I have a special recipe today: not one that I created, but one that I instead inherited from someone very important to me. Say hello to Gram’s Chocolate Zucchini Bread.
My beloved Gram passed away on July 30. I found myself wondering, “How do you say goodbye to one of your very favorite people in the world?”
Hi, guys! After five weeks away from the blog, I’m so excited to be bringing you a (revamped) summer stand-by, Quinoa Garden Pasta Salad!
What was I up to for those five weeks? For half of it, I was busy prepping for and then going on a getaway to English and Switzerland. Highlights included visiting beloved London for the first time in 10 years and meeting the Swiss Alps, chocolate, and cheese!
Summer is HERE!!!!!! And what says summer quite like this colorful Asian Chicken Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing?
OK, according to the calendar, it’s not officially summer yet; it’s still 11 days away – but the weather doesn’t know that. Here in the Detroit area, the day I’m typing this is the epitome of a gorgeous summer day as far as I’m concerned. The sky is a bright blue, the grass, a vibrant lush green, and I got sunburned last weekend sitting outside on a rooftop patio eating pizza and drinking blueberry beer and then attending a baseball game – that equals summer to me. And I’m THRILLED. May through October is definitely my favorite chunk of the year hands-down, and I’m so happy to be right in the thick of it wearing sandals and cheerfully sweating my butt off.
I hope if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere like me that you’re experiencing beautiful summery weather and shenanigans that make you hungry – hungry for this Asian Chicken Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing! And if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere and gearing up for winter with its chilliness and waning daylight hours, well, if you’re anything like me and not a fan of that time of year, you could use this Asian Chicken Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing for the cheer of its vibrant colors alone. You can pretend you’re at a beach party eating it while you’re really holed up in your house hiding from the frigid temps in your flannel jammies – and then whip out this recipe the next time it IS summer and you ARE invited to a beach barbecue. That’s probably what I’ll be doing the next time it’s winter for me.
Ice cream season is officially here – HIP-HIP-HOORAY! It’s time for Vegan Coconut-Banana Ice Cream with Pistachios and Lavender Honey!
This ice cream is officially a NICE CREAM because it’s vegan. And it’s processed-sugar-free (being naturally sweetened with honey) and gluten-free, too. It’s a triple threat in the ice cream-pantheon!
Hello, all! It’s May, and it’s maybe almost summer here in Michigan, and summer means fresh, healthful salads like this Arugula and Quinoa Salad with Feta, Blueberries, and Pecans!
It’s been two weeks since I’ve last posted, and I’m glad to be back in the game! Life has been a little crazy lately, but when is it not in this day and age for most of us, really? I let myself fall out of the habit of recipe creation and felt The Resistance – that dreaded force that plagues so many of us creatives – looming larger and larger. The longer I waited to try a draft of a recipe, the more daunting a task it felt.
Last night, I finally coaxed myself into trying a first draft of a vegan dessert recipe I’ve wanted to attempt for weeks. The result: a resounding FAIL. Draft 2 would require some prep work; I’d need at least a day or two to get back at it. I was discouraged.
Finally I decided this morning that if I wanted to get a post up, anything would do, really. That’s the kind of thing I have to tell myself as a recovering perfectionist. Perfect is the enemy of the good, right? (Any recovering perfectionists with me on that?) So I got up early and dragged myself to the grocery store, intending to pick up a few things for a granola recipe I had in mind – until a more tantalizing idea hit.
What about a salad, with fresh blueberries . . . and pecans . . . and arugula – of course arugula. And some quinoa. And my lemon vinaigrette.
OK, NOW we’re talking!
We have a new recipe today! Creamy Chocolate Cashew Butter is in the house!
Is there anything better than a homemade nut butter made from fresh-roasted cashews, unsweetened raw cacao, honey, and a hint of salt? Probably not.
This Creamy Chocolate Cashew Butter is a natural progression for me, considering one of my very foremost and original food loves: peanut butter.
I’ve been OBSESSSSSSSED with peanut butter for years and years. Whether I’ve mixed it into oatmeal or smoothies, dunked apple slices or bananas into it, or binged on it straight-up from the can (my version of mindless comfort eating), peanut butter has pretty much been LIFE for me.
I love other nut butters, too – especially cashew butter. Cashew butter, so rich and creamy – Mmmmmm. But have you seen how much a jar of cashew butter costs in stores??? I recently went to the grocery store with the intention of splurging on a jar of it – until I saw that it cost $13.99.
Because I’m still on an asparagus kick this spring, today’s post features this recipe for Vegan Cream of Asparagus Soup!
Why do I think asparagus is so great, besides being delicious? For one, it’s loaded with beneficial vitamins and minerals, such as folate, Vitamin C, and Vitamin K. And according to an amazing book I read recently called Medical Medium Life-Changing Foods (which I explain more about in the Banana, Wild Blueberry, and Nectarine Smoothie Bowl recipe post), asparagus is alkalizing to the body and helps to battle cancer, inflammation, and nerve issues. HOORAY to that!
And why a vegan version of the soup? Well, I’m not vegan, but I often make vegan or vegetarian dishes because I HEART plants. When I was mentally cooking up this recipe for cream of asparagus soup, I decided to use plant-based methods for making it creamy rather than dairy-based ingredients because as much as it pains me to say it, dairy is NOT my friend at this juncture in my life (it’s never really been; I had to drink soy formula as a baby and experienced several years of intense lactose intolerance as a teen, but I was cool with the dairy for the last decade-plus – until recently. We’re definitely in a spat again.). So I’m trying to eat it sparingly and infrequently.
While I love being sans the dairy side effects, I long for the creaminess it provides to dishes. Enter the DELECTABLY CREAMY Vegan Cream of Asparagus Soup! It contains potatoes and nut butter, two ingredients that I’ve discovered are commonly used in vegan soup recipes as key components in providing plant-based creaminess.
Spring is here, and springtime means ASPARAGUS! I’ve been enjoying it since it came into season over the last month and was eager to incorporate it into a recipe. A creamy, lemony risotto seemed like the perfect fit. Parmesan cheese and lemon are two of the very best complements to asparagus that I can think of, so it’s a total match-made-in-heaven situation. And also, I pretty much look for every excuse to make risotto that I can think of.
Why do I adore making risotto so much? I love that while it requires vigilance and a little bit of time, I also find it to be a relaxed, easeful, almost ritualistic endeavor. As I stand watch over the risotto, intuiting when it’s time to ladle in more stock, to stir, I’m given an opportunity to slow down and truly be present to a beautiful culinary moment. And it doesn’t hurt that this beautiful culinary moment is slow enough in unfurling that I also have time to savor a glass of wine and catch up on DVR’ed shows – most recently, the latest two episodes of Girls! – while it’s doing it’s thing.
We’ve got another smoothie bowl recipe on the docket today! Say hello to Banana, Wild Blueberry, and Nectarine Smoothie Bowl!
This smoothie bowl is truly a POWER breakfast. And I don’t know about you, but power breakfasts are what I need right now. This spring is proving to be a CRAY-CRAY-busy time for me. I’m a first-time maid of honor for a beloved friend, an experience that has been a fun and special one for me, especially since my pal is the most laid-back, total-antithesis-to-Bridezilla bride ever. But as anyone who has been in a wedding party knows, the wedding stuffs do not happen by themselves. The planning is INTENSE! I am in need of healthy, hearty fuel now more than ever.
That’s why I love this Banana, Wild Blueberry, and Nectarine Smoothie Bowl. It’s totes healthy – I mean, look at all of the goodie ingredients included in it: fruit, fruit, and more fruit, with almonds, honey, almond milk, and ground flaxseeds added for good measure (cuz they’re great for digestion plus loaded with beneficial components such as omega-3 fatty acids and fiber). All those vitamins swirling around in one bowl ~SQUEAL!~ This Banana, Wild Blueberry, and Nectarine Smoothie Bowl is a nutrient-junkie’s dream, especially since it contains the HOLY GRAIL of beneficial foods, the WILD BLUEBERRY.
I’m so excited to unveil today’s recipe for Apricot-Date Energy Balls! They are nutrient-dense, ridiculously delicious, processed-sugar-free and gluten-free little beauties! And they are so, so easy to make – just let that food processor or blender do all of the work!
If my seasonal allergies are any indication, spring is OFFICIALLY here! And with spring comes all of the wonderful, glorious outdoor activities that those of us in cold-weather climes miss out on in the winter, so YAYYYY!!!