Hunter/Farmer Dinner and Kale Salad Recipe {Canyon Ranch}

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Last night, I attended a special event called “The Hunter/Farmer Dinner,” which was held in the Demonstration Kitchen at Canyon Ranch. Canyon Ranch holds special complimentary dinners as well as “Lunch & Learn” sessions every day for guests. I didn’t attend any of the “Lunch & Learn” sessions during my stay, and I actually sort of regret it because the dinner last night was so great. We enjoyed lots of delicious dishes, learned how to make them, and received handouts with all of the recipes. The “Lunch & Learn” sessions are similar, and I think I would have liked them a lot.

Hunter/Farmer Dinner and Kale Salad Recipe {Canyon Ranch}

Last night’s menu was inspired by The Hunter/Farmer Diet Solution, a book written by Canyon Ranch Medical Director, Mark Liponis, MD. The basic premise of the book: one’s metabolism and ability to lose and maintain a healthy weight is based on whether they are a “Farmer” or “Hunter.” Once you determine which one you are (you can actually be a mix of both), you can adjust your diet to lose or maintain a healthy weight.

From the Canyon Ranch Lenox handouts:

A “Hunter” has natural traits that were designed to help survival under conditions of foraging and finding food. The hunter has adapted to storing energy in the belly where it can more easily draw upon during lean times when foods is scare. This individual should be mindful of their grain and sugar intake.

A “Farmer” gets hungry more often and needs to eat every few hours, especially grains, to maintain their blood sugar. They are typically those who store energy in the lower half of their body. This individual should be mindful of their fat intake.

Interesting, right? I’m definitely more “Farmer.” I am always hungry and store energy in the lower half of my body. When I gain weight, I always notice it first in my quads. Obviously, there are a million different diets out there, so this is just another one to throw into the mix and get you thinking.

Ok, onto the meal. There were four courses and each one (minus dessert) included two different dishes, one for a “Hunter” and one for a “Farmer.”

Appetizer: Kale & Apple Salad (Hunter) and Quinoa Salad (Farmer)

I LOVED the Kale & Apple Salad. I actually think it was my favorite dish of the entire meal. And, the best part, it’s super easy to make. The chef didn’t demo every dish we enjoyed last night, but this one he did””probably because the prep was so genius.

Kale & Apple Salad



  • 4 tsp lemon juice
  • 4 tsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


  • 4 cups fresh curly kale, finely chopped*
  • 1.5 oz croutons
  • 1/4 cup Granny Smith apple, diced
  • 4 tsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp olive oil


  1. Mix together lemon juice, cheese, and mustard. Drizzle in oil.
  2. Mix kale, apples, croutons, and cheese and toss with dressing.
  3. Drizzle 1/4 teaspoon of olive oil over each serving.

Makes 4 servings

*Here’s the genius part of the prep: To easily and quickly chop the kale, remove the stems and then stack a bunch of the leaves on top of one another. Roll them into a tight cylinder and then thinly chop down the cylinder. Easy-peasy!

Hunter/Farmer Dinner and Kale Salad Recipe {Canyon Ranch}

Soup: Puree of White Bean & Celery Root (Hunter) and Manhattan Clam Chowder (Farmer)

Hunter/Farmer Dinner and Kale Salad Recipe {Canyon Ranch}

Entrée: Zatar Spice-Crusted Lamp Chop (Hunter) and Cheese Ravioli with Pesto Sauce (Farmer)

Hunter/Farmer Dinner and Kale Salad Recipe {Canyon Ranch}

Dessert: Fruit & Greek Yogurt with Honey

Mmm! Dinner was fabulous, and it was a fun way to eat.


This morning, I enjoyed my final meal at Canyon Ranch. I grabbed a quick breakfast at Café Tasse: a breakfast panini, fresh fruit, and an iced decaf almond milk latte. I ate breakfast while chatting with Julie and her mom, who arrived at Canyon Ranch last night. I got so excited telling them all about the cool classes and wonderful food I experienced over the past few days. They’re definitely in for a treat!

Hunter/Farmer Dinner and Kale Salad Recipe {Canyon Ranch}

My drive home was a little over 2 hours, so I grabbed some snacks for the road: another decaf iced latte, a couple of Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies, and some Pumpkin Crunch. I’m going to miss those chocolate chip cookies.

Hunter/Farmer Dinner and Kale Salad Recipe {Canyon Ranch}

I actually felt a little sad when I was leaving Canyon Ranch this morning. One of the bellmen, who helped me with my bags, said he actually hears that quite a lot from guests.

Canyon Ranch is a special experience that you can totally personalize based on your own interests, goals, and preferences. You can pack your day full of health- and fitness-inspired activities or do your own thing without any sort of schedule or obligation. The resort provides so many options for both, which is probably why people love it so much.

If you’re looking for a getaway with wellness in mind, Canyon Ranch Lenox is the place to go. It being so close to home, I would definitely consider visiting again on my own dime. Going to Canyon Ranch with a group of health-minded friends””perhaps for a bachelorette or ladies’ weekend””would be amazing. Fitness, food, and friends? Sign me up! I really enjoyed myself over the past few days, and I am so glad that I had the opportunity to experience Canyon Ranch Lenox.

Question of the Day

Do you consider yourself more of a Hunter or Farmer?

P.S. A bunch of you guys expressed interest in booking a vacation at Canyon Ranch, and I just wanted to share some of the current deals with you. Check out the website for more details!

New You

First time guests of Canyon Ranch save 20% on your all-inclusive package of 3-nights or more. Valid through Dec. 23, 2013 (some date restrictions apply)

Celebrate You

Traveling on your own? Visit Canyon Ranch in Lenox and enjoy single accommodations at the lower double occupancy rate – up to 20% savings. Valid through Aug. 31 and December 1 – 23, 2013.

Ranch Anniversary Special

Help celebrate our anniversary! Visit Canyon Ranch in Lenox September 2 – 30, 2013 and you’ll automatically save 25% on your all-inclusive package of 3-nights or more.

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