raw shaved salad with mint & sumac

following one singular career path always seemed like a dull life choice. i always pictured myself pursuing multiple careers... when i got tired of one, i would develop a new one. however, i didn't think i'd be pursuing multiple careers all at once at the age of 26, but that's precisely where i'm at. there are pros and cons to such tactics: being human, there is only so much time i can commit to developing any one particular skill on a daily basis. but at the same time, if one aspect of my career (i suppose i'll use that term to mean my collective career paths) starts to waiver or business declines, i have hope that my other pursuits will pick up the slack. this is one theory. another theory, once told to me by a professional musician, was that if you put effort into "plan b," "plan a" is less likely to be successful. if i follow the musician's theory, should i assume all of my careers will fail? or do i just have multiple "plan a's"? with so many passions in my life, i can't imagine ending all other pursuits in favor of any singular career path!

 oh the woes of a creative professional! 

in addition to working as a personal chef and yoga instructor, i carve away time each week for playing music with my band, climbing with my guy, and of course blogging. photography has always been an inherit part of the food blog, but more and more i wanted guidance! who knows, maybe it will become another "plan a" career path! i've never studied photography and new very little about how cameras work, so when i saw a portland workshop opportunity pop up with two incredible portland-based photographers, i jumped on it! plus, i take any excuse to visit friends and restaurants in portland! the workshop was led by eva of adventures in cooking and christiann of portland fresh... two inspiring women who create beautiful, romantic and often moody images of food! the workshop was a blast, but perhaps the best part of it all was meeting so many wonderful creative professionals that i hope to stay connected with as we all forge our own careers! i left portland full of inspirational ideas, oozing with creative juices and a belly full of indulgent food and drinks! 

 a few of my favorite shots from the workshop

i came home to seattle and set off on building a reclaimed wood tabletop to shoot on (pictured below). i couldn't be more proud of the final product! many thanks to surface theory for the reclaimed oak wood and advice, and to my dad, for having all the power tools and knowledge for overseeing this not-so-little project! and what recipe would be more appropriate for my first blog post from atop my new tabletop than the incredible salad chritiann made us all for the workshop! i added my own twist, subbing in sweet local pears instead of jicima, and incorporated a middle eastern flare with a dusting of sumac!

raw shaved salad with mint & sumac ~ serves 2
adapted from portland fresh

4 or 5 radishes
2-3 small beets
2-3 small carrots
1 anjour pear
1 small bunch fresh mint
juice of 1 lime
3 tablespoons walnut or olive oil
1/4 cup raw or roasted cashews, crushed gently 
1/2 teaspoon sumac
aleppo pepper & flakey sea salt 

notes: for an incredibly colorful salad, mix and match with various types of radishes and beets! the salad can be made and chilled in advance, holding the cashews and mint on the side until ready to serve. 

wash and clean veggies. use a vegetable peeler to slice carrots into thin ribbons. use a mandolin to slice radishes and beets into thin rounds - as thin as possible but still able to hold their shape (not too floppy). slice and core pear and cut into thick match-stick shapes. in a bowl, whisk together lime juice, oil and sumac. toss with veggies and pears and top salad with crushed cashews, torn bits of fresh mint and sprinkles of sea salt and aleppo pepper. if you are using red beets but don't want your salad to turn entirely pink, dress the sliced beets in a smaller bowl and then serve salads with beets layered throughout the salad.