Nov
18

Pomegranate Pistachio Quinoa Salad

The Holiday season provides an opportunity to share time with the ones you love and to create and share beautiful meals with friends and family. I won’t be with family this year, but I will be with a few girlfriends and a couple cutie dogs, celebrating my first ever Friendsgiving. i.am.so.excited

We have so many plans, so much food to cook including Grandma’s Sweet Potato Pie with marshmallows on top, a Butternut Squash Crisp, a Brussels Sprouts Gratin, a colorful Quinoa Salad (recipe below!), some Stuffing, a Green Bean Casserole, a Winter Squash PieCranberry Apple Sauce, and potentially even a Vegducken.

Thanksgiving is my favorite time of year to gather and develop recipes because of all the beautiful colors and flavors that are associated with the fall season. As excited as I am to cook, I’m equally as excited to devour my friends’ home-cookin as well.

Pomegranate Pistachio Quinoa Salad

Most people that I’ve celebrated Thanksgiving with are traditional meat-eaters and haven’t shown much interest in my plant-based dishes so every year in the prior years, I’ve created an extraordinary plant-based Thanksgiving meal on Black Friday for myself and whoever was willing to share it with me. This year, I’m going to share my plant-based meals with my friends ON THANKSGIVING. // another reason I am SO excited.

TruToots Quinoa

This beautiful Pomegranate Pistachio Quinoa Salad will be one of the dishes I craft and share at my Friendsgiving Celebration this year. The salad combines a healthful Sprouted Quinoa, colorful pistachios and pomegranate seeds, and a ginger-citrus vinaigrette that offers an unexpected flavor and scent.

I take pride in the dishes I serve, especially around the Holiday season, I will only use the finest of ingredients to create the biggest shared feast of the year.

Pomegranate Pistachio Quinoa Salad

The construction of this salad is quite simple, it can be done in just a few minutes. First, you start with the quinoa. I prefer to use truRoots Sprouted Quinoa because it is moist, fluffy, and sweet. Color is provided by the pomegranate seeds, orange slices, and roasted pistachios. The most labor-intensive part of crafting this salad is making the dressing, although once you’ve gathered all of the ingredients it’s simple to blend them all together (and can be done in advance!).

I love the idea of having truRoots products on my Thanksgiving table because their mission statement mirrors my Thanksgiving goals: “We are passionate about offering the best organic food while doing our part to better the world around us. In doing so, we help bring more families together for memorable meals and moments.” 

With jewel-toned colors, irresistible fragrances, delectable foods, amazing friends, belly laughs, shared stories, belly rubs (the dogs, not us silly!), classic movies, and coexistence, I look forward to the memorable meals and moments that will be made.

Pomegranate Pistachio Quinoa Salad
5.0 from 1 reviews
a Pomegranate Pistachio Quinoa Salad w/a Citrus Ginger Vinaigrette
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups truRoots Sprouted Quinoa, cooked
  • 1 pomegranate, seeded (use only the seeds)
  • 5-6 clementines, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • ½ cup roasted pistachios
  • ¼ tsp. ginger, grated
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 2 tbsp. honey or agave nectar
  • 2 tbsp of rice vinegar or a citrus vinegar
  • ¼ cup olive oil
Instructions
  1. Make the vinaigrette first and toss all ingredients together just before serving.
  2. To make the vinaigrette blend the ginger, garlic, orange juice, vinegar, and honey together in a food processor or blender. After all the ingredients are fully blended, add the olive oil and blend again. Set aside while you construct the salad.
  3. Toss together the quinoa, pomegranate seeds, pistachios, and clementines. Drizzle with the citrus ginger vinaigrette just before serving // you may or may not use all of the vinaigrette depending on your taste: use discretion.
  4. This salad can be served at room temperature or chilled (I prefer room temperature).
Transparency: truRoots collaborated on this post with me, supplying the quinoa and moderate compensation. I would not have accepted the collaboration had I not believed in the company’s products and philosophy.

Love

Crista


Nov
12

Roasted Green Tomatoes

Friends. I cherish them and hold them all at high regard.
A few of my friends, I can tell ANYTHING to (seriously, ANYTHING) without fear of judgement or ill repute, they are my favorite people on earth.
I have friends that fill what would otherwise be empty spaces in my life.
I have friends that make me laugh, keep me smiling.
My friends give me advice, build me up, and they tell me when I’m crazy.

Green Tomato

Among so many other things, one of the best parts of having awesome friends is that I learn a lot from my them….. 

Through a mutual friend in Florida, I got connected with a now-friend of mine who is chef-trained (score!). I tend to forget that she is chef-trained on most days that I see her because we get wrapped up in talking about life events, family, relationships, and other “deep” stuff, gossip.

The last time I saw Jordan, we rapped about gardening, the restaurant that she manages (they maintain their own garden), and the late-harvest green tomatoes that I’d recently picked. Besides making fried green tomatoes, I honestly wasn’t sure what to do with the heap of green tomatoes I’d had (and still have!!) and I shared that. I let Jordan tell me what she makes for dinner on any given night, I know she eats good.

Green Tomatoes

Effortlessly, Jordan taught me something simple and useful, she taught me a new way to prepare green tomatoes, which is where this instructive recipe comes from. Here is what I learned:

Quarter the green tomatoes and douse them in olive oil. Roast them in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10ish minutes, just long enough to soften them slightly. DO NOT add salt (and pepper) prior to roasting, the salt would pull the moisture out of the tomatoes, keep those babies juicy! // Add the salt and pepper AFTER roasting. If the tomatoes aren’t already rich enough for your taste,  add a small amount of barrel aged balsamic vinegar to the tomatoes after they come out of the oven.

I made a larger batch of these roasted tomatoes than I should have, I didn’t realize how rich and ambrosial the roasted greens would be. Less is more when you are serving roasted green tomatoes, and I prefer to eat them with a meal rather than independently.

As I type this out, I realize that I made a mistake last night. I SHOULD HAVE roasted the remainder of the green tomatoes I have on hand and served them with the mahi mahi and mashed potatoes I made for dinner last night. I knew my meal was missing something green but I didn’t want to leave the house, it was too chilly.

 

Roasted Green Tomatoes

Green tomatoes are little gems as far as I’m concerned, they are hard to come by. Can you buy them at the grocery store? I don’t really think so…. If you want green tomatoes, you almost have to grow them yourself.

Thank you, Jordan, for contributing to the reduction of waste in my garden and thanks for being my friend.

Love

Crista


Nov
08

Heirloom Tomato Chutney

People deserve second chances, right?

I haven’t always been the person to honor second chances, I can be kind of bitchy like that, but I am a changed person as of late. Recently, I’ve made the decision to give a loved one a second chance, an opportunity he asked for several times before I agreed. Blindsided by frustration, anxiety, and uncertainty, I didn’t realize how much damage I was doing to him, myself, our relationship, our well-being, and our future by being a hard ass. Luckily, his humbleness and faith in me/us has allowed him to give me a second chance as well.  

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.”

heirloom tomato

The recipe I am sharing with you today has been shared on my blog once before. I almost linked back to the post in a more recent post but I decided not to because IT WAS EMBARRASSING. My photos sucked and I didn’t have much of anything interesting to say back then. So I decided to give this recipe, this post, a second chance.

(( I realize that my photography skills aren’t much better than they used to be but I’d like to think I’ve improved a few points. When I photographed the photos for this post, I used my 50mm lens that DOES NOT auto focus…. that’s tricky for me because I am BLIND, literally, my world is a blur. I uploaded these photos and laughed, because there is a slight blur to them. Bear with me, I’m shopping around for a 50mm lens that will auto focus and may some day take advantage of a third opportunity. ))

Heirloom Tomatoes

My sudden desire to make this fragrant chutney came after speaking with a girlfriend about the late-season heirloom tomatoes that unexpectedly popped up out of nowhere in my garden. My tomato bushes got BIG this year, mainly due to my lack of attention and pruning so the green, bushy stems concealed the juicy, ripe fruits underneath it all. My girlfriend suggested a chutney, which prompted me to find the recipe in my archives and make a big batch. 

Heirloom Tomato Chutney

I’ve had several dinner sessions with this Spiced Heirloom Tomato Chutney, and have already finished off several small mason jars worth of it. 

This spiced chutney pairs well with a bottle of wine and a variety of cheeses and crackers, and I’ve spent several nights curled up in blankets on the couch with those exact items.

It can be alternated with dijon mustard as a dipping sauce for fried green tomatoes (you can see in the photos, I’ve got enough green tomatoes from the garden to feed a small village fried greens) to offer the taste buds variety. I’ve already made friend greens three times this season and I’ve got enough green tomatoes for one or two more sessions.

I have used this sweet/savory chutney as a condiment atop a baked white, flaky fish, the same way that I’ve seen chef’s use mango salsa atop fish. I like to allow the chutney to warm up to room temperature prior to serving atop a warm dish.

For Thanksgiving, I plan to serve this chutney aside a sweet cornbread instead of the traditional butter and honey. Uncommon, I realize, but colorful and ambrosial. For cool points, I’ve jarred some of the chutney up for the in-laws to enjoy with their Thanksgiving dinner as well. M favorite part about gifting food items to that family is knowing that they’ll use in a way I’d never think of and they’ll enjoy it.

Tomato Chutney
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs. assorted tomatoes (of choice)
  • 1 large onion, chopped into eights
  • ½ cup raw turbinado sugar
  • ⅓ cup white vinegar (5% acidity)
  • ½ teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon cardamom
  • pinch of sea salt
  • large pot of boiling water
  • large pot of ice cold water
Instructions
  1. Cut a large “X” on the bottom of each tomato. Working in batches, place the tomatoes in a large pot of boiling water.
  2. Blanch for 30-60 seconds or until skins start peeling off. With tongs, pull the tomatoes out of the boiling water and immediately drop in to ice cold water; drain.
  3. Remove the skins of the tomatoes and discard. Remove the core and discard. Quarter the tomatoes and set aside.
  4. Pulse the onions in a food processor until chopped. Add the tomatoes and any accumulated juices and continue pulsing until the tomatoes are chopped.
  5. Pour the mixture in to a large pot along with all other ingredients; bring to a boil over medium heat.
  6. Cook, uncovered, for 1 hour or until mixture is thick and reduced, stirring often.
Heirloom Tomato Chutney

I have a lot to be thankful for this holiday season: a fragrant kitchen, this versatile chutney, new perspectives, and a fresh start.

Love

Crista


Oct
04

Cardamom Scented Plum Chia Jam

Is it confession time? The answer is yes.
After being at wine fest in Palisade 2 weekends ago, I have been straight up addicted to cheese, crackers, jam, and honey…. oh, and wine. Local, Colorado wine. Sigh.

For dinner lately, I crave the local Strawberry Rhubarb jelly I brought home from the Western Slope, slathered on crackers, topped off with Syrah Soaked Toscano Cheese // to compliment, a bottle of red wine that came home with me from Colorado’s Wine Country.

Guilt overwhelms me when I sit unaccompanied on the couch with a spread of cheese, crackers, and jellies, feeding pure pleasure. In my mind, I know that cheese & crackers do not make up a balanced meal, but my selfish tastebuds ask for one more bite, one more night, over and over again and I succumb.

I’ve got 1.5 blocks of cheese left in the fridge (including a brie that I would love to use for this recipe) I’m going to finish and then I’m going to walk away from dairy cheese for a while (thank goodness for treenut cheese). STAY STRONG CRISTA. 

Cardamom Scented Plum Chia Jam

While visiting the Farmer’s Market a few days ago, I silently celebrated when I found one of my favorite Palisade farmers selling stone fruits this late in the season because I’d recently stumbled upon this recipe for a “Cheater’s Chia Blood Plum Jam.” 

It was fun to adapt this recipe slightly and use it as an alternative to the sugary jams I’ve been consuming (in large quantities) with my cheese and crackers. Since making it, I’ve also used it atop a whole wheat bagel, paired with pumpkin cream cheese (THANK YOU TRADER JOES).

Appropriately labeled “cheater,” this jam is easy, easy to make and requires very few ingredients (no sugar or pectin!) If you can mash fruit with a fork or a food processor and mix a few ingredients in a bowl, you can make this jam. It took me all of 5 minutes to prepare, and then another hour to set before being ready to eat. If plums aren’t your jam (ha! get it? your “jam..”), then you can use peaches, blackberries, strawberries, or raspberries. If cardamom doesn’t satisfy your taste crave, then substitute with nutmeg or cinnamon. If you prefer your jam to be more tart, then don’t add the sweet agave nectar. If you like your jam on the sweeter side, add more agave or honey than what the recipe calls for. 

Cardamom Scented Plum Chia Jam (no sugar or pectin added!)
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 5-6 small ripe plums, chopped and pitted
  • 2 tbsp. chia seeds
  • ¼ tsp. vanilla extract
  • a pinch of ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp. honey or agave nectar (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a food processor, puree the ripe plums. Alternately, mash the plums with a fork until they are broken up and juicy.
  2. By hand, stir in the chia seeds, vanilla extract, cardamom, and honey or agave nectar.
  3. Transfer to a covered bowl or a mason jar and allow to set in the refrigerator for about 1 hour.
  4. This jam can be stored in the refrigerator for about 1 week. Alternately, you can freeze the jam until you are ready to consume.
Cardamom Scented Plum Chia Jam

Love

Crista


Sep
04

Roasted_Sweet_Pepper_Salsa_1

The high elevations of southeastern Colorado, along with hot summers and cold nights, create a chile pepper that is thicker and meatier than others, which makes them ideal for roasting. During season, which is right now, pop-up stands selling roasted chile peppers can be found on almost every street corner in Colorado. 

Green Chile Sauce is somewhat of a staple in Colorado, being used in a variety of dishes throughout the state – smother a burrito, sop it up with a corn tortilla out of a soup bowl, or add flavor and heat to a burger. I’ve even heard stories of the chile sauce being smothered atop cakes and ice cream. {{Actually, as I type this out, I have a faint memory of sampling a green chile ice cream flavor ….although I have no recollection of whether or not I enjoyed it.}}

Being a vegetarian poses somewhat of a challenge for a foodie in Colorado. Green chile sauce is typically made with pork which prevents me from indulging in the coveted sauce that is scattered throughout many Denver restaurants and makes an appearance in many popular dishes here in the state. Boo.

Sure, there are a FEW restaurants that make a vegetarian option, but I’m talking FEW. 

Roasted_Sweet_Pepper_Salsa_1

I don’t have Hatch chiles in my garden, they actually come from New Mexico, but I do have an abundance of several sweet pepper varieties. Although the peppers do not produce as much heat as the Hatch variety, I decided to make an attempt at green chile sauce using what I have.

Although I was not successful at creating a green chile sauce, I did create a sweet Roasted Salsa too good to not share. I roasted 2 different varieties (Giante Marconi and Antoli Romanian) of sweet peppers along with a jalapeño, which created a mellow smoky flavor that sits well atop a salty tortilla chip. 

/// There are several different ways to roast your own peppers, over an open fire, in the oven, or even on the stovetop. I roasted my peppers over the stovetop for the first time and it worked out well! I watched a few videos on YouTube for guidance. In a few weeks, I’m going to an official chile pepper roast and I have no idea what to expect, but I hope to learn a thing or two about the process… especially since I live in chile pepper land. Smirk.

Sweet_Peppers

Roasted Sweet Pepper Salsa
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 8 roasted sweet peppers, skins removed, seeded, and chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tomatoes, such as Roma, chopped
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 jalapeños, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
  • juice squeezed from a lime or two, to taste
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, sauté the onion in oil until softened and translucent (about 4-5 minutes). Add the garlic and sauté for an additional minute.
  2. Add the tomatoes and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until they’ve released their juices and softened.
  3. Add the sweet chiles, jalapeños, broth, cumin and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for about 1½ hours, until the chiles are very soft and the ingredients appear to meld together.
  4. After cooling, pour the ingredients into a food processor and puree the mixture into a salsa-like consistency.
  5. Add lime juice and salt to taste.
Roasted_Sweet_Pepper_Salsa_1
Sources: Denver Post, Spoon With Me

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
03

Tru Roots Lentils

We’ve gone on a few camping trips this summer and have another trip planned at the end of the month. I love camping because it allows an opportunity to bask in the natural beauty that our outdoor world has to offer. 

Camping Twin Lakes

I love being isolated from the modern world, challenged to entertain myself with the few things I’ve packed in the car and the organic earth surrounding me.

Plant-Based Camp Meals

Plant-Based Camp Meals

One of the biggest challenges I face prior to a camping trip is meal planning.  
A week prior to camp, I plan out each meal and make a grocery list. It’s important to know exactly how much food will be needed – you don’t want to starve out there in the wilderness but you don’t want to pack too much either – 1. there typically isn’t enough room for over-packing. 2. you may waste food if you over-pack.

Plant-Based Camp Meals

Camping Twin Lakes

After I’ve planned my meals and made my grocery list, I make a list of the tools I’ll need in order to properly prepare each meal. 

I have a medium-sized Kelty cooler that is perfect for a weekend trip and I recently purchased a Camp Kitchen from REI that stores all of my plates, utensils, cups, and dry goods. 

Plant-Based Camp Meals

Plant-Based Camp Meals

On our last camping trip, we didn’t have a reserved spot so we weren’t sure if we’d be camping with a campfire or not. We challenged ourselves to prepare all of our meals without a fire and we did so with a single burner camp stove. The mini stove allowed us to make coffee in the morning, warm up oatmeal, cook rice, and warm veggies. (what more could you ask for?!)

Camping Twin Lakes

Plant-Based Camp Meals

Although I hesitated to bring a Sun Tea Jar to camp (some may consider it obnoxious), I was thankful I did – water gets boring after a while. Although it’s considered cold brew, may I recommend Sport Tea for camp? Because, electrolytes.

Plant-Based Camp Meals

Let’s talk meal prep for Plant-Based Camp Meals

Here are a few rules I follow when planning out my camp meals:

1. Keep meals SIMPLE, nutritional, and filling
2. Keep ingredients to a minimum
3. Work with ingredients that can be used in multiple meals (you’ll see examples below)
4. Pack foods that won’t spoil quickly (meat, cheese, milk, fish, etc…)
5. Pack a few spices that will enhance flavor (cinnamon, salt, pepper)

Plant-Based Camp Meals

BREAKFAST IDEAS:

1. Cold Cereal w/ Nuts & Fruit 
add some chopped fruit (whatever you’ve packed) and some nuts from your trail mix for a more filling cereal. use a nut milk instead of dairy (it doesn’t spoil as quickly!)

2. Oatmeal
you can make oatmeal in a variety of different ways for camp –
//instant oats cook quickly and can be mixed with fruits, nuts, cinnamon, and almond milk
//you can make steel cut oats prior to camp and warm them quickly – again, add fruits, nuts, almond milk, cinnamon
//if you have a frying pan available, sauté some sliced apples or peaches and then add oats
// blend quinoa with your steel cut oats for added nutrition, Trader Joe’s has frozen packs of oats + quinoa that work well at camp

3. Peanut Butter
add peanut butter to bread or apples for a quick, yet filling breakfast – supplement with trail mix and/or protein bars (this is what I would eat prior to an early AM hike!)

Plant-Based Camp Meals

Camping Twin Lakes

LUNCH IDEAS

1. Guacamole & Quinoa-stuffed Bell Peppers 
Cut bell pepper in half and de-seed them then stuff them with pre-made guacamole and quinoa. Top them with a few chopped tomatoes if you have them on hand.

2. Spinach Salad w/ Peaches and Lentils
Top spinach with lentils (my favorite are the Sprouted Green Lentils from TruRoots because of their nutritional value and peppery flavor) and peaches & cherries (blueberries would work well to!)
The perfect salad dressing to pack for camp is Tessemae’s Lemon Garlic because it works well with every salad I can imagine and can be used in a variety of different ways including as a marinade for veggies, or atop a rice or quinoa dish. PLUS, it keeps well whether room temp or in a cooler.

3. Chopped Veggies & Hummus
Pre-made hummus can be served with practically every veggie I can think of – chop what you’ve got and dip. If you’re a fan of crackers or chips, dip those as well! My favorite crackers are the Bite Size Everything Crackers from Trader Joe’s.

4. Carrot Soup 
Carrot Soup can be served warm or chilled which makes it perfect for camp. The last time we camped, we ate it (chilled) as a side dish to 3-4 different meals, it rounded out our meals by adding additional flavor. The recipe I used is found on the Minimalist Baker blog.

5. Peanut Butter
If you have minimal time for a meal, celery dipped in peanut butter will quickly offer a burst of energy. This may be a “meal” you are eating while hiking or on a boat and can be supplemented with energy bars, trail mix, and dried fruits.

Plant-Based Camp Meals

Plant-Based Camp Meals

DINNER IDEAS

1. Rice + Veggies 
TruRoots Germinated Brown Rice cooks in less than 10 minutes which makes it ideal for camp (especially when you’re trying to get dinner done prior to the sun setting)! If you serve cooked rice over the top of raw, chopped veggies, and allow it to sit for a few minutes, the warmth of the rice will soften the veggies. If you prefer to cook your veggies, you can do that too. Use any veggies you like (or what you have on hand), I used broccoli and cauliflower on my last camping trip. To add flavor to your rice & veggies, use the Tessemae’s Lemon Garlic dressing.

2. Chickpea Lettuce Wraps
SO EASY! Ok, here is what you need: a can of chickpeas, a head of lettuce, some fruits (those peaches that you used for breakfast – or mango), diced cucumber, and a dressing. I used the Carrot Soup as a dressing for my lettuce wraps because I had it on hand, but I also considered making a Peanut Sauce prior to camp. (recipe for peanut sauce HERE)

3. a Quinoa Bowl 
quinoa + fruits + avocado + peanut sauce – find the recipe HERE

4. Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers
Cut the tops off the bell peppers and de-seed them. Stand them upright and stuff them with chopped veggies, warm rice or quinoa, and some tomato sauce if you have it on-hand. If you have a campfire, you can wrap them in foil and allow them to “cook” – if not, allow the warm rice or quinoa to soften the bell pepper and veggies for a few minutes prior to eating.

Plant-Based Camp Meals

If you look at my table setup in the photos, you’ll see that I served many of these meals together instead of singly to create more interesting and complex meals. It’s all about getting creative, using what you have, and displaying your foods colorfully!

For more camp food ideas check out these links:
Mammoth Lakes Camping + Vegan Campfire Food
36 Camping Experts Reveal Their 3 Easy Camping Meals 

Camping Twin Lakes

Now, for the Giveaway. 

TruRoots recently asked me to become an ambassador for them and I happily said YES after reading their story and trying their products. The TruRoots philosophy is: 

TruRoots was founded on the idea that our connections to the sources of our foods are important. The people who grow, harvest and deliver these nutritious foods are just as important as the final product. In fact, without this chain of good people and wise practices, the high quality of our food simply isn’t possible.

With this approach has come not only a connection between the people and lands that these foods come from—it has opened up avenues for the sharing of cultural wisdom. Western science is just ‘discovering’ many of the principals that have been in use for centuries around the world. These ancient practices are being confirmed by science as having nutritious benefit and agricultural sustainability. And this process of learning and sharing has only begun.
It is our belief at TruRoots that scientific advances and ancient wisdom can be brought together into a golden middle road which leads to not only wholesome foods, but rewarding human relationships. We have a lot to learn from each other… And the process of doing this is simply delicious!

With that philosophy and some of the best tasting grains I’ve ever eaten, TruRoots is a company that I’m excited to stand behind.

TruRoots has offered to give away 1 package of each TruRoots Originals product to one lucky PLQ winner. To enter, leave a comment on this post before August 17. The lucky winner will be randomly chosen and notified on August 18. Please share this post with any of your camping friends or with anyone who may be interested in winning some TruRoots goodies!

Camping Twin Lakes

Although TruRoots influenced me by sending out some free product, all opinions and food ideas in this post are my own. In this post, you will also find a few affiliate links – if you click them and purchase a product, I may make a few pennies on the dollar. Thank you for taking the time to read! 

Oh, and for the record – all of these photos were taken at Twin Lakes, CO. Beautiful, right?! 

Love

Crista


Jul
23

Dairy-Free Bourbon Butterscotch Pudding

Butterscotch. Is it becoming a thing of the past….?

When I was a little girl, it seemed like I was surrounded by a never-ending supply of butterscotch goodies (which may have had something to do with my mothers sweet tooth and obsession with everything butterscotch) but it’s totally rare to find butterscotch treats these days. Damn you, 2015.

I mean, I can remember butterscotch puddings, butterscotch pies, butterscotchy cookies, and these little pastries that we’d melt butterscotch chips into. My mouth is watering as I reminisce on the “good ole days”…

I can remember the FEW times that I’ve found butterscotch ANYTHING in my adult life. Beans & Barley in Milwaukee has butterscotch pie for sale every now and then (or at least they did years ago), and Work & Class in Denver and Hub 51 in Chicago both have butterscotchy desserts that are to die for. That’s it. That’s all I’ve found in the recent years.

Dairy-Free Bourbon Butterscotch Pudding

For years, I’ve thought about making my own homemade butterscotch pudding but I was too intimidated to go for it until recently. I grew a pair of balls, ya’ll and good thing I did because I crushed it.

Not only is butterscotch pudding ridiculously easy to make (as long as you can make quick moves in the kitch), it’s also:
creamy
smooth
rich
buttery
not tooth-achingly sweet
and it does not lack complex flavor

EVEN THOUGH it’s dairy free and egg-free…. (which is why you might be thinking that this pudding recipe can’t possibly be all I’m hyping it up to be – I dare you to put it to the test)

What this recipe does include is a little bit of Bourbon and some Real Deal Vanilla Extract. Please, please, please do not exclude bourbon and vanilla from this pudding. The first time I tried this recipe, I didn’t have any bourbon on hand, and I was all lazy-like so I made the pudding without it. The result could be named some like “Sugar Pudding” – it was overly sweet and lacked in real deal flavor.

I feel lucky to have gotten some of Oh Lady Cakes Real Deal Vanilla Extract when it went on sale but she is completely sold out now so you won’t be able to get any of it for this recipe (until Dec 2015) HOWEVER you can make this pudding with ANY real vanilla extract. I recommend you stay away from the imitation stuff. As an alternative to the Real Deal, I like Trader Joe’s Bourbon Vanilla Extract.

Dairy-Free Bourbon Butterscotch Pudding

{dairy-free} Bourbon Butterscotch Pudding
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 6 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1½ cups dark brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4½ cups unsweetened plain almond milk, divided
  • 2 tablespoons dairy-free margarine, softened (I use Earth Balance)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons bourbon
Instructions
  1. Pudding cooks quickly so it's important that you gather and measure all of your ingredients before you being making it. Do that now - and be sure to grab a small saucepan and a wire whisk or a wooden spoon as well.
  2. BEFORE you put the saucepan over heat, combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt in it until they are mixed well.
  3. Add ½ cup of the almond milk to the mixture and place the saucepan over medium heat. Stir frequently and thoroughly to completely dissolve the cornstarch and sugar.
  4. Add the remainder of the almond milk and the bourbon, stir constantly until the mixture thickens. This will take approximately 5 minutes.
  5. Once thickened, remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the margarine and vanilla.
  6. Transfer the pudding to a heatproof dish and place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding, covering it completely. This will prevent a skin from forming on the top.
  7. Chill for a few hours prior to serving.
Notes
I tested this recipe without the bourbon and it was really sweet, almost too sweet. The bourbon helps to balance out the flavor and depth without being overpowering.

If you would like more of the bourbon flavor to be more prominent, add another tablespoon of it to the recipe. Really, you can't go wrong.
If you so desire, top your butterscotch pudding with a dollop of coconut whipped cream and/or some carob nibs (which is how I like it!)

Dairy-Free Bourbon Butterscotch Pudding

This recipe was adapted from a recipe on about food.

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