Sep
23

I’m in slight denial that summer has come to an end but I know it’s real. The leaves have begun to change (the mountains are BEAUTIFUL right now) and each morning seems to be slightly chillier than the previous. When I’m out watering the garden in the morning, I’m bundled up in a small blanket or a hooded sweater instead of bare skinned, flip flops, and tank tops. 

Although I mourn the loss of a summer that could have, should have, would have packed more activities and experiences had I had more time but I’m ready, ready to move on. Ready for new beginnings. Ready to hunker down, cozy under blankets, drink wine, lots of wine, and eat warm, comforting foods.

As I scroll through the archives in this blog, each recipe stirs up a memory of what was happening in my life at the time I was preparing and serving that dish. I share with you the recipes that comforted me this morning, and brought warm thoughts, the dishes that I’ll prepare this season to stir nostalgia and create new memories.

Happy fall, ya’ll.

thyme-tea-cough-buster
Thyme Tea

Chimichurri Pumpkin Bowl
Chimichurri Pumpkin Bowl

Red Quinoa Sweet Potato Chili
Red Quinoa Sweet Potato Chili

Apple, Carrot, Quinoa Hash
a Carrot, Apple Quinoa Hash

pumpkin pie yogurt parfait
Pumpkin Pie Yogurt Parfait

Roasted_Sweet_Pepper_Salsa_1
Roasted Sweet Pepper Salsa

Sweet Potato Butternut Squash Pot Pit
Sweet Potato Butternut Squash Pot Pie

indian spiced smashed potatoes
Indian Spiced Smashed Potatoes

Chocolate Hazelnut Banana Oatmeal // peace. love. quinoa
Chocolate Hazelnut Banana Oatmeal

Dairy-Free Bourbon Butterscotch Pudding
Bourbon Butterscotch Pudding

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
09

 Carrot Cake Juice

While I was in Austin, I had the pleasure of meeting Kayle from Cowgirls & Collard Greens. Although we didn’t get much face time, we’ve been in touch and have created a friendship that I cherish. I don’t have many blogger friends (yet), which is one (of many) reasons why Kayle will always hold a special place in my heart.  

#1 She’s absolutely adorable. #2 She’s a COWGIRL, yeeeeehaw! #3. She’s got a great blog and a great story, the type of story that brings tears to your eyes – in fact, I recently learned more of her story through an interview she did with The Sexy Vegan

Carrot Cake Juice

Lucky me, I get to share one of my favorite recipes on Cowgirls & Collard Greens today – I chose to share one of my favorite juice recipes, a Carrot Cake Juice, 1. because it’s ridiculously good and 2. because Kayle used juiced greens and veggies to heal her cancer. Blows my mind that you can heal cancer and your body through yummy foods like carrots, oranges, ginger, beets, and kale, and I’m privileged to contribute a recipe.

Visit Kayle’s blog to read more and see the recipe! 

Carrot Cake Juice 

If you enjoy Kayle’s blog, check her out on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

xox

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
19

Cucumber Berry Fruit Bowl

I’ve had a long, long, non-stop, crazy week. I spent hours and hours on the road in extremely painful traffic patterns that tested my patience. There were moments when I was swept with anger, my cheeks even got red, just because I’d been stuck in the car so much longer than anticipated. BUT the week is over.
Sigh. of. relief.

We are going camping at Rocky Mountain National Park this weekend. I hate/love camping. OK, I don’t really HATE it, but the preparation and packing prior to the trip can be agonizing tasks ESPECIALLY when you’ve got no free time. Anyway, I am not writing this post to project my ill feelings on you, the week is over and my ill feelings have all passed. Last night, I slid in to the yoga studio just seconds before the last class of the night began and I woke up early to attend the first class of the day. I feel fresh, rejuvenated, and anxious to bond with the mountains, and spend quality quiet time with my boyfriend this weekend.

Cucumber Berry Fruit Bowl

A few nights ago, we laid in bed putting together our food menu for this weekend, and this cucumber + berry fruit bowl came to mind. I made this exact fruit bowl a few years ago, a really awful photo I took of it showed up in my Timehop feed recently.

I don’t remember how or why I decided to pair cucumbers with cherries & blueberries – if I had to guess, I’d say that I was making a conscious effort to pair a green food with my fruit. I try to incorporate green foods in most of my meals even it if it’s a few pistachios or pumpkin seeds in my morning granola.

Cucumber Berry Fruit Bowl

This cucumber + berry salad is made with 3 ingredients: chopped organic cucumber, organic sweet cherries, and organic blueberries. The 3 fruits blended together create a perfectly colorful combination and is refreshing, hydrating & filling – it’s perfect for a sunny summer morning or afternoon.

These 3 ingredients will be going with us to camp this weekend, I plan to throw them in a bowl as use them as a centerpiece on the picnic table at our camp site. I have a feeling we’ll be eating out of that bowl all weekend long – during breakfast, as a sweet snack after lunch, and after our planned 8 mile hike for nourishment and hydration.

Cucumber Berry Fruit Bowl

In addition to this colorful fruit salad, we have several awesome camp meals planned, I hope to share them in a future blog post. If I have cell service at camp this weekend, I’ll post a few photos on Instagram, but no guarantees.

Happy weekend everyone! 
xox

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


Mar
28

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

 1. VEGGIE WRAPS
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.

2. VEGGIES + HUMMUS
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.

jalapeno-salad

3. EDAMAME
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. 

4. SALADS
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

5. POWER BOWLS
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).

6. RICE & GREENS
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

7. MASHED AVOCADO
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

8. SMOOTHIES
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.

Love

Crista


Jan
07

Winter-y Berry Kale Smoothie

The first thing I do every winter-y morning when I wake up is look out the window to see if we got any snow, rain, sleet overnight – even if it’s not in the forecast. This morning I woke up to an unexpected layer of fresh powdery snow, just enough to conceal what is underneath it. It seems as though the mornings are brighter, and more vibrant when the sun has the opportunity to beam off of a fresh coating of flawless, glistening snow. Even though there was a chill in the air this morning, I was all smiles getting out of bed, and I’ll give credit to the beautiful outdoor elements.

I decided to make a smoothie his morning, which I haven’t done in quite a while – I’ll blame that on the holidays + travel. I was craving color, something vibrant but contrasting to the outdoor elements. Plus I was all “new year, new me” style this morning, slightly mocking those who only stick with that theme for a few weeks after the New Year.

I don’t think I’m unlike others this time of year, after the holiday season where I’m consciously saving money instead of spending money, therefore finding contentment with being home, staying home, and enjoying the things and people that make up my home. 

I found some leftover cranberries from Thanksgiving in my freezer, their jewel-toned beauty attracted me to them this morning. My friends would say “I was feeling it”. I blended them with some frozen berries, frozen bananas, and fresh kale that I had hanging around, and came up with a winning combination. 

Although, it was not my original intention to share this recipe on the blog, I couldn’t help but just play around with a few photographs in the snow quick to see what would happen. And now I’m sharing. 

a Winter-y Berry + Kale Smoothie
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup frozen cranberries
  • 1 cup frozen berries (blackberries, cherries, strawberries, or a combo of the 3)
  • 1 banana, (optional: the banana can be frozen, which would have to be done in advance)
  • 2 stalks kale, fresh & de-stemmed
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon flaxseed or chia seeds (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon or nutmeg (optional)
Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients in a blender and puree.
  2. Serve immediately.

Winter-y Berry + Kale Smoothie

Love

Crista


Sep
07

Rainbow Chard

I decided to grow chard in the garden this year even though I’d never eaten it and knew next-to-nothing about it. When it was time to harvest, I wasn’t even sure what to do with it. I sautéed the leafy portion and served it as a side dish with a dinner – it was ok. I KNEW the leafy portion was edible but I wanted to give the beautiful, colored stems a chance as well. After googling around, I found a recipe for Pickled Chard Stems on my friend Amanda’s blog, Heartbeet Kitchen. (great minds think alike!) I used Amanda’s recipe (altered slightly) and was very impressed with the turnout – holy cow these pickled chard seems are YUMMY! Originally, I was skeptical about my “pickling” abilities  so thank goodness I’ve overcome that fear! I cross my fingers that I can grow another bunch of chard before the end of season…. I want another jar of these jewel toned pickled gems.

Pickled Chard Stems
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • one large bunch of rainbow chard stems, cleaned and cut to fit into mason jar, about ¾ inch from the lip
  • ¾ cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon black peppercorns
  • ½ teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
  • 2 cloves garlic
Instructions
  1. Put the peppercorns, mustard seeds, and garlic tin the mason jar.
  2. Pack chard stems into the jar.
  3. Bring vinegars, sugar, and salt to a boil in a small saucepan until sugar and salt is dissolved then pour over the chard stems.
  4. Let sit and cool before putting the lid on and refrigerate.
  5. Allow the chard to pickle for about 2 days prior to eating.

 So, I took my Pickled Chard Stems to the mountains and enjoyed them during a hiking/climbing trip. My friends told me I smelled like vinegar, but it didn’t matter because here in Colorado we carry wet wipes in our packs. 
(you never know when you may need a wet wipe in the mountains)
Worth it!

And anyway, shame on my friends for turning me down when I offered them a shot at what could have been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity at a pickled chard stem straight from my garden. Psh, their loss. 

Thanks Amanda for the awesome recipe!! I LOVED!!

Love

Crista


Aug
23

Melon Basil Soup

I’ve gathered several recipes that I’d like to make using ingredients from my garden from books, blogs, and magazines.

Slowly but surely, I’m harvesting herbs, kale, rhubarb, peppers, cucumbers, and tomatoes from the garden. We’ve got hundreds of tomatoes in the garden but only a handful are red, most of them are still green. There are soooo many tomato recipes I’m dying to make –  hopefully it won’t be long….

I’ve had my eye on this Melon Basil Soup recipe for quite some time and I finally gathered enough fresh basil leaves to make it!

I’m not sure what the rest of the country looks like, but here in Denver we are still experiencing 90 degree days. Summer is not over yet (even though most kids are back in school – gah)!! This soup is really refreshing on a hot summer day, it can be served chilled or at room temperature-ish. I don’t see why you couldn’t pack it for a picnic or even a camping trip. It’d also be great to serve at parties. For me, I keep it around to curb my sweet tooth or for a refreshing treat after a long, hot hike in the mountains.

Melon Basil Soup
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • ½ honeydew melon, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • ½ ripe avocado
  • ¼ cup lime juice, fresh squeezed
  • 1 teaspoon seat salt
Instructions
  1. In a blender or a food processor, add all ingredients and purée until completely smooth.
  2. Strain the purée through a strainer with the smallest holes you have available over a bowl.
  3. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

The original recipe for this soup recommends that you strain it through a fine mesh sieve which would remove the basil leaves. I didm;t do that – I enjoy the look (and taste!) of the speckled basil leaves throughout the soup – and they certainly don’t ruin the consistency of the soup at all.

Melon Basil Soup

Love

Crista