Dec
13

Shredded Kale & Brussels Sprouts Salad

The chill in the air has had me craving warm comfort foods and oh, how I have indulged. Rosemary potatoes and sauerkraut smothered in mustard, cornbread, cheese, crackers, wine, pierogies, gluten-free raspberry muffins slathered in butter, veggie burgers with french fries, tomato soup, and apple butternut crisp have all found their way in to my kitchen and my belly lately. 

As good as it’s been (YOLO), I could feel that it was time to reintroduce some greens in to my life so I bought some brussels sprouts and Lacinato kale. With the two, I crafted this salad that not only cures the craving for comfort foods but offers a burst of healthy, raw, organic greens.

I began this salad by combining shredded (finely chopped) kale and brussels sprouts which are softened with a creamy avocado dressing. Contrasting color is added with chopped carrots and cherry peppers, then I topped the salad with comfort: shredded parmesan and homemade garlicky croutons.

I don’t typically use veggies out of a jar but I did for this salad. Cherry peppers are not in season the same time of year as brussels sprouts, which makes it practically impossible to combine the two ingredients together unless using a preserved pepper. The preserved pepper is perfect for this salad, the slight pickling softens them and adds a subtle layer of sweetness. Plus, the pickling juices can be used in the dressing.

Shredded Kale & Brussels Sprouts Salad

Shredded Kale & Brussels Sprouts Salad
Author: 
 
Ingredients
Salad Ingredients
  • 1 lb Brussels Sprouts, ends trimmed and chopped to a fine shred
  • ¾ cup finely chopped or shredded carrots
  • 5 canned or pickled cherry peppers, finely chopped
  • ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
Dressing Ingredients
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. cherry pepper juice
Crouton Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopper
  • 1 cup cubed baguette bread crumbs
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of cracked black pepper
Instructions
  1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a small sauce pan, combine 2 Tbsp. olive oil, 2 Tbsp. butter, and the chopped garlic. Heat over medium heat until the butter is melted. Stir to combine then set aside and let the flavors infuse while you chop your bread.
  3. Cube the baguette bread, then put them in a large mixing bowl and drizzle with the seasoned olive oil and salt and pepper. Toss until the bread cubes are evenly saturated.
  4. Spread the bread in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes until they are golden brown.
  5. While the croutons are baking, make the salad dressing by combining all the dressing ingredients, stir until the dressing is a smooth consistency. It's ok if the dressing is thick.
  6. Toss your salad ingredients together in a large bowl.
  7. Toss the salad with the dressing and top with croutons just before serving.
Shredded Kale & Brussels Sprouts Salad

Love

Crista


Nov
27

Here is the situation: (maybe this happened to you on Thanksgiving) You’re preparing to bake, you know that you have most ingredients on hand like the sugar, vanilla extract, and flour, but you need to run to the grocery for a few things like pecans and pumpkin puree. (follow me?) You get to the store and you begin to question yourself, “DO I have flour at home or did I use it all up….. I can’t remember so I’ll buy another bag…” You get home to find out that you have not one, but two bags of flour on-hand, both bags open, both bags taking up space…… 

I HATE having open bags of flour and sugar and “stuff” hanging around…. ESPECIALLY when there are duplicates. I just don’t have space for that kind of mess. PLUS, there are different types of flour that can’t be combined. Sigh. The struggle.

DIY Quinoa Flour

I recently learned how to make my own flour, IT’S SO EASY. I learned how to make flour from gluten-free items like oats, quinoa, and nuts which are all ingredients I keep on-hand. In this blog post, I’m going to explain how to make flour from quinoa, but the process is very similar for oats and nuts.

A few things that excite me:
Making quinoa flour is much more cost-effective than buying quinoa flour.
I no longer have to keep bags and bags of flour on-hand, now I can make my own flours, as needed, with the ingredients I already have on-hand.

DIY Quinoa Flour

Quinoa flour is made by grinding quinoa seeds in to a fine powder or flour. It looks and feels like all-purpose flour and can be used in a variety of different baking recipes including muffins, breads, cookies, pies, and crisps, among others. It can also be used in soups, stews, and gravies as a thickening agent or added to smoothies as a protein boost.

Quinoa Flour: DIY
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups organic quinoa
  • clean coffee grinder
Instructions
  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Rinse the quinoa through a fine mesh sieve for about 1 minute and then dry the quinoa as much as possible.
  3. On an ungreased, rimmed baking sheet, bake the quinoa at 350F for 12-15 minutes until dry, slightly golden and fragrant then cool completely.
  4. Put about ¼ cup of the quinoa seeds in to the coffee grinder, and pulse to grind the quinoa. Shake the grinder every few pulses to ensure an even grind.
  5. Repeat this process until all of the quinoa is finely ground.
DIY Quinoa Flour

What you need to know about Quinoa Flour:  

  • It is important to rinse your quinoa to remove the naturally occurring chemical, saponin that is found on the external seed coating of the quinoa. Removing the saponin will prevent a bitter taste.
  • I prefer to use TruRoots Quinoa because of their organic and sustainable farming initiatives, the beautiful packaging, and I find the flavor and quality of their products superior to others.
  • Quinoa has a distinct nutty, earthy flavor which makes it perfect for recipes with bold flavors // think molasses, cocoa, nuts, strong spices, and autumnal flavors.
  • Quinoa is naturally gluten-free, high in protein, low carb, and nutritious.
  • Unlike many gluten-free flours, you do not need to add xanthin or guar gum to make quinoa “work” in recipes. (win!)
  • Be sure to use a clean coffee grinder to make quinoa flour, I would recommend having a coffee grinder just for grinding flours and spices, separate from the grinder you have for coffee. Using a food processor or blender is not effective in making flours. Coffee grinders can be inexpensive to purchase, you can find them for under $20.

Love

Crista


Aug
10

“Hey guys! I’m Mary and I write Chattavore, a food blog based in Chattanooga, Tennessee (which I happen to think is pretty much the best city on earth)! I’m not vegan, but I’m kind of a vegan wannabe. I love to eat at vegan restaurants (I think not cooking with animal products forces more creativity from the chef) and cooking vegan recipes, so I was pretty excited when Crista asked me to guest post here on peace. love.  quinoa.!

“I work for my local school system (I used to be a teacher, but now I’m a behavior analyst), so to me summer means four things: (1) summer break (WOO!); (2) strawberries (okay, that’s really more spring here in the South, but that means summer is coming so WOO!); (3) tomatoes(!); and (4) peaches. PEACHES!

Coconut Peach Oatmeal

“I honestly don’t remember caring too much for peaches when I was a kid. I know my mom bought fresh peaches when I was a kid but most of my peach-eating memories involved canned peaches, usually eaten with cottage cheese. My only vivid memory of a fresh peach was when my grandmother’s friend gave me a peach to bring home (maybe she had a tree? I don’t remember why she gave me a peach!). I held that peach in my hands the whole twenty-minute drive to my grandparents’ house; by the time we got there, the peach fuzz had made my hands itch like crazy.

“Fast-forward to adulthood…I have gotten over my itchy hands and commenced a torrid, seasonal love affair with perfect summer peaches. You know the ones…they just yield when you press on them. You know the skin will give you a fit when you try to peel it off. And when you take a bite, juice goes everywhere. This is the stuff of my dreams, people.

“Peaches and coconut? Gah. Honestly, I am not a big-time eater of oatmeal, but after discovering Megan Gordon’s method of toasting oats from her book Whole Grain Mornings then picking up a trick from America’s Test Kitchen of cooking the oats in a flavorful liquid instead of just water, I have made my peace with oatmeal. Because when its done well-like this coconut peach oatmeal is-oatmeal can be divine. So, peel a juicy peach and crack open a can of coconut milk…and make this coconut peach oatmeal!

Coconut Peach Oatmeal

the Chattavore's Coconut Peach Oatmeal
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil
  • ½ cup old-fashioned oats
  • ½ cup canned coconut milk
  • ½ cup water
  • pinch salt
  • 1 large peach, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons toasted nuts (I used walnuts, but I think macadamia nuts would be delicious here!)
  • 2 tablespoons dried coconut
  • maple syrup (optional)
Instructions
  1. Melt the coconut oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the oats and cook, stirring constantly, until lightly browned and fragrant, about five minutes.
  2. Stir in the coconut milk, water, and salt. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring frequently, until the liquid has been absorbed and the oatmeal has thickened.
  3. Pour the oatmeal into a bowl and add the peaches, nuts, and coconut. Add a drizzle of maple syrup for sweetness if desired.
Coconut Peach Oatmeal

Credits // Author & Photography: Mary Haymaker from Chattavore

Love

Crista


Aug
06

 Sprouted Quinoa Mango Salad

The dog days of summer, phew it.is.hot.
The begin of summer, we had too much rain nowadays I pray’ll pray to anyones god for a little relief from the hot, hot, hot sun. My plants are thirsty, the grass is scorched, and I’m sitting in front of the AC. I cross my fingers for rain every.single.night.

Three times within the last week we have tried going to a public pool (don’t judge us, it’s hot as F%$#) but they have all been closed for crazy things like “some kid pooped in the pool”…. (ew) 

Ok, scratch that.

Sprouted Quinoa Mango Salad

On my most recent denial of pool usage, I detoured to the farmers market and bought more fruit than I really need – I mean, I already had peaches, kiwis, grapes, pears, and oranges laying around. A little extra fruit never hurt anybody.

FACT: Fruit is colorful so that it attracts humans to eat it. If we lived in the wild days and had to hunt and gather, we’d know what to pick and eat because of the attractive colors. 

I know my eye is drawn to the beautiful colors that will keep me nourished on these sizzling hot summer days.

Sprouted Quinoa Mango Salad

Since the poopy pool is a no-go, I’ve found a little activity to keep myself busy indoors (air conditioning) – I’m rummaging through old magazines and THROWING THEM AWAY because there is absolutely no reason that I need magazines from 2009. Or is there? Ok, now you know that I’m a hoarder (excuse me, Martha Stewart Living has a special place in everyone’s home, I’m sure of it). I’m tearing out all the recipes and cute little quotes that probably prompted me to keep the magazines in the first place, so then there’s THAT project. But whatever, it feels good to throw stuff (ahem, garbage) away. 

I found this sweet Sprouted Quinoa Pineapple Summer Salad from Whole Living Magazine that inspired me to make this Sprouted Quinoa Mango Salad. Also, mangoes – yum. Also, I had just purchased TruRoots Sprouted Quinoa at the market. TruRoots hooked me up with a few bags of goods, but the quinoa was purchased with my own money. 1. I was stoked to find it being sold .05 miles away from my home. 2. I made TruRoots Spaghetti with a Lentil (TruRoots) Sauce. Basically, I’ve been eating good lately. (I’ll probably fall flat on my face with a waffle tonight after saying that, whatev)

If you would like to get your hands on some TruRoots Originals goodies, leave a comment on THIS POST before Aug. 17 to enter the giveaway! 

In all seriousness, I’m really excited to share this recipe because I think you’re going to like it. It’s: 

Healthy
Easy-to-make
Fresh
Colorful
Has a little kick
In my belly
& will be made again in my kitchen, soon.

I used mint (from the garden!) in this salad but I had to debate between it and basil. Either way, there is no losing, Both mint or basil would perfectly compliment this salad and keep it “fresh.” 

Sprouted Quinoa Mango Salad

Sprouted Quinoa Mango Summer Salad
Author: 
Serves: 2 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 2 mangoes, peeled & sliced
  • ¼ red onion, sliced
  • ¼ cup sprouted quinoa, cooked
  • 2 Tbl. raw cashews
  • 2 Tbl. white wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbl. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. chili pepper flakes or fresh chili pepper, chopped
  • a few sprigs of mint
  • a pinch of sea salt
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil and vinegar. Add the chili, onion, and a pinch of sea salt. Toss and let stand for 10 minutes.
  2. Arrange the mango slices on a platter or two plates. Top with quinoa, cashews, and mint.
  3. Drizzle with the chili-onion mixture.
  4. Serve immediately.

 

Love

Crista


Aug
05

YumUniverse

Content. That’s how I feel when I get to sit down and read a book – no laptop, no tv, no radio, no nothing except for me and a good book. I do get a lot of “Crista-time” but I typically spend it in the kitchen, working on my blog, gardening, or going to yoga. Rarely do I take the time to sit down with my laptop closed and just read a book. Years ago, I had time in my life to read, I even had an entire book collection (I was saving up to some day have my own library full of books)….. I think it was before I owned a MacBook.

(But look, I’m not complaining.)

I just finished a book (affiliate link! check it out at your own risk, the book contains some talk of animal slaughter and shit like that) that I started over a year ago, it’s a shame it took so long because the book is HILARIOUS.

I’m on airplanes quite often and have every intention of reading in-flight, but I tend to fall asleep before take off and wake up just before landing. Yeah, I’m that girl… sitting beside you in aisle 12, window seat, with her mouth hanging wide open. Did you take a photo of me drooling from one side of my mouth? Tag me on Facebook, would ya? Anyway, point is – my book-reading-time is frequently postponed for “other” activities (zzzzzzzz).

YumUniverse

Camping. It’s one of my favorite things to do in the summertime (especially here in Colorado) because it requires almost zero activity once the AM hike is completed and the PM meal has been prepped. I get to sit my ass down, drink a beer, and enjoy the peaceful mountain air. The best thing about it, everyone around me is doing the exact same thing.

((Speaking of camp, check out some plant-based meal ideas and enter to win some TruRoots product HERE))

YumUniverse

Now, on to what I’m currently reading: a bunch of old Martha Stewart magazines, some gardening blogs, and YumUniverse!  

If I told you I’ve met Heather Crosby in person, would you think I’m so cool? Would I gain some cool points? Street Cred? There are a few of you out there who know who Heather Crosby is and if you have read her book/blog, you’d know how kick ass she is and you’d probably love to meet her. All the others, listen up – I’m about to introduce you to Heather (she’s the one on the book cover).

YumUniverse

I have idolized Heather ever since I learned about her YumUniverse.com launch. She threw this sweet party at a big warehouse in Pilsen (Chicago) and had photographers, food, drinks, cool people – it was incredible. I fell in love with her blog shortly after I attended her launch and am now a proud owner of her book.

YumUniverse

First off, Heather created her book ALL BY HERSELF (a detail I learned on the One Part Podcast) which makes her way more awesome of a person than I could have ever imagined. 

Second, the YumUniverse book contains not only awesome recipes (Sliceable Cashew Cheese, Rainbow Ribbon Veggie Alfredo, Quinoa “Cinnamon Toast” Cereal with Toasted Pecans) but it gives you the “why” behind eating plant-based foods and teaches you how to do it. After reading, you’ll have this book  bookmarked or dog-eared and will refer to it often while working in your kitchen. In the book, Heather talks about fats, and fibers, and proteins, and meal prep, and shopping. She shares what type of tools you should have in your kitchen and even tells you how to get rid of pesky fruit flies.

Out of my entire collection of books, the YumUniverse is my absolute favorite right now – it’s like my food bible. After I’ve finished reading it through, I think I’ll read it again. Then again one more time. It’s THAT book that I take with me every where I go right now…. 

If you’re interested in reading as well, you can purchase the YumUniverse book HERE.

Love

Crista


Jul
06

Peanut Butter Banana Quinoa Piudding

I had just recently moved to Colorado when I found myself at the Native Foods Cafe in Boulder rapping with a young employee about food. I mentioned this blog and he mentioned a Banana Quinoa Pudding recipe he’d found on the internet. 

Peanut Butter Banana Quinoa Piudding

Choosing between a Watermelon Fresca, Lavender Lemonade, and Iced Tea at Native Foods can be tricky, but after I’d done so, I plopped down in to a seat and googled “vegan banana quinoa pudding.” Luckily, I immediately found the recipe I’d been told about.

I bookmarked that recipe for almost a year before trying it. I visited the bookmark several times throughout the year with intentions of making it. The problem is, I’ve got thousands of recipes bookmarked to try. I’d love to thank the guy from Native Foods who shared this recipe with me but sadly enough I don’t even remember what he looked like. If you’re out there reading dude, THANKS!!! 

I changed the original recipe slightly, well, I beefed it up – I added peanut butter (request from the BF), blueberries (because I had them on hand) and cacao nibs (chocolate + texture). This easy-to-make, nourishing, sweet, delectable pudding is just too fabulous to not share.

Peanut Butter Banana Quinoa Piudding

Peanut Butter Banana Quinoa Pudding
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup quinoa (you can use red or white quinoa - I used a mix)
  • 2 cups almond milk or coconut milk (or a combo of both)
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • ½ cup peanut butter (or more if you like!)
  • 3 Tbsp agave nectar
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • a splash of vanilla extract
  • a handful of cacao nibs
  • ¼ cup blueberries
Instructions
  1. After rinsing the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer, put it into a pot with the almond milk and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce the heat, cover, and let simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Mix in the bananas, peanut butter, agave nectar, cinnamon, and vanilla and stir over medium heat until thickened. Cool for about 10 minutes, then mix in the blueberries and cacao nibs just before serving.
recipe adapted from Vegan Fling

Peanut Butter Banana Quinoa Piudding

Love

Crista


Jun
23

When we were in Hawaii, everyone was all “DO NOT LEAVE THIS ISLAND WITHOUT EATING AN ACAI BOWL, OR ELSE!!” And we were all, “damn…. ok…. or else, what??” At that time, I’d heard of the acai bowl, probably via pinterest, they were just making their debut on the main land, but I didn’t know much about them. Our fear of being struck down by the Hawaiian Acai Gods led us to order a bowl while at the Green World Coffee Farm. Although it was a chilly, rainy morning, the type of morning that keeps you craving warmth and fuzziness, the Acai Bowl served us well – not only as a special treat, but as a filling and nourishing breakfast. I’m not going to lie, I’m glad we got to experience the Acai Bowl in Hawaii before it became mainstream on the mainland. I feel all “authentic” even though I’m pretty sure the acai berry isn’t at all authentic in Hawaii.

Acai-Bowl

After camping all weekend, we craved showers, air conditioning, all of the modern luxuries that we’d temporarily abandoned. To our dismay, we came home to a hot, 90 degree home. You see, I have a swamp cooler in my new house that I know nothing about, it was pushing our re-circulated, 90 degree air. We laid around for hours trying to stay cool. Craving cool relief, we decided to make Acai bowls for dinner. I briefly read the directions (“briefly” being the key word), I didn’t pull up any recipes (I was too hot to look at my laptop haha), and it was my first time (need excuses) – the point is, I forgot to add fruit while blending which gave us liquid-y acai bowls. We were too hot to care or do anything about it, but I did learn a valuable lesson. Since then, I’ve read several recipes (some that I’ve had bookmarked for quite a while) and in my mind I’ve perfected my acai-bowl-making skills. I’m in a hotel for the week, but I’ll test my skills when I’m back on the homefront.

For fun, and to add to the reader experience of this blog post, I’ve included some of my favorite blog posts/recipes from some cool blogger chicks that helped me up my acai bowl game, and could do the same for you!  

Acai Bowl

Kathy from Healthy Happy Life shared a post in 2013 (she was totally ahead of the game!) that basically tells you everything you need to know about making an Acai Bow, including some awesome tips like adding frozen fruit to the bottom of your acai bowl. She’s tested several different brands of acai and shares her favorites. This is the post I’d recommend any first-time Acai Bowl maker visit. The post: “How-to Make Acai Bowls for Summer

Acai-Bowl

Sophia from Veggies Don’t Bite created an Acai Bowl based on a World Cup Competition she was entering at the time (you never know what you’ll find on the internet). I love the addition of peaches and pecans to the bowl – two ingredients I wouldn’t have originally thought to add. The Post: “The World Cup Blueberry Peach Pecan Acai Smoothie Bowl

Acai-Bowl

I have fallen in love with Ella from We Need To Live More, I could scroll through her blog and IG for hours. Ella created a post using photos only, demonstrating how to make an Acai Bowl. It’s lovely. The post: “The Famous Acai Bowl

Acai-Bowl

Hummusapien is a blog that I’ve recently stumbled upon (thankfully!). The blog author, Alexis’s bio states “with a little avocado and a lot of dark chocolate, we can make healthy happen!” so it’s no surprise that she uses both of those ingredients in her Acai Bowl recipe. I use avocados in smoothies ALL THE TIME, so why not use it in an Acai Bowl as well?! Genius. The post: “Banana Cacao Avocado Acai Bowl

Acai-Bowl

I admire Amber from Fettle Vegan because she eats so much damn good food and has a bearded boyfriend. Every single day, I see photos of food she eats on IG and FB, she makes me jealous – I’d love to hang out with her for a day. Naturally, I was drawn to her page when checking out Acai Bowls and OF COURSE she has an awesome Acai Bowl recipe on her blog – she eats everything that is awesome. Amber talks a lot about a restaurant called Nekter, it’s a place that I put on my list to visit – I JUST FOUND OUT THEY HAVE LOCATIONS IN DENVER!!! Anyway, her PB&J-tasting recipe is a copycat from Nekter, and I’m not mad about it at all. The post: “Peanut Butter + Berry Acai Bowl

 

Love

Crista


Jun
17

Salt & Vinegar Kale Chips

I attended Vida Vegan Con in Austin, TX two weekends ago, a conference for vegan-specific bloggers and related industries. When I first learned about VVC I knew I wanted to go but didn’t think I’d be able to make it happen so I brushed it off and forgot about it THEN my girlfriend & I both realized that we had some vacation time to use up prior to June 1 so we booked a girls trip to Austin which just so happened to coincide with the VVC dates. Luckily, I was able to snag a last-minute ticket to VVC.
(If you’re interested in checking out some photos from our trip, check them out on Instagram)

The conference was so much more than a “vegan bloggers conference.” It was a social gathering for like-minded people, it was friends to enjoy a few yummy meals with, it was entrepreneur-driven, entrepreneurs who were willing to share their successes. It was fun and emotional. 

Salt & Vinegar Kale Chips

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One of my favorite persons to listen to at the event was Jill from Vegan Cuts – she began her career as a travel blogger and now sells monthly vegan beauty & snack boxes via VeganCuts.com. Jill talked about creating a manifest journal, organizing your dreams, and planning your life journey accordingly. Although I have new ideas and plans for my life journey on a daily basis, I have never put those ideas into action – I am overwhelmed! …..which is how I know for a fact that journaling would help me. 

Jill also talked about the “competition” in social media and blogging these days, she encouraged us, her audience, to not even worry about the damn “competition”. Like, just do your thing without comparing yourself to others. Comparing myself to others is something that I struggle with on a daily basis, in my personal life and with blogging. I’m always worried about someone being prettier or skinnier or fitter than myself. I worry about the photos on my blog not looking as awesome as the photos on someone elses blog, and I worry about my recipes being not being uber-original and way different than the next persons. 

EVEN THOUGH. I didn’t start this blog to share “original” recipes. I started this blog to share yummy FOOD, travel adventures (that are typically food-driven), and to create a place for people, anyone to come and find inspiration to enhance their own foodie experiences, whether it be through cooking a yummy meal at home, dining out at a local restaurant, or finding the best food while traveling. 

I strayed away from my original intention because I felt like I had to compete with every other blogger on the internet. There are recipes I’ve so badly wanted to share on this blog but never did because they’ve been shared before. I’ve made awesome foods, photographed them, and never shared them because I felt like the photos weren’t good enough when compared to someone else’s. It’s a shame and it’s silly. 

So, screw that! I’m going back to my original intention. If there is a food item, recipe, or restaurant that I enjoy and think is worth sharing, then I’m going to share dammit! NO MATTER WHAT. ESPECIALLY now that I am taking the challenge on Jessica Murnane’s One Part Pledge – you should listen and take the pledge as well!

Salt & Vinegar Kale Chips

So, Kale Chips. Kale Chips are something I’ve wanted to make for the longest time but never did for whatever reason. Procrastination – the “Make Kale Chips” line on my never-ending to-do list must sit in between two more important things-to-do. My girlfriend, Laura kept telling me how good the homemade version is and how easy they are to make! After her convincing, I’d temporarily move them up on my to-do list but they’d quickly get replaced by some other “something”.

I don’t remember why I woke up one day in the recent past and decided that day was going to be the day that I finally made homemade kale chips. It may have been for a recipe, it may have been because I had an excess amount of kale on-hand. What I do know is that I ate every single kale chip as it came out of the oven. Warm, they melted in my mouth. Fresh, unlike any other bagged, grocery-store-bought kale chip I’ve ever eaten. I had intentions on saving a few chips for Patrick later that afternoon, but they didn’t last long enough. 

I’ve since then made three more batches of kale chips (and shared a few with Patrick). I burned a few of the fragile greens and created salty kale meltaways with the rest. Kale is fragile when put into a hot oven and can burn easily if unattended however, if you are available to pay close attention to your kale as it bakes, you should be able to get it out of the oven before it sizzles. I found that baking my kale between 9-13 minutes is ideal – timing may vary based on your particular oven (and altitude). 

When I browse through different kale chip recipes, I notice they recommend a variety of baking temps and timing. It is important to find what works for you and your oven, even if it is on a trial-and-error basis. The amount of salt, vinegar, and oil will vary on how big your batch of kale is, it will also vary based on your taste preference. Some of my kale chips were more drenched than others leaving them more chewy. The lesser drenched chips became more crispy, I liked them both. I encourage you to experiment with different variations and find what you like best. Don’t expect perfection the first go-around, but you can expect it shortly after. Also, I added vinegar to my kale chips because vinegar is awesome. If vinegar is not your thing, then don’t use it – continue on with the salt and oil exclusively OR add something else that you think would compliment the kale (SRIRACHA anyone?!).

Below is the recipe variation that has worked for me.

Salt & Vinegar Kale Chips
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch of kale
  • approx 4-5 tablespoons olive oil
  • approx 3-4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • approx 4-5 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 1 gallon ziplock bag
Instructions
  1. Wash and completely dry the kale. I like to lay the kale flat on paper towels to air dry, which takes up to an hour or two sometimes. It is extremely important for the kale to be completely dry before baking - if not, it could get soggy instead of crispy.
  2. Once dried, cut the kale off the stems - try to cut them into larger pieces, as they will shrink in the oven. Discard the stems (or use them in a veggie broth)
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 310 degrees.
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  5. Put ⅓ of the oil, vinegar, and sea salt into the bag and shake it around the bag, coating it, then add ⅓ of the kale leaves. Shake the kale around until the leaves are covered in the mixture.
  6. Lay the leaves out on the baking sheet, making sure to not overlap any of the leaves.
  7. Bake for 9-15 minutes, checking them frequently.
  8. Use the same process for the second batch, and then the third.
  9. The kale chips are best when eaten the same day as you make them.

Salt & Vinegar Kale Chips

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Love

Crista


Jun
03

Restorative Mushroom Veggie Broth

Every time I have a “day off” or a “day at home” it seems as though I’m going to have so much free time to do anything and everything I want. BUT as the day presents itself, I jump up early before the alarm clock chimes and I run around like a crazy chicken with it’s head cut off the entire day. Take the dog to the dog sitter, go to yoga, grocery store, run “errands” (errands are the WORST!), make it on time to some appointment, make a few calls, update social media, food, OMG food. It’s 2PM and I haven’t had breakfast or lunch. It’s time to go to yoga but I need to eat before. I can’t eat before working out, it’ll make my belly hurt. Sigh. 

Restorative Mushroom Veggie Broth  

There has been a lot of hype around bone broths lately. Although the concept of a bone broth turns my stomach, I can understand why they have become popular – because PEOPLE ARE BUSY, many of us rarely make time for a proper meal (ME, I’m guilty! – see the first paragraph in this post).

Restorative Mushroom Veggie Broth

A broth is a “soup” of sort, and can easily be taken on the go and sipped out of a cup. While it wouldn’t and shouldn’t substitute a proper meal every day, it is certainly a decent replacement when need be.

In this post, I’m sharing a recipe for a veggie-based broth that I created with a select choice of fruits and veggies out of curiosity. I was curious about the experience of sipping a broth, I was curious to see if I could find a need to keep broth on-hand in my home, and I was curious to know if I’d enjoy a broth the same way others have been lately. Every Friday, I pass by a Panera Bread billboard advertising their broth bowls, which only feeds my curiosity.

After carefully planning exactly which fruits and veggies would compliment each other and provide nourishment, I made my broth. I fed my hungry body with the easy-to-digest nutrition just before a hot yoga class. Thankful to have done so, the broth provided just enough substance to keep me alive during my practice.

a Restorative Mushroom Veggie Broth
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup of mushrooms
  • 2-3 carrots
  • 1 square inch of ginger, peeled
  • 3-4 stalks of kale
  • 1 apple
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 2 quarts of water
Instructions
  1. Thoroughly wash all veggies and coarsely chop them into even size pieces.
  2. Put all the veggies in a large stock pot, add the water, then cover.
  3. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and barely simmer for about 90 minutes.
  4. Strain the liquid through a fine mesh strainer and set the vegetables aside.
  5. Serve warm or closer to room temperature.
  6. Freeze or refrigerate leftovers.

 In one broth bowl, I decided to add some of the mushrooms that had been used to make the broth and I really enjoyed the added texture and substance in the bowl.

Restorative Mushroom Veggie Broth

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As always, thanks for reading. xo

Love

Crista


Jun
01

Quinoa Bowl

Over the weekend, I took an impromptu trip to Austin with my BFF Laura, just for fun. We like to get away every few months and we both had some vacation time to blow so we decided to keep Austin weird for a few days. (photos from the trip on Instagram)

Quinoa Bowl

We had very little expectation for our trip: eat good food, shop, honky tonk, gossip, and sleep when we feel like it. Laura & I live hundreds of miles from each other so we have to travel in order to see each other. We don’t keep up much via text so when we see each other face-to-face, our mouths never stop yapping. It’s so good.

On this particular trip, our conversation was dominated by our ever-evolving relationships and what it will be like to take them to the next level. We both went from single girls to long-term relationships synonymously. History in the making, if you ask me.

We talked a lot about food, Laura and her BF focus on paleo and only eat meat once or twice a week. Patrick and I eat vegan when we are together, he eats meat when I’m not around (for now). We shared recipes and kitchen tips.

We talked about who cooks, who grocery shops, and how leftovers are handled. I’ll eat left-overs ONCE but that’s it before I’m over it – Laura is the same way. Ironically, our boyfriends will both eat leftovers for days and days on end. Seriously, I gave Patrick a large tupperware full of chili (that wasn’t my best work) and he ate it HAPPILY for 5-6 days straight. I’m thankful to have someone around who won’t allow a single bite of food go to waste because I will throw stuff away with no problem.

Quinoa Bowl

If you didn’t catch on by now, I’ll reiterate: I loathe eating the same meals over and over again. EXCEPT for. 
THIS meal: 
Arugula-topped
Quinoa
blueberries
avocados
Sriracha Peanut Sauce

THIS meal is one that I HAPPILY ate 4 DAYS IN A ROW!
On the 4th day, I decided to photograph it.
On the 4th day, I didn’t scarf it before I had a chance to photograph it.

I originally had a version of this quinoa bowl at Ola Juice Bar in Colorado Springs. I loved it so much, I replicated it at home the next day. and the day after that. and the day after that. you know.

Once the quinoa is cooked (make extras for tomorrow! trust me), this bowl takes no time at all to throw together. Quick & easy makes EVERYONE happy.

After having been served some excellent Thai/Chinese (fusion) food in Grand Junction, I found a Peanut Sauce recipe on love food eat – I’d decided that I needed more Peanut Sauce in my life. I kept the recipe bookmarked, knowing I’d find the perfect time to use it. Not long after bookmarking, I used the recipe to make the exact Peanut Sauce that tops this delicious Quinoa Bowl, the only adjustment to the sauce was an addition of Sriracha, for fun. 

Quinoa Bowl

a Quinoa Bowl drizzled with a Sriracha Peanut Sauce
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup quinoa, cooked
  • a handful or two of arugula
  • ½ an avocado
  • ¼ cup blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons dried cranberries
  • 1 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons Sriracha
Instructions
  1. In a food processor or blender, combine the peanut butter, sesame oil, soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame seeds, and Sriracha until mixed well. Adjust taste accordingly (for example, add more Sriracha if you prefer your sauce to be spicier). Set aside.
  2. Put a large heaping of quinoa in a bowl and top it with the arugula, berries, and avocado.
  3. Drizzle with the Sriracha Peanut Sauce prior to serving.
Notes
*All measurements are approximate - adjust accordingly. You may like more avocado and less blueberries - do it up however you'd like.
**I prefer the quinoa to be slightly warmed in this dish, although it can certainly be used at room temperature or even chilled.

Quinoa Bowl

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As always, thanks for reading. xo

Love

Crista