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


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
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


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


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


May
29

I could eat salad on the daily and never get sick of it – there is something about the greens and vibrant colors that offers vitality and tickles the palate. Now that the weather has broken (HOPEFULLY we won’t get any more snow this season) I’ve stepped away from warm, comfort foods and I’m craving …SALADS…. 

I’m remaking some of the salads I’ve made in the past (I can’t stop with the Chickpea & Tomato Salad) – I’ve even been putting “salad” on top of black bean tostadas and grilled veggies. Basically, ever meal includes greens & fruits this time of year. I found a bunch of awesome salad recipes I plan on making in the near future – I couldn’t help but share. 

Banana Fantasy Salad // peace. love. quinoa

Banana Fantasy Salad w/ Curry-licious Dressing – peace. love. quinoa
Chakra Fruit Salad with Enlightened Tahini Sauce – My New Roots
Strawberry Asparagus Salad – I Heart Nap Time
Mango Coconut Quinoa Salad – Layers Of Happiness

my favorite kale salad // peace. love. quinoa

My Favorite Kale Salad – peace. love. quinoa
Diced Summer Salad – One Happy Table
The Vegan Cobb Salad – Healthy. Happy. Life.
Kale, Edamame, and Quinoa Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette – Ambitious Kitchen

Chickpea & tomato Salad // peace. love. quinoa

Chickpea & Tomato Salad w/ Fresh Basil – peace. love. quinoa
Raw Butternut Squash and Kale Salad – Free People Blog 
Deconstructed Guacamole Salad – Donal Skehan
Crunchy Cabbage Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing – Scaling Back

Colorful Kale Salad w/ Jalapeños // peace. love. quinoa

a Colorful Kale Salad w/ Jalapeños – peace. love. quinoa
Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad – Pickles & Honey
Mushroom, Lemon, and Lentil Salad – Delicious Everyday
Summer Salad with Beets, Carrots, Fennel, and Blood Orange – Amsterdam Food Stories

Cucumber Watermelon Quinoa Salad // peace. love. quinoa

Cucumber Watermelon Quinoa Salad – peace. love. quinoa
Garlic Lemon Kale Salad – the Vegan 8
Green Bean & Avocado Quinoa Salad – Love and Lemons
Black Quinoa Chopped Salad – Camille Styles

Love

Crista


Mar
13

orange greensicle

It’s no secret that I’m obsessed with everything citrus – it seems that 75% of my recipes contain a citrusy fruit in them. Ha! In addition to Strawberry Kiwi, Orange Dreamsicle was one of my favorite flavors as a kid. This Orange GREENsicle is basically an Orange Dreamsicle plus a handful of kale – which you don’t even taste! What’s not to love?

This smoothie was made with the following ingredients:

a handful of kale, de-stemmed
1/2 cup orange juice 
1/2 cup vanilla almond milk (sweetened)
a handful of ice (5-6 cubes)

To make this smoothie, blend the kale and liquid together before blending the ice in. Serve immediately.

swoon.

orange greensicle

Love

Crista


Mar
12

Strawberry Spinach Kiwi Smoothie

One of my favorite flavors as a kid was Strawberry Kiwi…. I’m not sure why I’ve abandoned it as an adult? Probably because I don’t chew bubble gum and eat snow cones like I used to. Anyway, I am ecstatic to introduce the Strawberry Kiwi flavor into my adult life.

This Strawberry Spinach Kiwi Smoothie was made with the following ingredients: 

1 kiwi
a handful of strawberries
1 frozen banana
a handful (or two) of spinach
1/2 lemon, juiced
3/4 cup orange juice
a squirt of agave nectar
a handful of ice (4-5 cubes)

To make this smoothie, put the orange juice and spinach in the blender first and puree the spinach THEN add all of the other ingredients and blend until smooth.  

I would recommend you consume this smoothie immediately, it doesn’t store well.
(The smoothie will turn brown if it sits for a period of time and that’s NO fun!)

Strawberry Spinach Kiwi Smoothie

Love

Crista


Mar
11

Green Smoothie: Avocado Pear

The first Green Smoothie I made for my Green Smoothie Series is the Avocado Pear. What I like about this smoothie was the creamy texture and mild but sweet flavor. 

The ingredients for this smoothie are as follows: 

1 avocado
1 pear
1 kiwi
a handful of spinach
 squirt of honey
a handful of ice (4-5 cubes)
approx 3/4 cup coconut water

To make this smoothie, put the coconut water and spinach in the blender first and puree the spinach THEN add all of the other ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy. 

You should probably drink this immediately but if you don’t, you can store the remainder in the refrigerator for a few hours and re-blend when you are ready to drink. 

Love

Crista


Mar
10

Green Smoothie Series

I’ve always been a smoothie maker, but I haven’t always been a GREEN smoothie maker. I can prove it: Cherry Chocolate Sundae. One of my girl friends mentioned that we need to start making more green smoothies so I took it upon myself to come up with 4 different GREEN smoothies that taste good. Mission accomplished. I’m feeling so healthy lately! 

In the next 4 days, I will share the ingredient mix for each of the 4 green smoothies I have been sipping on lately: 
Avocado Pear
Strawberry Spinach Kiwi
Orange Greensicle
Tart Green Apple

Many people are turned off by green smoothies simply because they can’t wrap their mind around adding kale and/or spinach to their morning sweet treat however green smoothies can taste really really good if you can find the right mix of ingredients…. which I will offer inspiration for over the next few days.

Love

Crista