2015 Garden in Review

2015 Garden in Review

With 2015 wrapped up and tucked away, I thought I’d share some photos of my garden, lessons I learned along the way, and the dreams bouncing around in my head for this coming year. When I started building raised beds last spring, I thought to myself… This is going to be my first real garden. It’s going to be neat and tidy, and I’ll be organized, and all the little plants will line up in a row and I’ll have time to cook a delicious, home grown meal every night. Yeah, right. What actually ended up happening: I had home grown plants (they grew everywhere, bunched up in the corners and some of them falling over on top of themselves….. not in neat little rows) and I ate home grown food. Not a fully cooked meal every night though. Usually, it was just munching on cherry tomatoes from the vine when I was frantically running around with a watering can, trying to make it to work on time. I learned 3 very important lessons from last year’s garden: 1. There’s no such thing as a real garden. All gardens are real. Put some herbs in a pot on your porch – that’s a garden. Plant arugula seeds near the fencing in your yard – that’s a garden. Grow microgreens and you have a garden. I won’t fool myself anymore into thinking that I need to have a designated space for growing. It’s certainly nice, and slightly easier to keep weeded. But completely unnecessary. Any amount of growing your own food is now in my mind a real garden. 2....
Pumpkin Chia Seed Pudding

Pumpkin Chia Seed Pudding

Halloween may be over, but there’s still plenty of time left this fall and winter to enjoy this warming treat. Pumpkin is full of fiber, healthy carbohydrates, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins A & K. This is a dessert that can also be disguised as a breakfast or snack. And. It takes about 5 minutes to make. And. It tastes like a pumpkin-pie in a jar. Creamy, seasonal, with a hint of chocolate. Now, please excuse me while I go lick the jar! This recipe is vegan, gluten free, dairy free, and paleo. Ingredients: 1 cup pumpkin puree 1/4 – 1/2 cup almond milk 3 Tbsp chia seeds 1 dash sea salt 1 dash cinnamon, optional 2 Tbsp maple syrup, add more to taste if desired Toasted coconut flakes and cacao nibs for garnish Directions: 1. Whisk all ingredients together and chill in fridge for 2-3 hours. 2. Remove from fridge and top with coconut and cacao. Enjoy every bite. Soundtrack: Witchcraft by Bill Evans....
Back to School Breakfast Bars

Back to School Breakfast Bars

With my cherry tomatoes just starting to blush red, it seems so strange to be talking about “Back to School…” But as always, summer just slips through my fingers. I’m not entirely sure how we’ve ended up in August already, with farmers markets bursting, my garden overflowing and sunshine kissing my shoulders dawn to dusk. I try and pack in as many “summer” moments as possible… maybe that’s how I lose track of time?? Either way, I plan on enjoying every last ounce of the outdoors I can absorb, every last Palisade peach I can sink my teeth into, and every last heirloom tomato blushing into a beautiful, delicacy. Soon to be on my plate. Tomato, meet basil. Meet balsamic. Caprese, meet my mouth. On these hot, early mornings, you can find me on the front porch, drinking green tea and nibbling on something filling, yet light. These bars make lovely teacup companions – they hold together well, and are perfect with a smear of strawberry jam and a sprinkle of toasted almond slivers. A tea-sipping queen somewhere would be proud of me. Simple breakfasts nibbled on in the sunshine. It’s these sweet moments that I remember so fondly about summer. In a few months, when the sun hasn’t yet hit the horizon and a frosty-feeling is in the air, I’ll bite into a breakfast bar and feel the sunshine on my shoulders, see the hint of red in my strawberry patch, and remember those sunny, lovely mornings on my front porch. These bars are gluten free, plant-based, oil free and hearty! I hope you enjoy whipping together a...
Five Meals to Take Camping this Summer.

Five Meals to Take Camping this Summer.

If you follow me on Instagram (ps I love you all!), you may remember me disappearing on a four-day camping trip near Moab, Utah. It was glorious for oh so many reasons, including: lack of internet (yes, it’s good for me to unplug sometimes, even if I don’t want to), good company, cozy campfires every night, slot canyons, sunshine and mountain trails. Oh, and did I mention amazing food?! I want to share with you how easy and simple it can be to pack delicious meals for your next outdoor adventure. Bring a small cooler, and pack the bottom with some dry ice – Why dry ice? It’s relatively inexpensive and it sumblimes (That’s a science word for “evaporates” – so you won’t end up with a swimming pool in your cooler (Not that I speak from experience or anything….). Plus, dry ice is awesome. Just be sure to keep plenty of padding between the ice and your veggies – otherwise they will freeze…. Five Easy Meals to take Camping this Summer 1. Oatmeal (And don’t forget the instant coffee, please). You can buy premade packets of quick-cooking oats in a variety of flavors, or you can buy plain oats, and add in your own favorite toppings. Oatmeal for breakfast = boil water, pour and stir. Voila! Breakfast. We topped our oats with trailmix and dried blueberries. Now that’s called winning at breakfast. 2. Sushi – Why not eat gourmet food on shower-less day #4 in the dessert? Prepare your favorite sushi rolls at home, but don’t slice them. Wrap each roll in seran wrap and then eat them...
Easter Dinner – Spring Rolls!

Easter Dinner – Spring Rolls!

With Easter bunnies a-hopping and springtime a-blooming, a colorful recipe seemed appropriate for this weekend. I think the best part about spring is the sudden onslaught of colorful food. Goodbye drab winter greys, browns and dull greens. Make way for fresh colors and flavors, looking beautiful on my plate, and bursting with flavor in my mouth. Serve these lovely little rolls as appetizers, or as an entree, depending on your mood. I see any rolled-up food as an excuse to see how many goodies I can stuff inside. So mine end up more like entree portions. I have no self-control, what can I say? I love eating these spring rolls with homemade peanut sauce or spicy plum sauce, but they are also delicious with just a spritz of fresh lime juice if you’re in a pinch for time. Happy Easter if you celebrate, and happy spring regardless! Ingredients Rice paper rolls Warm Water 1 lb firm tofu Rainbow Carrots Cucumber Cilantro Bell pepper Purple Cabbage Avocado Kelp noodles, zucchini noodles, or rice noodles, optional Lime, cut into wedges Your all-time favorite dipping sauce(s) Directions 1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Slice tofu into thin strips. Place on parchment paper and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Bake 5-8 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Remove and set aside to cool. 2. While the tofu is baking, peel and slice the veggies into thin strips, about 2 inches long. (Knife Skills: Matchstick) 3. Prepare noodles of choice according to the package directions. 4. Lay out all ingredients so they are readily avilable. Fill a shallow dish with warm...
Sunomono – Japanese Cucumber Salad

Sunomono – Japanese Cucumber Salad

Some weeks I get stuck in a salad rut. I rely on the same tired ‘ole veggies on the bottom shelf until they’re almost as tired of me as I am of them. And then… I remember rice vinegar. This is a traditional Japanese quick-pickled cucumber salad. You can get as crazy as you want with the recipe. Craving some heat? Add in some ginger juice or diced chilis. Looking for more color? Add rainbow carrots, red bell peppers, radish slices, maybe even try some cabbage. Whatever veggies you use, be sure to slice as thinly as possible. Ingredients 1 cucumber (Persian or Japanese cucumbers are better, but an English cucumber will work as well) 1/4 tsp sea salt 3 Tbsp rice vinegar 1 Tbsp mirin (or sugar) 1/4 tsp shoyu (soy sauce) 1 tsp black (or white) sesame seeds, toasted Rainbow carrots (or other veggies of choice), optional Directions 1. Thinly slice cucumbers and carrots (if using). Add salt, stir to combine and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Then, squeeze all the liquid from the veggies, and set aside. 2. In a small bowl, mix the rice vinegar, mirin and shoyu together. Stir to combine. If using sugar, mix until all the sugar has dissolved. Taste, and adjust seasonings as desired. Be sure to adjust seasonings as there is quite the variety of shoyu and vinegar available. 3. Add vinegar mixture to cucumbers and carrots and mix well. Stir in sesame seeds. Eat immediately, or store, covered in the fridge for your next salad adventure. If you have leftover dressing, store it in a jar in the...