespoons flax seed meal
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
For the salad (you could really use anything – I made it with avocado, cucumber and sweet potato + lettuce)
- 1 head romaine, finely shredded
- 1 English cucumber, sliced thin
- 1 pound tomatoes, sliced in wedges
- Tahini citrus miso dressing
- 3 cups cooked brown rice
For the falafel, in the bowl of a food processor, add the garlic, pepper flakes, cumin, sea salt, pepper, olive oil, lemon zest and juice, dates, and onion. Process until well mixed. Add the chickpeas and pistachios and pulse until chunky. Add the cilantro, parsley, mint, flax seed meal, and baking soda – pulse until the herbs are just incorporated. This process can be done in advance and kept in the fridge.
Place a rack on the upper third of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Rub a little oil on your hands and form 2-inch balls with the batter. Arrange them on the baking sheet: you should have about 20. Brush a thin layer of olive oil on top and bake 22-25 minutes, until the tops are browned. (I like my falafel a little softer, so I baked them for only 20 ish minutes.
Toss the romaine, cucumber and tomatoes with the dressing. Arrange bowls with brown rice, salad and falafel.
Tahini Citrus Miso Dressing//Makes about 1 cup
- 1/2 cup tahini
- 2 tablespoons white or yellow miso
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons Sriracha or hot sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- Juice of 1 large orange (about 1/3 cup)
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- Lemon juice, to taste