Nov
11

Stewed Tomatoes Quinoa & Kale

The people of Denver rock my world. They are active and healthy and they eat differently than people do in the midwest. I talked with a guy who cooks his quinoa in stewed tomatoes and adds a variety of different veggies (oh, and a secret ingredient he claims) which gave me the inspiration for this quinoa dish. I have a secret ingredient too, red wine. But I think the biggest secret, the one that sets this recipe apart from others is cooking the quinoa in the stewed tomatoes. 

Stewed Tomatoes with Kale & Quinoa
 
Ingredients
  • 4 heirloom tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 5 handfuls of kale, de-stemmed & roughly chopped
  • ⅔ cup red wine
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar
  • sea salt & pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In a food processor (or a blender), pulse the chopped tomatoes until they are a a liquid consistency (similar to salsa).
  2. In a large pot, stew the tomatoes for 5 minutes and then add the wine. Put on low heat and continue stewing uncovered.
  3. In a separate pan, sautee the onions and garlic in olive oil for about 5 minutes and then add them to the stewed tomatoes.
  4. Add cinnamon, cumin, agave nectar, salt, & pepper to the mixture.
  5. Add the quinoa to the mixture and turn up the heat until the mixture to comes to a boil and then turn the heat down and cover the pot. Simmer on low heat for 10-15 minutes or until the quinoa is thoroughly cooked.
  6. Stir the kale into the mixture and allow it to wilt down for 2-3 minutes.
  7. Serve.

I was craving something hearty and savory this morning so I made this dish for breakfast But I’d eat it for lunch too… and then again for dinner. No matter what time of day, this dish is sure to offer warmth and comfort on a chilly autumn day.

Stewed Tomatoes Quinoa & Kale

Stewed Tomatoes Quinoa & Kale

Love

Crista


Nov
10

Leaf Vegetarian

When I was in Boulder, CO, I had lunch twice. Don’t judge me. I was on a solo vacation, I could do whatever I wanted to do. My early lunch was at modmarket, it was OK.. maybe nothing to brag about. Not saying I wouldn’t go back there again…. 

I had a late lunch at Leaf Vegetarian. I couldn’t help it. I was dying to check out the place. I walked in around 2:30 or 3:00 PM just in time for Happy Hour. I had the restaurant all to myself. 

Leaf VegetarianLeaf Vegetarian

The Happy Hour menu was small and sufficient. It took only seconds for me to decide what I’d order: Pimento Cheese Poppers (mostly for the apple-peace chutney) and the Celeriac Gnocchi. The Celeriac Gnocchi dish is made with a rich sweet potato cream made by cooking the sweet potatoes in cream and then blending the sweet potato and cream together. DE-CA-DENT. I didn’t ask if it was vegan cream, I’m going to have to assume not. Regardless, it made me happy. I’m going to give that sweet potato cream a whirl at home. But what would I put it on… should I re-create this same dish at home?? 

Leaf Vegetarian

yum.

Leaf Vegetarian

I didn’t have dessert, I didn’t need it. But now I’m kind of regretting it… ha!

Leaf Vegetarian

Leaf Vegetarian, 2010 16th Street Boulder, CO 80302

Love

Crista


Nov
09

Red Rocks 

I had an awesome week in Denver, I spent a lot of quiet time alone, it’s been quite a while since I’ve been able to do that. I did what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it. I took naps, several naps, as many as I felt like taking. I had no where to be, no one to report to, no agenda, and zero expectation. I allowed both my mind and body to rest.

Red Rocks

Red Rocks

At Red Rocks Amphitheater, there were very few people around besides myself. It was peaceful and humbling to find myself in such a beautiful place, and to have the Red Rocks all to myself for a few moments in time.

Red Rocks

Red Rocks

Red Rocks

Nederland

Scenery change, I drove through Boulder right up to the mountains in Nederland. As I wandered around in astonishment, I almost forgot to stop and take photos. For one, the view was inimitable. If it weren’t so chilly up in those mountains, I would have sat on the side of the road and gazed off in to the landscape all day long.

Nederland

It seemed like for every minute I drove up the mountain, it got one degree colder. It was freezing up there… look at those icicles…. 

Nederland

Nederland

mountains on mountains on mountains on mountains. a picturesque view, wouldn’t you agree?

Nederland

“Every morning we are born again, what we do today is what matters most” -{Buddha} 

Love

Crista


Nov
08

Washington Park washpark-3 washpark-4 washpark-5 washpark-6

a transitional period.
brittle leaves crunching below my feet.
red. orange. green. yellow.
crisp air.
bursts of sunshine.

washpark-7 washpark-8

peace. calm.
life. energy.
beauty.
nature’s collage.

Washington ParkWashington ParkWashington ParkWashington Park

autumn.
i finally got out to really enjoy it for the first time.

washpark
i took these at Washington Park in Denver.

Love

Crista


Nov
06

airbnb

I am loving this little guest house that I’m staying in for the week. I booked this place through airbnb, my new favorite website & travel resource. 

airbnb

It’s chilly in Denver this week and it gets dark around 5PM so I’ve been in slight hibernation mode. Can you believe I fell asleep at 5:30 last night and only got up for a short time to eat a quick dinner. I slept right through the night until 7AM. I must have really needed the rest! I am thankful to be in this cozy little studio where it’s easy to  curl up and relax.

airbnb

This little studio is actually a renovated garage, the garage door is still intact. If it weren’t so chilly, I’d open the door and enjoy the fresh air. Right now, I’m happy for the heat, blankets, and fuzzy socks. 

airbnb

One of the reasons I enjoy renting apartments vs. hotels is that I have a kitchen and can make my own food. I got up this morning and made an amazing breakfast from left-overs (you should see all the food I have in this house!) The seitan buffalo chicken came from Watercourse Foods, the donut from Beet Box, and the Kombucha from an all vegan market called Nooch.

airbnb

 Yesterday I had a yoga date and then I did some shopping, today I’m going up to Boulder. I’m not sure what I’ll get in to…. hiking? more shopping? vegan food? all of the above…? I don’t have an agenda for the day.

airbnbcrista

Love

Crista


Nov
05

Beet Box DenverBeet Box DenverBeet Box DenverBeet Box DenverBeet Box DenverBeet Box DenverBeet Box Denver

 I am having the best morning ever. I got to sleep in, wake up without an alarm, and I have no where to be until my yoga class at noon. I woke up to a vegan cinnamon roll with a side of frosting and a vegan apple cinnamon donut from Beet Box. I was so happy to find them this morning, I almost forgot that I’d gone out and gotten them last night. For the record, that cinnamon roll was one of the best I’ve ever had….

I might go take a nap before I hit the town today….. Good day, friends.

Love

Crista


Nov
04

crista study

Fall business travel season is coming close to an end for me. (yay!)
I actually get to get stay home for a weekend!! Two weekends in a row….
This week I’m in Denver. I am taking a little vacation, a staycation away rom home.
4 o’clock in the afternoon and I could go to sleep for the remainder of the night. 
I’m exhausted.
BUT.
You see I’m busy….. busy blogging…. and relaxing.
I’ve got a lot of work to do – upgrading the blog and settling in to my new server space. 
I had no idea it would require the amount of work that it does.
 but I love it….. 
I’m also loving Denver….

Love

Crista


Nov
01

Today is World Vegan Day and Day 1 of World Vegan Month!!
Established in 2004, the day is celebrated by vegans all over the world.
Whether you are a devout vegan or you’ve just flirted with the idea, you can join in on the celebration!
Here are some ideas:

CHOOSE ONE (OR TWO, OR THREE) DAYS OF THE WEEK TO EAT VEGAN. FOR INSTANCE, MANY PEOPLE DO THIS ON MONDAYS FOR “MEATLESS MONDAYS”

READ THIS BLOG POST: MAKING THE TRANSITION

TRY ONE (OR ALL) OF THESE VEGAN RECIPES:

colorful kale salad with jalapeñoColorful Kale Salad w/Jalapeños 

garlicky kale + white bean stewGarlicky Kale + White Bean Stew

vegan black eyed peasBlack Eyed Peas

spaghetti squashSpaghetti Squash Spaghetti

Applesauce Drop CookiesApplesauce Drop Cookies 

marinated mushroom & broccoliMarinated Broccoli & Mushrooms

CHECK OUT MY PINTEREST BOARD FOR MORE VEGAN RECIPES: VEGAN FOOD PORN 

“Let us not look back in anger, or forward in fear, but around us in awareness.”
{James Thurber}

Love

Crista


Oct
29

spaghetti squash
I love love love love love me some spaghetti. psghetti. However you say it. BUT. I try to not eat too much pasta. Ok. Sometimes I don’t care. When I get a craving for pasta, I MUST eat pasta. I’m not unlike anyone else.

I will never forget the day that I was introduced to spaghetti squash. A coworker of mine was in the break room at work eating spaghetti squash slathered in butter and parmesan cheese. I almost didn’t believe that she wasn’t eating spaghetti. The squash looks exactly like spaghetti! Well, not exactly. (I was young) 

spaghetti squash

So years ago, after I saw that woman eating her spaghetti squash, I decided to make spaghetti with spaghetti squash and it’s been a meal I’ve been making ever since. It’s easy, cheap, and healthy.

I cut my spaghetti squash in half and roast it in the oven for 25-30 minutes OR I microwave it for about 5-8 minutes. I like to add a little olive oil, salt, and pepper prior to roasting. I make sure the squash gets soft enough that I can pull the strands away from the skin, but before doing that I discard the seeds and pulp. I’m careful to not burn myself as I remove the strands – ouch!

While the squash is still hot, I top it with spaghetti sauce and vegan meatballs and voila! dinner is served.

spaghetti squash

Love

Crista


Oct
25

Chocolate Cherry Sundae

My girlfriend, Laura & I are what some people might call “work wives”. We spend more nights in hotel rooms this time of year than we do at home and we always room together. Poor girl, I hope she never gets sick of me because she can’t get rid of me! 

Laura & I both prefer to eat food we’ve picked out versus food that is provided by the hotel so we try to get out to a local grocery store and pick up some healthy foods and snacks. Last March, we purchased little single-serve blenders (for less than $20) and we’ve been making these Chocolate Cherry Sundaes in hotel rooms ever since. ((we always ask the hotel to provide us with a refrigerator if the room doesn’t already have one so we can keep frozen cherries, almond milk, orange juice, kombucha, and salads.))

Chocolate Cherry Sundae-2

You’ll notice the chocolate in this recipe comes from two different sources: the chocolate almond milk and the chocolate protein powder and/or meal replacement. We use a variety of different powders including: Amazing Grass Green Superfood, Vega, and Garden Of Life Raw Protein – all of which can be found at Whole Foods.

Chocolate Cherry Sundae: a smoothie recipe
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup chocolate almond milk
  • 1 cup frozen cherries
  • 1 banana
  • 1 serving of chocolate protein powder or meal replacement
Instructions
  1. In a blender, puree all ingredients until smooth.
  2. Serve immediately.

Chocolate Cherry Sundae-3

When we call this Smoothie a Sundae, we mean it. It is rich and sweet and a tasty treat. 

Love

Crista