Jul
07


mango salsa

Mangos were on sale last week so my mother-in-law bought an entire box of them. She knew they wouldn’t go to waste. We’ve already made two batches of this salsa and we added them to veggie skewers on the grill.

My favorite thing about this salsa is that we didn’t have to use any spices to make it yummy ( besides a little salt & pepper.) The blend of the mango, lime, and cilantro, offer a kick of fresh summery sweetness. There is no doubt that you will go through an entire batch of this mango salsa in one sitting on a beautiful summery day – I’ve done it twice in the past week.

mango salsa
 
Ingredients
  • 3 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 mango, finely chopped
  • ½ jalapeno, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • small handful of fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • pinch of sea salt & pepper (to taste
Instructions
  1. Toss all the ingredients together and chill for at least 1 hour, allowing all the flavors to merge.

mango salsa

Love

Crista


Jul
06

chile lime veggie skewers // peace. love. quinoa

Just recently, the boyfriend & I enjoyed this meal outdoors on the patio and it instantly turned out to be one of our all-time favorite meals. I have a feeling we will make these grilled veggie skewers over-and-over again all summer long.

The recipe that I followed is found on the Love & Lemons blog: Chili Lime Grilled Veggie Skewers.

Three things I love about these skewers:
1. The MANGO grilled with our veggies instead of pineapple. {have you ever grilled mango? it’s amazeballs!}
2. The Chile Lime Oil (olive oil, lime, garlic, honey, cumin, cayenne, salt, & pepper) that we used as a marinade. – I’m obsessed!
3. They are soooo pretty, colorful, {and photogenic}.

chile lime veggie skewers // peace. love. quinoa

chile lime veggie skewers // peace. love. quinoa

chile lime veggie skewers // peace. love. quinoa

chile lime veggie skewers // peace. love. quinoa

chile lime veggie skewers // peace. love. quinoa

chile lime veggie skewers // peace. love. quinoa

chile lime veggie skewers // peace. love. quinoa

chile lime veggie skewers // peace. love. quinoa

chile lime veggie skewers // peace. love. quinoa

chile lime veggie skewers // peace. love. quinoa

chile lime veggie skewers // peace. love. quinoa

chile lime veggie skewers // peace. love. quinoa

Love

Crista


Jul
05

Chickpea & Tomato Salad with Fresh Basil

My mother-in-law has a big book of recipes that she has accumulated over the years, while planning for a graduation party, she pulled this recipe out and decided to make it. She kept telling me how delicious it was and encouraged me to try it but for some reason I wasn’t in the mood, I don’t always love chickpeas. I guess I have to be in the mood for them. I didn’t try this salad until the day after the party and I fell in love with it! Chickpeas don’t have a lot of flavor, but this combination of ingredients packs a punch of flavor with every bite.

This salad keeps well in the refrigerator, I find that it gets better and better the longer that it marinates. Yum.

Chickpea & Tomato Salad with Fresh Basil

chickpea & tomato salad with fresh basil
 
Ingredients
  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained & rinsed
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 25 large basil leaves (we pulled them out of the garden), chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • ½ tbsp raw honey
  • pinch of sea salt
Instructions
  1. Toss all the ingredients together and chill for at least 1 hour, allowing all the flavors to merge.
  2. Serve chilled or at room temp.

Chickpea & Tomato Salad with Fresh Basil

Love

Crista


Jul
04

4th Of July Floats

4th Of July Floats

4th Of July Floats

4th OF July Floats

4th OF July Floats

If you like the looks of these and you must make them for yourself, the process is quite simple:

1. Find a few fancy glasses (ones that scream “I like to party”)
2. Put a few scoops of Coconut Milk Ice Cream (keep it vegan, yo!) in each glass, then a few ice cubes.
3. Pour COLD Jones Soda (my personal favorite flavor is the Berry Lemonade) until the glass is overflowing.
4. Lick the excess fizz off the side of the glass and sip your blue or red drink through a fancy straw.
5. Show off your colored tongue.

Love

Crista


Jul
03

Watermelon Shooters // peace. love. quinoa

If you’re American, there is no doubt that you will be involved in a celebration on Thursday, Independence Day. This country is obsessed with red, white, and blue this time of year, and I’m certainly no exception. Watermelon just so happens to be (red) AND one of my all-time favorite foods to eat during the summer. Because it’s naturally sweet, you don’t have to add sugar or sweeteners to make it an enjoyable treat.

Watermelon Shooters // peace. love. quinoa

Using only 3 ingredients, these little watermelon shooters are quick & easy to make. (no one wants to spend time crafting cocktails during prime daylight hours when they could be in the pool or the lake.) Serve these shooters poolside, next to the keg stand OR you could very easily make these while on a camping trip, at the lake, or on a picnic if you pureed the watermelon ahead of time and stored it in a cooler alongside the berry soda.

Watermelon Shooters // peace. love. quinoa

Watermelon Shooters
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • ¼ seedless watermelon, chopped
  • 1 can ​Berry LaCroix Soda, chilled
  • ice
  • handful of blueberries, washed
  • shooter glasses (any small glass or shot glass will work)
Instructions
  1. Puree the watermelon in a blender.
  2. Put 2-3 pieces of ice in each shooter glass.
  3. Fill each glass half full with the watermelon puree, then fill the rest of the glass with the berry soda.
  4. Top with fresh blueberries.
  5. Serve immediately.

 Do you remember the ice cream man? I used to get that ice cream cone (or was it a slushie??) that had a gumball at the bottom. Well, one of the best part about these shooters are the little blueberries that fall to the bottom.

And for the record, this beverage does not have to be served in shooter glasses. You could serve these in tall glasses if that’s what makes you happy.

Love

Crista


Jul
02

Over the weekend, I was at Summerfest with my cute boyfriend, we saw Jason Aldean & Jake Owen. I don’t own any cowboy boots (or a cowboy hat for that matter) but I do own a pretty fierce (blingin’) cowgirl belt. To stay with the “country music” theme, I’m going to Nashville in a few weeks. I have put a lot of time and energy in to crafting the perfect outfits for both of these events and I can honestly say that I’ve impressed myself. Inspired by these shorts, I decided to make my very own pair of American Flag Shorts (‘MERICA!)

DIY american flag shorts

I took a trip to the thrift store to find a pair of denim jeans to cut-off and I found the perfect pair of stone washed Levi’s.

Levi's

When making cut-offs, I like to put the pants on and use a sharpie to mark what length I want to cut them at. I take them off to cut them, obviously. It’s not necessary to cut perfectly straight lines and for a more ragged look, I like to cut little slits in to the shorts which will fray during a wash. In the photo below, I highlighted the areas the I cut slits in to prior to washing. This particular pair of denim I used was very stiff and so I washed them 3-4 times after I cut them (prior to painting) to loosen them up and give them a more ragged look.

DIY american flag shorts

The other supplies I knew I needed to create these shorts included paint, star stencils, painters tape, and foam brushes. I went to 3 different craft stores and never found a star stencil! Clearly, they are non-existent in my world. I don’t know who it was, but someone gave me the idea to use a potato as a stamp.

DIY american flag shorts

MAKING THE POTATO STAMP: 

Cut a large potato in half. With a paper towel, wipe away any excess moisture from the potato and let it sit to dry out for a few minutes. With a pen (or anything pokey), poke 5 holes in to the potato to be the 5 points of your star. (You could probably use a sharpie to dot the points in as well. Make your star as big as you can. Next, score half triangles, connecting each of the dots with a paring knife. Once you are satisfied with the shape of your star, cut the 5 triangles out with the paring knife. Cut deeper in to the lines that you have scored, and you should be able to break that part of the potato away from the star. If you are not satisfied with your star, use the other half of the potato to make another.

DIY american flag shorts

The next step in making these shorts is a step I’m glad I didn’t skip out on: I PRACTICED my stamping and painting on the legs of the denim that I had cut off. During this practice round, I got familiar with my potato stamp, and learned how much paint I should use. I learned to not use a wet sponge brush when making the stripes – as seen below, the paint bled due to excess moisture.

DIY american flag shorts

Once I gathered all of my supplies (painters tape, sponge brushes, Martha Stewart multi-surface paint in “Wedding Cake” and Tartan Red”, potato stamp, newspaper, and paper towels), made my cut-offs, and practiced using the paint, the American Flag was easy to create. I used the Painters Tape to tape off one side of the shorts (to make the stripes) and I used my potato stamp on the other side of the shorts. After stamping, I used a small sponge brush to detail the stars but I didn’t need them to be perfect.

DIY American Flag Shorts 

Love

Crista


Jun
27

red ants on a log

When I was a child, my mom would make me this snack that she called “Ants On A Log.” I know I giggled every time she said it.  I’ve never been a huge fan of celery but my mom found a way to get me to eat it.

As a a healthy-eating adult, I re-discovered this tasty snack that packs crunch and fills the need for a sweet and/or salt craving. In fact, I found this a very easy snack to prepare at work. I show up with my jar of peanut butter, a baggie of celery sticks, and a baggie of dried cranberries, it’s so easy to quick craft the log during lunch.

red ants on a log

red ants on a log
 
Ingredients
  • a few celery sticks (washed and trimmed)
  • nut butter of your choice (I like creamy salted peanut butter)
  • a handful of dried cranberries (and/or raisins)
Instructions
  1. Smear a layer of nut butter on to the celery sticks and top with the dried cranberries or raisins.

red ants on a log

Love

Crista


Jun
22

During our trip to Florida a few weeks ago, Grandpa took us to a fresh fruit market, a place that him & Grandma enjoyed visiting. You know I’m a sucker for Farmers Markets & fruit stands (I’ve blogged about it in the past), so naturally I was giddy as we pulled up to the open air tent full of fresh, colorful produce. We picked up just enough food for diner (stuffed peppers), careful not to get too much – Grandpa didn’t want anything going to waste. 

Salazar Produce FloridaSalazar Produce FloridaSalazar Produce FloridaSalazar Produce FloridaSalazar Produce FloridaSalazar Produce Florida

While on the subject of Farmers Markets and fruit stands, I must tell you about an iPhone app I recently discovered, Farmstand. The app allows you to search for markets in your area, share photos, post deals you’ve found, and support your local community by telling everyone what’s great at the farmers’ market that you’ve visited. I’ve downloaded it and I’m super excited to try it (this weekend)!! 

Love

Crista


Jun
21

summer

Summer has finally arrived! 
I’m happy to say that Chicago is cooperating with some pretty fine weather, high 80’s.
Celebrate with slices of watermelon, trips to the beach, and outdoor festivals!
Last night, I celebrated with one full hour of Sun Salutations during my yoga practice.

{an article I enjoyed reading: 10 Life Lessons in 108 Sun Salutations}

On my agenda today: create beautiful hair in the salon, buy a pair of vintage cowboy boots (for Summerfest & my trip to Nashville), and I’ll welcome my boyfriend home after being gone all week training for his new job.

Happy Summer!
xxoo

Love

Crista


Jun
20

Every day, I sort through hundreds of e-mails, blog posts and web pages. Below are a few of the things that really caught my interest this week:

Raw Food Treats for your Summer Feast

Target is partnering with FEED Projects LLC, the humanitarian organization founded by Lauren Bush Lauren, to co-design the FEED USA + Target Collection

5 Tips for taking better food photos when you travel

Free-ish Travel: volunteer your time on a farm, eat & sleep in exchange 

Chickpea Magazine: showcasing a vegan world

also…

a peace.love.quinoa recipe is being featured on Nasoya.com!

for more “around the web” click here

Love

Crista