Apple, Carrot, Quinoa Hash

If you’ve been reading my blog, you know that I’m a fan of quick, easy recipes. If you haven’t read the blog, well, now you know. I like to eat good food but I don’t have time for a lot of preparation. I keep waiting for the moment that I’ll have more “free time” …but, well, my big break hasn’t come YET.

Anyway, a few weeks ago, I wrote up a post about creating quick, healthy meals using the ingredients I keep on-hand. This Carrot, Apple, Quinoa Hash concept was created simply by tossing together some leftover quinoa with a fresh, crunchy apple and a shredded carrot. (I tend to always keep carrots in the fridge because they can be added to soups, hash, wraps, juice – basically, everything) It’s a dish I whipped up in less than 20 minutes, but did not lack in flavor or substance.

I recently expressed my love (obsession) with the Opal Apple, which is the exact apple I chose to use in this hash. 1. Because I have them on-hand and 2. Even after being warmed & sautéed, they maintain a crisp crunch and they don’t turn brown. I would recommend an opal apple for this recipe, but if you don’t have access to one, my second recommendation is a Honeycrisp.

This mash can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It can be eaten warm, chilled, or at room temperature. I don’t prefer it one way over another, it’s yummy either way!

Carrot, Apple, Quinoa Hash
  • 1 cup quinoa, cooked
  • 1 apple (I prefer Opal or Honeycrisp), finely chopped
  • 1 medium-sized carrot, shredded
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, shredded or finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • cinnamon, for sprinkling
  1. If you quinoa is not cooked, cook it according to the directions on the package.
  2. In a large frying pan, warm up the coconut oil and sauté the ginger for about 1 minute.
  3. Add the apple, carrot, and quinoa and sauté for another 5-10 minutes, until all ingredients have been warmed and begin to mash together.
  4. Sprinkle with cinnamon just before serving.
  5. Serve warm or at room temperature. (I enjoy both!)

Apple, Carrot, Quinoa Hash





I woke up this morning before the sun rose and opened the blinds that shade the 8 large windows in that line the walls of my little home…. I was up because Patrick was leaving for a 6am workout, I quickly decided I would skip the 6am workout (hey! I’m on “vacation” today) to catch a few more zzzz’s.

Around 7:30 or 8am, I awoke to birds chirping, two squirrels playing in the tree, and sunshine. As I lay in my bed, I can see out of 6 of my windows. My house is situated further off the street than most of the houses on the block and as I look out each window, I see my violet bushes that are in the beginning stages of bloom. I see my evergreen tree that holds it’s own presence in the yard, and is beautifully green all year long. And, I see bare trees that are ready to fill in for the summer. My little home is my sanctuary, my resting place – when I was looking for homes to purchase I insisted that the outdoors be incorporated in to my living space, and I got just that.


Today is Earth Day, a day to celebrate the Earth and all that it provides, a day to give back to your community, a reminder that your actions affect the well-being of this planet we live on. 

While I am not an enthusiast of Earth Day, I am aware of my decisions and actions and how they affect the Earth, all year long. I am not doing anything special today to celebrate the Earth, but I am in the planning stages of my garden and I’m ready to install my compost bin. I don’t have any lights on in the house, the sun provides for me. I will spend a portion of my afternoon laying in my hammock, reading a book. A book book, not an electronic book. I will lay my yoga mat down on the earth today and practice meditation.

As I write this post, my little doggy lays in the fresh mulch, soaking up the morning sunshine and observing the earth surrounding him – the elements, the birds, the squirrels, the bugs, the dewy grass. Even he understands that the earth provides for him and he pays gratitude by being present in those moments that he spends with the elements.

succulent garden

So, about those succulents…
In my little yard, I not only have space for a garden, but I’ve got a succulent garden as well! I didn’t plant it, the previous owners did. I’d always dreamed of having succulents but never took the time to research them and make it happen. 

The succulent garden is situated right up against the house in a shaded area. Succulents don’t require much maintenance or watering, which is one of the only reasons they can be planted right against the house. You wouldn’t want to plant a thirsty garden against the house and be watering it every day – the water could damage the foundation of your home. 


My belief is that this succulent garden was planted last season, either summer or fall of 2014. I have done NOTHING to the garden, yet many of the succulents are alive and thriving. I’m anxious to see if everything in the garden turns to life or if I’ll have to re-plant in some areas.

Wish my luck.. 





opal apples

A few years ago, I stumbled upon the Standard Market in Westmont, IL, it’s a cute little market that I honestly don’t remember much about besides it being the place that I had my first run-in with the Opal Apple. The Opal is sunny, and ripe and more yellow than any other apple I’ve ever seen before. I was so stunned by the beautiful, brilliant color, I took a photo and immediately posted it on instagram (I thought I was so cool for finding something new that no one else had seen before) Actually, to be honest, I kind of freaked out at how cool those apples were – I did an internal freakout so don’t worry, no one thought I was crazy. Don’t ask me why this memory is still vibrant after 2 years. Fruits (ahem, apples) excite me, ok?

Sure, the Opal apples are beauties (flawless, if you ask me) but they tasted even better than they looked. They are crunchy, sweet (really sweet, actually,) and slightly tangy. Honeycrisp apples are some of my favorites because they are juicy, sweet, and crispy – but step aside, Honeycrisp – the Opal Apple is giving you some competition.

Opal Apples

So anyway, back to my story about the grocery store – it ended. The story, that is. I didn’t see those apples again for 2 years. I honestly never thought I’d see them again. Until a few weeks ago when I spotted these gems at Sprouts. And anyway, since we’re talking about grocery stores, I find it necessary to tell you that my home is about 3 blocks from the busiest Sprouts Farmers Market in the United States. See, reading my blog makes you smarter. 

Every time I go to Sprouts, I’m afraid I won’t see the Opal apples, I’m afraid they’ll disappear (like that one time…) but they haven’t. Today, I read that they are in season from November to March so I think they’ll be disappearing soon. (Don’t worry, I’ve stocked up.)

A few facts about the Opals that I found today – 
1. These apples are totally non-GMO (win!!)
2. The Opal apple was introduced to the USA in 2010 and is grown exclusively at Broetje Orchards in Prescott, WA. (I’d love to visit that orchard – vaca!!)
3. These apples don’t brown after cutting them. (I noticed that, without noticing it – if you know what I mean…)
4. Other cool stuff
5. These apples are perfect for eating raw (crunch, crunch) OR in a salad, but they also hold up well when you bake with them. I used them in some carrot cake oatmeal cookies (recipe soon!) and they ROCKED my socks.

Opal Apples

I googled around other blogs and websites written about the Opal Apple while writing this post and I notice that some bloggers got a paid sponsorship to write posts about these apples! Lucky ducks! No one paid me to write this post, I did it simply because I’m in love… “what’s love got to do with it”, you ask? Not money. Crunch.

Sources: serious eats, The Healthy Voyager, Social Cafe Mag, Opal Apples, Pinch Of Yum




Snowboarding season is over (for me)! Sigh of relief. We ended the season at Telluride, on the second to last day of closing, with very little snow on the ground -it was basically slush. Although I only got out on the slopes 3 times this year, each run was crucial in my growth as a snowboarder. Based on all of the emotion that I experienced during the process, I’m not sure I could have handled any more time on my snowboard this year, it was tough.

snowboard Nederlands

Frustration, exhilaration, anxiety, excitement, defeat, and growth are all emotions that I experienced throughout each moment that I spent learning to snowboard. There were times all I could think about was “this is bullshit! why am I even doing this?!” and then there were times when I screamed out “I’M SNOWBOARDING!!” with the biggest smile on my face and it was like the coolest thing I’d ever experienced. 

On my last run of the last day snowboarding this year, I took a hard fall that caused some pain and tears. Because I could feel myself improving, I got bold and tried to make some moves that I wasn’t quite ready for. Immediately, I knew that would be the last run of the year for me but I was thankful to have had that experience because “now I know”… After that fall, I got back up and snowboarded down to the bottom of the mountain without another fall. Confidently, I’m ready for next season and I’ve already purchased my season pass! 

snowboarding Telluride

Here are a few lessons that I learned this year:

A few years ago, I tried skiing in Lake Tahoe. I took lessons and I went out for a few days on my own. I SUCKED at it and I wrote it off as something I never wanted to do again. When I made the move to CO, I knew I wanted to get out on the slopes, but people told me that snowboarding is much harder than skiing so if I couldn’t ski then chances are I wouldn’t be capable of boarding. Screw those people, I am way better on a snowboard than I am on skis. Good thing I didn’t give up until I tried both.

I took a lesson the first time I skied and the first time I snowboarded – I also watched several videos on YouTube prior to going out. Had I not taken lessons, and just freestyled my first time out, I’m not sure I would have gone out a second time. The lesson is well worth the money spent, you have to trust me on that.When I went out for my first snowboard lesson, I went alone. I didn’t feel like a burden to friends and I only embarrassed myself in front of people I’ll never see again. And yes, it IS embarrassing when there are kids flying by flawlessly, and I, the adult can’t keep my balance (and I’m screaming like a little girl as I face-plant).

Luckily, I have the most supportive and patient boyfriend a girl could have. Although he may have preferred to be playing on more challenging (and fun) runs, he assured me over and over again that he enjoyed helping me and watching me improve, he never left my side on the slopes. I have a few snowboarding friends that I’ve asked to go out with or have considered going out with, but they felt like I would be a burden to them as I learn. Had I gone out with them, I would have probably felt discouraged and lonely – I’m glad I never did.

Getting on a snowboard for the first time feels silly. Getting on a snowboard for the second and third time feel silly as well. I thought I was well-balanced (daily yoga) until I got on a snowboard. Mentally, you’ve got to be prepared to fall because it will happen a lot. I learned quickly that when you fall, you have to get right back up again, and again, and again, and again, I had a little breakdown on my last day snowboarding this year due to high emotion and nervousness. I only allowed myself to cry for a few seconds, I knew I had to get my ass up and get down that mountain. I think I felt more determined after the embarrassment of that breakdown, because I showed improvement. It’s ok to have a breakdown (I’ve talked to several people who have during the learning process) but it’s not ok to let it keep you from pushing forward.

During my snowboarding lesson, I used rented gear. After that lesson, I knew that I wanted to pursue the sport so I began shopping for gear. I did a lot of research, I visited several retail stores, and I spoke to several different snowboarders before I made my purchases. I purchased a board that is ideal for beginners but will still serve me after I’ve gotten better at the sport. After I had my board, I took recommendations for bindings and boots that would work well with my board. I’ve heard horror stories from people who purchased the wrong size boot or a board that was “cheap” so I have no regrets spending the money I did and waiting to do so until I felt like I’d gathered enough knowledge. It doesn’t pay to jump in to a purchase (if you don’t believe me, you can ask my friends who did)

Nervousness and anxiety can cause your body to tense up. On a snowboard you must be flexible in the mind and in the body. Things happen quick when you’re on a board – one second you’re sailing down the mountain, the next second you are face-planting. You may only be comfortable with easy runs but find yourself caught on a more difficult run – you’ve got to be prepared for the possibility. You’re going to fall (for sure!) so you’ve got to keep your body in a position that will allow you to take the most safe fall possible and you’ve got to be mentally prepared for it to happen, don’t allow the fear of falling to hold you back. Practicing yoga and/or stretching before snowboarding is helpful and most ideal – it’ll prepare your body with flexibility to use muscles that you didn’t even know existed.

I once inquired why it is that people become obsessed with snowboarding. I got an answer from someone who has experienced the exact reason why people become obsessed with it, but I haven’t experienced it yet so I’m not really sure how to explain what he explained to me. The few times I was able to “snowboard” down the mountain conjured up sublime emotion and exhilaration, I can only imagine how that will be amplified when it doesn’t end with a face-plant. Snowboarding is fun, and even though the learning process is frustrating, every time I’ve walked away from the mountain, it was with a huge smile on my face.

This year was a year of discovery and growth for me. Next year should be a year of improvement and pure amusement. I can hardly wait.




Quick, Healthy, Plant-based Meal Ideas

We had plans to go snowboarding in the mountains today, but it’s going to be 81 degrees in Denver! there is no way I’m talking away from one of the most beautiful spring days a girl could ask for. I’m going to take the opportunity to work in my yard, I’m going to paint my garden shed, hang a hammock, and potentially re-finish a park bench that I thrifted. 

We are spoiled in Denver, we have had the most mild winter, most days not even requiring a jacket. With the weather as mild as it is, I want to be outdoors, riding my bike, jogging the lake, hiking..

With the weather as mild as it is, I haven’t had cravings for as many heavy, warm meals. I’ve kept it light, and fresh, and raw, and colorful. (colorful because Colorado is NOT colorful during the winter – the downside)

A few months ago, I sat down and listed out some foods that I could keep around the house that would allow me to make quick, healthy, nourishing meals. I haven’t been into much “cooking” lately, because of the weather and the “Colorado” active lifestyle. “Time” is an issue for many of us, it’s something that we never seem to have enough of. 

Today, I am sharing the meals, snack, and sweets that I have found fit my current lifestyle. I hope to someday be ready to get back in the kitchen to throw down on some badass meals, but in the present moment, I’m too busy in the outdoors to spend a lot of time in the indoors. 

Pea Hummus

For veggie wraps, I keep tortillas, a variety of veggies, and either some type of sauce or dressing on hand. What I like about tortilla wraps, is that they can be different every time – I can add whatever veggies I’m craving for the day, some spinach or arugula if I have some on hand, and then a sauce – which could be hummus, pesto, a vinaigrette, or even salsa.

If I don’t have time to craft a wrap (ugh, that time factor!), I’ll quick grab a few veggies and dip them in whatever flavor hummus I have on hand. (hummus is something that I try to ALWAYS keep on hand) This snack is super easy to travel with. A Quick Tip: keep a few veggies chopped and ready-to-eat in the fridge.


I have found frozen edamame and several different grocery stores, my favorite being Trader Joe’s. The beauty of frozen edamame is that it takes almost zero time to prep – sprinkle it with sea salt and warm it in the microwave for a few second – voila. For dipping, I keep a mason jar of soy sauce marinating with a clove of garlic and a few pieces of cut ginger – the longer the spy sauce marinates, the better it tastes. 

If you’re keeping fresh veggies on hand, then it won’t be hard to craft a salad. Although I typically like to make my own salad dressings, I keep a Tessemae’s Salad Dressing on hand at all times just in case. (my favorite is the Lemon Garlic) If I don’t have many veggies on hand, I’ll dress arugula with the Lemon Garlic Dressing and eat a big bowl of that as a meal – it’s good and green! A few salad combinations that I love: Banana Fantasy Salad, Kale Salad, Cucumber Watermelon Quinoa Salad.

Macadamia Nut Pesto Power Bowl

Combine veggies, nuts, cooked quinoa or rice, and a dressing or a pesto to make a power bowl. I recently shared a recipe for a Power Bowl combination I have been eating – it included chopped carrots, zucchini, quinoa, kale, and coconut chips. Another Power Bowl combination I love includes pumpkin, soba noodles, and black beans (this one would take more time to prepare).

I keep either cooked quinoa, cooked rice, or both on-hand most of the time. When I’m craving a more filling meal, I will sauté the rice or quinoa with whatever green veggie (kale, brussels, broccoli, kalettes) I have on hand. If I’m feeling saucy, I’ll add a dressing or a dollop of pesto for added flavor.

Green Apple Smoothie

Slice an avocado in half, mash the avocado meat with some spices like salt, pepper, paprika, onion, and garlic. A recipe that I love: Deviled Avocados

I like smoothies because they are packed with nutrients and can be taken on-the-go. They don’t fill me up for a long period of time, but they hold me over until I can get a real meal in, AND they offer me a burst of energy and make me feel alive. I have never made the same smoothie twice (maybe) because I always make them based on what I have on hand. Ingredients I might add to me smoothies include fruit (fresh or frozen, fruit juice (cranberry, apple, orange, pineapple) or nut milk, flax seed or a protein powder, and a green (kale, spinach, or avocado). A few recipes: Berry + Kale, Avocado Pineapple, Tart Green Apple, Carrot Mango.




Macadamia Nut Pesto Power Bowl

Spring is among us, yay! Instead of a dark, mystic color that I’ve been choosing for my toenail polish over the past few months, I polished my toes with a pastel aqua shade. Bright, and pastel colors make me happy right now. My dog whined at the door for several minutes before running out just to lay in the grass and sunbathe. He hasn’t done that in quite a while, he’s been curled up under the blankets – even he can sense the change of season.

My refrigerator is changing as well, instead of warm comfort foods like rice, soups, and cooked greens, I’m craving raw colorful foods like salads and wraps. 

This power bowl combination was inspired by my new love for zucchini and my ongoing obsession with kale, quinoa, and coconut. I’ve been exploring different ways to use my macadamia nut pesto, and it works quite well as a “dressing” to colorful veggies. The combination I have listed in the recipe works perfectly but I considered broccoli and red bell peppers as well (next time!).

Through the creation of this power bowl, I am inspired to start eating my kale raw again, I’ve been in the habit of cooking it over the winter months. As the raw kale and vibrant veggies hit my taste buds, there was a little flavor dance happening in my mouth, my body has been craving the raw energy. (and anyway, it’s almost bikini season so… that.)

Macadamia Nut Pesto Power Bowl

Macadamia Nut Pesto Power Bowl
  • 2 cups kale, de-stemmed & shredded
  • ½ cup quinoa, boiled in coconut milk*
  • ½ cup toasted coconut chips
  • ½ a carrot, chopped
  • ½ a zucchini, chopped
  • ⅛ cup Macadamia Nut Pesto
  1. Toss all veggies in the macadamia nut pesto and top with coconut chips.
  2. Serve slightly chilled or at room temp.
*When cooking your quinoa, cook it with coconut milk instead of water for added sweetness and flavor - it compliments the power bowl well!

The toasted coconut chips I use most often come from Trader Joes, but I also like the dang foods coconut chips.

Macadamia Nut Pesto Power Bowl




Macadamia Nut Pesto

One of the things I reminisce the most about Hawaii is the macadamia nut. Everything “macadamia nut” is readily available everywhere you go – including macadamia nut pesto, macadamia nut coffee, macadamia nut butter, macadamia nut encrusted everything, and so much more that I don’t want to talk about because I’m not in Hawaii to eat it.

Two months later, and I’m still on a high from my trip to O’ahu, maybe it’s because my best friend visited a few weeks after me and I’m re-living the island lifestyle through her, or maybe it’s because that trip was just THAT good for me/us. Either way, the high feels good.

Macadamia Nut Pesto

After reading the first few paragraphs of this blog post, I’m sure it’s OBVIOUS where my inspiration for this recipe came from. (clue: Hawaii)

I’m a sucker for non-traditional pesto recipes, and I like to keep them around, not only because I’m a condiment junkie, but also because a dollop of pesto can turn a bland meal in to a flavorful one.

For instance, last night I sautéed some kale, rice, and black beans, and then tossed it all in a spoonful of this pesto. Without the pesto, my meal was not a meal – it was simply a few ingredients thrown together, the pesto tied the 3 ingredients together and made it a complete, savory, well-balanced meal, flavor-bursting-at-the-seams. My boyfriend ate my leftovers, it was nice of me to allow him. And anyway, I have more of that pesto in the refrigerator so I could potentially do it all over again tonight.

Macadamia Nut Pesto

Macadamia Nut Pesto
  • ¼ cup macadamia nuts
  • 1 cup fresh parsley
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup coconut oil (or olive oil if you choose)
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • a pinch of pepper
  1. Put all ingredients in a food processor and puree.

In this recipe, I used coconut oil because coconut oil goes really well with macadamia nuts (think: Hawaii) however the one thing that I don’t like about coconut oil is that it hardens up when refrigerated. It’s not big deal, I simply allow my pesto to warm up to room temp prior to using it. Just because I used coconut oil, doesn’t mean that you have to – this recipe is just as good with olive oil. Assess the situations that you will be using this pesto in, and make a choice based on the flavors you will be blending – voilà.

This pesto will freeze nicely, so I recommend you double your batch and keep some for later!
(that’s what I did)


Macadamia Nut Pesto




aloha Hawaii

Our trip included 10 days on O’ahu which allowed us to circle the island twice. We stayed in several different places on the island in several different areas. During our trip we hiked, shopped, explored, and hung out at the beach. This packing list that I am providing includes the items that worked for us. I have offered commentation on the big “why” behind the items listed. You may need to add to this packing list if you are staying longer, doing different activities than we did, or attending an event.

What To Pack While On O'ahu


cute Tanks & T-shirts
multiple pairs of Shorts
1 pair of Moisture-Wicking Pants/Shorts
1-2 pairs of pants, jeans are appropriate
2-3 Sundresses
Lightweight Hoodie or Sweater
Lightweight Jacket
3-4 Bathing Suits (in Hawaii, the tinier, the better!)
a couple of swimsuit cover-ups
comfortable Underwear
Sports Bras

Winter in O’ahu is warm enough for the beach during the day, but it gets chilly at night so be sure to pack clothing that is appropriate for both times of the day. Also, there are several amazing hikes available on the island, we did a few hikes before sunrise and they were wet and chilly, which is why I recommend the moisture-wicking gear. Honolulu people were dressed up for dinner, otherwise shorts, a tank, and flips were the standard uniform – go with it.

What Tt Pack While On O'ahu


Hats: Sun Hat, Ball Cap
multiple pairs of Sunglasses
Bandana / Headbands
small Umbrella
Surf attire (if you plan on surfing)

I would imagine the majority of your time will be spent at the beach, hiking, touring or eating. You won’t need much for any of these activities – just you, your clothing, and a small day pack or beach bag. Don’t over-think it.

What To Pack while on O'ahu


comfortable Flip Flops
Hiking or Trail shoes
Running Shoes
lightweight Hiking Socks

You’ll find that most people on the island wear flip flops, no matter what they’re doing. The only time I wasn’t wearing flips while on the island is when I was hiking and jogging along the beach.

What to Pack While On O'ahu 


Bobby Pins
Hair Ties
Nail Clippers / File
Lip Balm w/ SPF
Insect Repellent
Cortisone Anti-Itch Cream
Hand Sanitizer

Most of these items are readily available for purchase on the island, so pack light and stock up when you arrive – just know that the items are more expensive on the island.

What To Pack While On O'ahu


Waterproof Video Camera, I recommend a GoPro Hero Cam
Selfie Stick (everyone on the island has them!)
Laptop (I recommend you dump your memory cards at the end of each day)
Travel Alarm Clock
Spare batteries
Spare Memory Cards

I always hesitate to pack so many electronics, but never regret having them with me. The island as safe, so don’t worry about your stuff being stolen unless you let it sit in the front seat of a rental car. Take a good camera, you’ll get some amazing photos. Dump your memory cards at night, just in case. Be shameless about selfies, everyone on the island is doing it. Take an alarm clock to wake you up before sunrise – trust me, you’ll want to get up to watch the sunrise. You’ll need a flashlight to hike in the dark.

Kailua, O'ahu Hawaii


Reading Books
Guidebook (I liked Fodor’s O’ahu Guidebook)
Pens & Pencils
Art supplies (if you’re in to that)
Mesh Laundry Bag
Travel Yoga Mat
Backpack Food (for hiking & beaching)
a Beach Bag
a Beach Blanket 
a Day Pack (for hiking or tours)

Don’t worry about packing beach towels, anywhere you stay will most likely provide them. Take a blanket though, it’s a great supplement to a beach towel and it will keep you warm on your sunset/sunrise viewings. If you’re an artist, take your supplies – there is plenty of space and time to create art. With goggles alone, we were able to see a lot of fish underwater – we never even rented snorkel gear because we could see so much with the goggles.

What To Pack While On O'ahu


Driver’s License
Credit Cards 
Travel Itinerary

I would highly recommend reading though a guidebook and doing research PRIOR to your trip – have an idea of what you’d like to do/see before you get there. There is so much to see and do, you won’t be able to do it all in one trip (chances are) so find what is important to you! 

What To Pack While On O'ahu

What To Pack While On O'ahu




Popcorn Puppy Chow

We are completely snowed in today, for the second day in a row. Well, yesterday we braved the snow and went to a coral reef convention. Coming home from the convention should have taken us less than 30 minutes last night, but because of the snow, it took us 2.5 hours. After last nights debacle, we decided to drive nowhere today. We’ve enjoyed ourselves, for sure, and we’ve taken advantage of the time to get “things” done.. like, sync our calendars, book travel, google campsites, and all the stuff we’ve been meaning to but haven’t made time to do. I’m feeling accomplished.

During last nights car ride (that 2.5 hour car ride), I must have promised Patrick that I would make him some popcorn puppy chow. Just for fun. Who knows where I came up with the idea? Maybe on Pinterest? That’s what I was doing while we were in the car going nowhere, I was pinning on Pinterest. Anyway, I was nauseous yesterday, and barfing. I shouldn’t talk about barfing on the blog here, but I am because being nauseous is what prompted me to buy 2 bags of popcorn. Popcorn was the only thing I could eat yesterday, although I certainly didn’t eat 2 bags full. So I had all this popcorn leftover today and after hours of sitting on the couch, staring at my laptop, I decided to get up and fulfill my promise – that Popcorn Puppy Chow. 

I made up the recipe as I went along so I don’t even have a formal recipe… Everyone is asking for it, and everyone is asking for it NOW. Ha. So anyway, this post. 

Cokie Butter, Dark Chocolate, Popcorn Puppy Chow

The informal RECIPE goes a little something like this: 

1. Buy a bag of Earth Balance Buttery Popcorn
2. In a double boiler, melt 2 bars of dark chocolate, a few scoops of peanut butter, and a scoop or two of Cookie Butter (from Trader Joe’s). If you don’t have a double boiler, learn how to fake one.
3. In a large bowl, pour the melted chocolate mixture over the popcorn and stir gently until all of the popcorn is evenly saturated. You may have to do this in small batches. 
4. Put the chocolatey popcorn and some powdered sugar, AND some cinnamon (if you’d like) in a large, sealable baggie and shake it until the popcorn is coated evenly.
5. Allow the popcorn to cool for a few minutes before serving – or dig in right away, you get to choose.


1 bag of Earth Balance Popcorn
2 bars dark chocolate 
about 3-4 cups powdered sugar
a few large scoops of peanut butter
a few scoops of Cookie Butter (from Trader Joe’s) (if you don’t have cookie butter, I pity you, you can just use peanut butter or any type of nut butter – you choose)
a few teaspoons of cinnamon (not completely necessary, but I recommend!)

I apologize for the imperfect recipe, I had to get it out there with a quickness! I’ve got people clawing at my throat for this recipe after seeing photos on social media. Maybe one day I’ll formalize this recipe, but maybe not. This is one that you throw together on a rainy day with ingredients that you’ve already got on hand. If you’ve got questions about the recipe, holler at me and hopefully I can help! xo




Sweet Potato Butternut Squash Pot Pit

Valentine’s weekend has come to and end (booooo) and the snowfall covered Denver in a powdery, white layer overnight. So, while it’s back-to-real-life and a joyous, relaxed weekend with my babe, the fresh snow makes this Monday morning a leisurely one. Luckily, I’m not in a rush to get anywhere today, I can relax on the couch and watch the snowfall out the windows.

A day like today prompts a craving for comfort food and warmth, comfort food such as a pot pie or a big bowl of soup, accompanied by hot chocolate, big blankets, and fuzzy socks. I’d like to pretend that today is a weekend day, a snow day, and have all of these things.

I made these Sweet Potato/Butternut Squash Pot Pies about a week ago, and haven’t had time to share the recipe on the blog until today. Today ends up being the most appropriate day to share, in my opinion because: snow. I got my inspiration for this recipe from a package of butternut squash ravioli. I was all like “butternut squash in a pot pie would be even more amazing than inside this little ravioli” ….and voila.

a {vegan} Sweet Potato Butternut Squash Pot Pie recipe
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into small cubes
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and chopped into small cubes
  • 2 cups brussels sprouts, chopped
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1¼ cup vegan cream
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large skillet, sauté the brussels sprouts, sweet potato cubes, and butternut squash cubes in coconut oil until fragrant, about 5 mins. Add seasonings and sauté for another minute or so.
  3. Add the cream, water, brown sugar, and flour. Turn heat to medium and allow to cook until the mixture has thickened.
  4. Make the pie crust (recipe listed below) and gently lay the crust over the pie baking dish(es)**, gently form the edges with your fingers. The crust should extend to the top of the baking dish.
  5. Add the filling to the dish(es) then cover with another layer of pie crust. Use your fingers to crimp the top layer of crust to the bottom layer. Poke a few holes in the crust with a fork or knife.
  6. Bake the pie(s) for about 20-25 minutes or until the crust has browned slightly.
  7. Let cool slightly before serving, the pies get hot!!
**You can make one large pot pie, or several small pot pies, it's your choice. I like to make my pot pies in 6' x 6' baking dishes.
pie crust
  • 1 heaping cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoon cold non-dairy butter
  • 3-6 tablespoons cold water
  1. Mix salt and flour together, then cut butter into the flour mixture with a fork or pastry cutter until well blended.
  2. Add enough water to allow the dough to scrape away from the bowl, usually about 3-5 tablespoons.
  3. Remove the mixture from the bowl, and mold together with your hands on a well-floured surface. Form into a 1-inch thick disc and then roll out in to a shape that will fit your baking dish(es), adding more flour if it's sticky.

 I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did, it’s mostly sweet from the sweet potatoes and butternut squash, with just enough savory from the brussels sprouts and rosemary. 

Also, it warms up well so make extra!!