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
17

Crista's Garden

My garden. My outdoor sanctuary. I’ve blogged about it a time or two

Crista's Garden

This gardening season has been slow and daunting thus far. Too much rain,not enough rain. Too hot, not hot enough. Unfamiliar spaces, unfamiliar plants, trial & error, all things that I’ve dealt with this year.

Crista's Garden

FINALLY, just recently, I’m making progress & I’ve got some beautiful photos to prove it. A bragging moment: my yard is the most eye-catching on the block and I’m totally flaunting it.

Crista's Garden

My new friend Pam, The Brooklyn Farm Girl interviewed me and featured my beautiful sanctuary on her blog today, I’m excited to share it with you all. Click through to read the full interview and to see more photos of my garden space!!

BFG

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


Jul
28

Island Lake Cross Lake MN

I shared the photos taken at the cabin I visited during my trip to Crosslake, MN, but I didn’t include the photos we took while out on the boat and on the lake. I decided to throw them in because we had such a good time taking them.

MN lake - Marilyn Monroe photo

MN lake photo

friends on SUP

On Saturday night, we went out to the local bar that EVERYONE up North goes to – literally, EVERYONE. It’s called Moonlite Bay. I hated it because the music was awful – and I was exhausted. But anyway. A random guy approached me and asked if I had been SUP’ing that day. I said something like “Duh, of course I was SUP’ing”. Everyone around us looked confused, they had no idea what SUP’ing was – SUP = Stand Up Paddleboard. I only knew that because it’s a “thing” in Colorado. So here you have it, so many photos of Laura & I on the SUPs.

Stand Up Paddleboard

Stand Up Paddleboard

Stand Up Paddleboard

Falling off the SUP happens every now and then, mostly when a boat cruises through creating waves on the lake. Even with good balance, it’s hard to stay up on the SUP in a wavy situation. Laura put the pooch on the Sup with her and then fell off. The poor little guy had to swim to shore, so scared. Luckily he was wearing a lifejacket (which he HAS to wear now because he has a habit of jumping off the back of moving boats – crazy boy!) I stood there with my camera taking photos and laughing at the poor little guy.

Stand Up Paddleboard

sunset

sunset

sunset over the lake

sunset over the lake

Again, so many beautiful sunset photos were taken – the sky changes every few seconds during sunset so every single photo is completely unique…. and so good.

sunset over the lake

Love

Crista


Jul
24

Minnesota Cabin - Island Lake

My best friends family has a cabin on a lake in Minnesota and for 4 years (which is about how long I’ve known her) she’s been begging me to come up. Minnesota is home to 10,000 lakes so traveling “up North” to “the cabin” is the THING to do here. 

I lived in MN years ago, but I didn’t have any friends who had cabins up North so I spent most of my time on lakes that were closer to the city of Minneapolis. There were about 4-5 lakes that I frequented. 

In Colorado, we don’t have lakes. We hardly have water, period. We’ve got a few rivers, and a few man-made reservoirs. That’s about it. They come nowhere close to being as actively used as the lakes in Minnesota soooo shortly after moving to Colorado, I knew I needed to make the trip up North and get to the lake.

I grew up in the midwest which means I grew up “going to the lake” – it’s the thing that midwesterners do. Being on the lake is the #1 thing I miss since moving to Colorado – however, I’ll survive (I LOVE the mountains!!)

Minnesota Cabin Cross Lake

This super cute, adorable cabin has almost reached it’s last day. While it has history and charm, it’s not as functional as it needs to be in the modern day – the cabin is 100 years old and it has to go. The McClellan’s are bulldozing it to make way for a brand new cabin that should be ready just in time for 2015 Boating Season. I can hardly wait to see the new place! Hopefully I’ll be celebrating 4th of July there next year….

grillin - Minnesota - Crosslake

logs

camp meal

I love the simplicity of meals during camping and/or cabin-ing. A veggie burger sandwiched between a gluten-free bun, dressed with some ketchup & mustard satisfies. Add a few veggie chips on the side for a bonus.

After boating all day, we hopped off for just enough time to grill the veggie patties – moments after dinner, we were back out on the lake to watch the sunset. Life is so good out there!

MN Cabin Cross Lake

MN Cabin

The beautiful cabin sits quietly and privately behind these amazing trees. This “master bedroom” (which is really a little nook just off the living room) has a GORGEOUS but private view of the lake and the sunset….

MN Cabin

MN Cabin

deer in Minnesota

The deer, Bernadette & friends are not shy about asking for food. They love the apples that are provided. I was shocked at how close they allowed me to get to them! 

Minnesota deer

MN Cabin

Shih Tzu dog

This little cutie, Riley is my BFF’s Shih Tzu, he is just ridiculously cute, don’t you think? He can also be a little naughty at times, tsk tsk tsk.

MN Cabin

I love this photo of Bill (my BBF’s dad) – he may or may not be feeling tipsy after drinking all day on the boat. Ha! Which, speaking of – have you ever mixed Orangina with vodka? I have. And it’s awesome. Especially if you’re on a boat.

Can you find Riley in that photo? Probably not because he’s so FAST! 

Roxy Flip Flops

Friend-flops! Basically, we have friend-everything. Friend-bracelets, friend-boots, friend-lipgloss, the list goes on and on and on. Hey, we both have good taste – 

MN Cabin & Beach

Island Lake Cross Lake MN

I have definitely been spoiled by the sun setting over the mountains. HOWEVER, the sun setting over the lake doesn’t suck either. Not at all.

sunset over the lake

Love

Crista


Jul
06

The holiday weekend, it seems as though EVERYONE is outside enjoying the weather and celebrating summer.
In the midst of things, I can’t stop thinking about all of the outdoor adventures I’d like to accomplish this summer.
I just booked a camping trip, I’ll be with friends at a cabin on a lake in Minnesota soon, and I’d like to picnic in the park…
….all this among the millions of other things I’d like to do before summer comes to an end.
The one thing I look forward to most when in preparation for these activities is plan the food situation.
((why do I love food so much??))
I looked through my blog posts for some ideas – here are the best options that pack & serve well for a picnic.
Where will you be picnicking this year? I’ll be at Wash Park

Chickpea Salad Sandwich

Chickpea Salad Sandwich

Pea Hummus

Easy Peasy Pea Hummus

peach & tomato skewers

Peach & Tomato Skewers

Spring Coleslaw

Spring Coleslaw

Banana Fantasy Salad // peace. love. quinoa

Banana Fantasy Salad

Green Potato Salad

Green Potato Salad

Watermelon Gazpacho

Watermelon Gazpacho

Mango Salsa

Mango Salsa

Cucumber Watermelon Quinoa Salad // peace. love. quinoa

Cucumber Watermelon Quinoa Salad

Chickpea & Tomato Salad // peace. love. quinoa

Chickpea & Tomato Salad w/ Fresh Basil

vegan Chocolate Pudding with Cinnamon Whipped Cream

Chocolate Pudding w/Cinnamon Frosting

Lemonade / Arnold Palmer

Homemade Lemonade / Arnold Palmer

Sweet Tea

Sweet Tea

Ginger Mint Iced Tea

Ginger Mint Iced Tea

Love

Crista


Jul
03

red, white, and blue sangria

Oh HEYyyyy Holiday Weekend, is that you approaching?
YOU, the one weekend that has everyone out spending all of their money on unnecessary red, white, and blue garb JUST FOR FUN!! Do you even KNOW how long I have been searching for a pair of red shorts to wear on the 4th?? 

Anyway, I love this time of year. Friends, family, cabins, lakes, fireworks, grilled eats, watermelon, being outdoors – it’s all so good. I’ve taken the entire week off work for some solo enjoyment and relaxation – as far as I’m concerned, the Holiday Weekend is already here – my “weekend” just happens to be longer than most. Ha! 

red, white, and blue sangria

To get in the spirit of red, white, and blue, I’ll probably get out my American Flag Shorts, have my nails polished in red, blue, and glitter (!!), AND I’ve got an entire batch of red, white, and blue sangria waiting for me, calling my name. I’m thinking this first batch will disappear by the end of the day and the second batch will makes it’s way to the cabin in the mountains this weekend. We’ll see what happens :)

red, white, and blue sangria

red, white, & blue sangria
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 bottle white wine
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup strawberries, chopped
  • 2 tbsp agave nectar
  • 1 bottle sparkling water
Instructions
  1. In a large pitcher, combine the strawberries, blueberries, and white wine. Allow the mixture to chill in the refrigerator overnight.
  2. Remove from the refrigerator and stir in the agave nectar.
  3. Serve chilled, and when serving, fill the glasses ¾ full with the fruit & wine mixture and top off with a splash or two of sparkling water.

red, white, and blue sangria

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


May
22

lemonade

lemonade

lemonade-4

lemonade-2

i’m ready for the weekend.
the holiday weekend that tends to feel like the begin of summer….
it could potentially rain in Denver all weekend but i don’t care. i’ll be out enjoying it.
rain and snow didn’t hold me back two weekends ago, why would i allow rain to hold me back this weekend?
i’m ready to be out more than i’m in.
i’m ready for the late nights, that feed my summer spirit
i’m ready for outdoor dining and fresh squeezed lemonade. 
homemade lemonade = so easy
mix together: water, fresh squeezed lemons, & agave nectar – that’s it.
blend it with fresh brewed ice tea and you’ve got a (super summery) Arnold Palmer….
*cheers* to the upcoming (extended) weekend

Love

Crista


Aug
16

peach & tomato skewer peach & tomato skewer peach & tomato skewer-4 peach & tomato skewer

You know those sayings… “they’re like two peas in a pod..” or “they go together like peas and carrots..”

((can you tell I watched Forrest Gump last night?))

I say we make a new phrase, “they go together like purple haze tomatoes and fresh ripe peaches.”

I’m honestly not sure there is a better fruit/veggie combo than this one.
But then again, those Purple Haze tomatoes would be good with a variety of different things, they’re good on their own – they taste sweet like candy.

To accompany the perfect pair, I added fresh mint and a drizzle of balsamic glaze.

Love

Crista