All Aboard Wheat Harvest contributor wins soups and salads category in HPJ cookbook

High Plains Journal’s Homemade in the High Plains cookbook soups and salads category winner is Lindsey Orgain of Cheyenne, Oklahoma. Her winning recipe is called tortellini salad. Orgain is well-known by HPJ readers as she served as an All Aboard Wheat Harvest contributor. Orgain and her husband, Jason, along with their children, Mason and Ivy, are part of a custom harvesting crew, giving Orgain ample harvest cooking qualifications.

Apart from custom harvesting, the Orgains also farm, ranch and custom farm. Orgain will also start her second year teaching elementary school in Cheyenne. When she’s working on the harvest crew, Orgain runs the tractor and grain cart when needed and supports the crew by picking up parts, food and any other tasks that arise.

“Days in the field can be wild and crazy and I feel like a big part of the role a farm wife or harvest wife plays is that constant, steady presence for her husband and kids,” she said. “It’s easy to minimize that role, but I think if it wasn’t there the absence would make it seem even that much more important.”

As for her winning recipe, Orgain said she discovered the tortellini salad recipe about 15 years ago on a girl’s trip with some of her college friends. One friend made the salad and Orgain liked it so much she started making a tortellini salad often, even serving it at her wedding reception. It is an easy, cold salad that is perfect for a hot day in the field.

“The days in the field are super long and the importance of a good meal can’t be lost,” she explained. “It provides a calm in all the hectic that harvest brings. For me personally, it’s easy for me to downplay it, but I think those guys probably look forward it more than any of us actually realize.”

Orgain’s harvest meal advice is to keep it simple.

“I don’t think that harvest is the time to try out something brand new,” Orgain said. “I think you’re adding more stress to yourself. Just try to do what you know. The people in the field aren’t necessarily looking to be wowed, they’re just looking to be fed. You can use the off-season to experiment.”

It’s truly a family affair for the Orgains. She said it is emotional for her to watch her kids growing up on the farm and in the field, because the time has flown by fast.

“Mason is in the field with his dad running the tractor and grain cart and moving equipment. It seems like yesterday he was sitting in the buddy seat with a bottle. It’s wild to see how he’s progressed in nine short years. I remember when we left for harvest with Ivy when she was one-month-old. It’s funny to see them go from completely dependent to independent and helpful. It seems like it happened so quick, but when they were babies, it seemed like the days were so long. That saying the days are long, but they years are long could not be truer.”

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Lacey Vilhauer can be reached at 620-227-1871 or [email protected].

Tortellini Salad 



2 pkgs. frozen tortellini, cooked according to directions  

2 bell peppers, chopped 

1 carton of cherry tomatoes  

4 cups broccoli florets (could also use some cauliflower) 

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1/2 lb. bacon, cooked & crumbled  

1 cup sunflower seeds 


1/3 – 2/3 cup olive oil 

2 Tbsp roasted garlic & red pepper seasoning (or something close) 

3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar 

2 Tbsp Dijon mustard 

Honey to taste 


Combine salad ingredients, except for tomatoes. Combine dressing ingredients and whisk together. Drizzle dressing over salad, mix and refrigerate overnight. Add tomatoes and mix salad again.