This Vegetarian Spring Wheat Berry Salad is bursting with fresh spring produce which is nestled between chewy high-fiber wheat berries and tossed in a chive blossom vinaigrette.
Sure, sharing how to make homemade chive blossom vinegar ended up being a huge success (yay!). However, I honestly originally brought it up because I have this amazing grain salad recipe (see below!) that uses chive blossom vinegar that I really really wanted to share with you all and knew it would be easier for you to make it if you had chive blossom vinegar on hand. So now that I’ve given you some time to start on your flavored vinegar mixture, let’s talk about this salad!
This salad is essentially spring in a bowl. I wandered over to the farmers market last Saturday and bought whatever looked tempting. Tiny strawberries, dirty ramps, purple carrots and basil, and little microgreens. I then came home and after washing everything, threw it in a bowl with a hearty helping of wheat berries and chive blossom dressing. And then I ate this salad for lunch for the next three day. It was so simple yet so satisfying and delicious.
This two-ingredient Homemade Chive Blossom Vinegar is so simple that it’s hard to even call it a recipe. The end result is a slightly pink vinegar with a subtle spring onion flavor tint to it that is perfect for salad dressings, shrubs, and anywhere else you’d use vinegar.
I was gifted the most gorgeous bottle of Chive Blossom Vinegar from my aunt awhile back and it’s slightly pink hue is almost too gorgeous to cook with. I kept that bottle on the window sill for several months before I could even bring myself to open it. Finally, when spring came into full swing a few weeks back, I could resist no longer and started throwing it into all of our salad dressings.
The flavor is subtle but I feel so fancy showing off my chive blossom salad dressing to guests so I’ve been using it non-stop. I really wanted to start using it around here but didn’t want anyone to feel left out if they couldn’t get their hands on a batch in their local grocery store. The obvious solution was to share a homemade version with all of you so you could also join in the fun! I’ve seen wild chive patches all over town and I bet you could spot some for the picking on your evening walks as well.
It only took one week to get my vinegar the same beautiful hue as the store bought version (I pictured them both side by side above to show the similarities). I also used champagne vinegar to make my version as it’s what I prefer in homemade salad dressing but you can use any type of vinegar that you have on hand or cook with often (I’d suggest sticking with a clear version instead of dark though so you can achieve that beautiful pink).
Make sure to check back later this week as I’ll have a recipe that uses this Chive Blossom Vinegar in it! Also, if you don’t feel like making the Chive Blossom Vinegar yourself, I found the brand I was gifted available for purchase here.
Homemade Chive Blossom Vinegar recipe below:
This four ingredient St. Germain Spritzer cocktail takes two minutes to whip up. It’s the perfect refreshing alcoholic drink for a spring or summer evening.
Before I jump into talking about this beyond simple cocktail, I’m excited to tell you all about the giveaway I am currently hosting over on my instagram right now! I’m not going to lie, between finishing up the book, working full time at my indie rock job, pushing the newest issue of Driftless Magazine into the world, and doing freelance work, our evening meals have really started to suffer. Sure, it’s great when I have to recipe develop tacos or lasagna but all too often I’m working on a drink recipe or dessert and those things end up being our dinner. So when Sun Basket sent me one of their weekly meal boxes to try out, I was so excited to have an excuse to set some time aside and make dinner again. Not only did it give me an excuse to get back into the kitchen for more than just work but the meals were delicious and ridiculously easy.
I’ve had a lot of reservations with meal services in the past but Sun Basket has the perfect solutions for them all. Meal services always felt so wasteful with all the individual packaging of every ingredient but Sun Basket sends you a return label to send back all the packaging for them to reuse or recycle. I also hated the idea of a meal plan because of my meat-free dietary restrictions but they’ve covered that as well; they gave you the option to choose between vegetarian, gluten-free, and paleo recipes! And last but not least, I’m kind of a food snob and insist on all of my vegetables being organic so I was thrilled to find out their ingredients are certified organic! Yup, $11.49 for an organic meal that is delivered right to your door and can be whipped up in less than an hour. Dreamy, right?
Now, onto the best part! I am currently giving away one week of Sun Basket meals (3 meals for 2, worth $68.94) over on my instagram! All you have to do it hop on over and tag someone you think would appreciate Sun Basket (whether it’s someone who never has enough time in their day or appreciates a delicious organic meal or has dietary restrictions or just loves to cook and try new recipes). Hop on over there NOW because the contest ends on Sunday at midnight (EST time)! Also, if you know for sure you want to try out Sun Basket, you can use this link to get $30 off your first order! How can you resist with a deal like that?
Now onto this drink recipe! This is one of those recipes where I was trying to relax at the end of a day (this is a new development, by the way. My workaholic self is trying to slow down and enjoy a few silent moments a day) so I made myself this cocktail with ingredients we had on hand to enjoy with a novel on the porch. As I was sipping it, I was like ‘this is so good and looks so beautiful. I want to take a picture of it’. Fast forward 40 minutes later and I’m back to work, snapping pictures and writing down recipes (so much for that relaxing thing I’ve been working on, right?).
This cocktail is beyond simple but that is what I really enjoy about it. It’s four ingredients. I can be whipped up in under five minutes. And it’s refreshing and light enough for the warming weather but boozy enough to keep you warm once the sun sets.
St. Germain Recipe below:
This recipe for Vegetarian Spring Curry Ramen is the perfect comfort food on a rainy spring day. A curry broth chocked full of vegetables and noodles!
Living in smallish Midwest city has its advantages – I can get anywhere in town in under 15 minutes, I can find ramps at the market for $3 a big bushel, and I can’t remember the last time I had to wait to get a table for dinner. The university brings in people from all over the world so we still have plenty of music and food culture. The one set back is that it tends to take a long time for food trends to make their way into our local restaurants. For example, we don’t have any place in town that sells fancy Ramen. Heck, I even looked up places in Indianapolis (about an hour away) as I was willing to drive but they didn’t have any place that served vegetarian Ramen. What the heck Indiana? Not only are your super conservative laws whack (no alcohol on Sundays!) but you are going to deny me this food trend as well?
As any decent food blogger would do, I took matters into my own hands and whipped up my own. In this Vegetarian Spring Curry Ramen you’ll find noodles surrounded by an array of spring vegetables all wrapped in a rich spicy curry broth. I used ramps because I was able to easily get my hands on them but leave them out if they aren’t in your neck of the woods right now, because the scallions already give a great onion addition to the dish. Also, if it’s no longer spring, swap in whatever vegetables are fresh right now – think bell peppers, eggplants, fresh corn, etc.
Recipe for Vegetarian Spring Curry Ramen below:
Spice up your taco night with this recipe for Chorizo-Spiced Chickpea Fajita Pitas! Switch out that boring old tortilla for pita and fill them with smoky chorizo-spiced chickpeas!
Happy Drink Margarita’s Day! Oh wait…that’s not right. I mean Happy Taco day! No…no… okay, one more time: HAPPY CINCO DE MAYO Day! There we go!
Okay, I’m not going to lie. I had to look up the real reason we celebrate Cinco de Mayo earlier this week; I had only ever jumped on the bandwagon as an excuse to eat tacos and skip out on responsibilities to day drink margs (despite it usually ending like this). With that being said, it’s a real holiday with real reasons to celebrate but, as is with most the holidays I get excited about, my celebrations are skewed towards making it all about food. No surprise there!
When I think of Cinco de Mayo and celebrating Mexican traditions, I think of my Mexican step-mother whom I grew up with. I was a stubborn kid who refused meat at an early age but that didn’t stop my high school friends from coming over on Sunday mornings to chow down on her homemade chorizo and scrambled eggs without me. I’d grudging nibble on a flimsy piece of warmed tortilla while my friends would go on and on about how amazing the chorizo was spiced while on their third helping.
In an attempt to get over feeling left out on those lazy weekend mornings, I invented a roasted chickpea that is flavored with all the spiced you’d find in chorizo. It’s spicy, smoky, bold, and beyond flavorful. They fit beautifully in a breakfast burrito but are even better stuffed in a pita with fajita style veggies and loads of sour cream. As I’ve said before and I’ll say it again, being vegetarian doesn’t have to be limited. WE GOT THIS GUYS!
Side note: Many fajita recipes call for marinating veggies for at least thirty minute before cooking but these chickpeas are so flavorful that I don’t think they even need more seasoning.
Chorizo-Spiced Chickpea Fajita Pitas recipe below:
A free form Anything-Goes Breakfast Cheese Board recipe designed to outline what a breakfast cheese board could look like in your house. Take the recipe as a basic guideline and experiment with ingredients you have on hand!
Today I am bringing you a beyond simple recipe for an ‘Anything-Goes Breakfast Cheese Board’. As you can probably tell, it’s cookbook season! I was going to hold off on sharing another cookbook recipe for a few weeks but this one just fit so well into Mother’s Day that I really wanted to share it with you before Sunday in hopes you might make a board of your own for your special lady.
My mother actually came down this past weekend (since this coming weekend is graduation at Indiana University which makes it pretty much impossible to do anything in Bloomington with the influx of tens of thousands of parents that flock into town) and helped me with my garden. I’m super pumped about the garden this year because Wyatt built some really nice looking raised beds and we are going to focus on less (just tomatoes and herbs) but give those fewer things more attention. I’ll make sure to post process pictures over on instagram as the season progresses!
Okay, so this breakfast board. It’s probably my favorite thing I’ve made in a long time. I’m not into big meals and prefer to eat a little of this or that which is exactly what this boards gets you to do. It’s also a great way to use up any leftover jams, bread, crackers, herbs, cheeses, and fruit (clean out that fridge) and make a whole meal out of them! Just make sure you have a few hard boiled eggs (to keep with the breakfast theme) and a variety of cheeses and the rest can totally be made up of whatever you prefer!
This recipe is adapted from Leela Cyd’s newest book, Food with Friends. It’s a dazzling piece of work with so many inspiring recipes that will get you excited about hosting again. I personally am always looking for an excuse to host more often and this book was just the inspiration I needed. It’s filled with not only show stopping recipes to delight guests but also tips on how to set a stylish table.
Anything-Goes Breakfast Cheese Board recipe below:
Clumpy Granola Bowl with Stewed Rhubarb and Yogurt is a simple and easy recipe filled with protein-packed chickpea flour and perfect for a snack or simple breakfast.
If you follow me on instgram then you probably noticed that I am on vacation in Marco Island right now. I’m currently breathing in the salty sea water and slowly waking up while I sip on a fresh latte. This is the first time I’ve been on a computer in three days and it’s both exciting to reconnect and also a little lack luster (should I really be staring at this screen when the ocean is calling my name from mere streets away?). Anyway, this is probably the only time I’ll be on this clunky laptop until the plane ride home on Sunday so feel free to follow along on instagram if you’d like to stay connected in the meantime!
Anyhow, I jumped on the computer because this clumpy granola recipe that I made for the plane ride last weekend was so good that I just couldn’t wait until I got home to share it with you! This recipe is from my friend Lindsey’s new cookbook, Chickpea Flour Does it All. I’m huge a mega fan of Lindsey’s gorgeous modern and stylish food photography and I knew this book was going to be amazing before I even got my paws on it. Before she had even asked me if I’d be wiling to review a copy for VV, I had already emailed her editor begging for a copy to share with all of you because I knew it was going to be one of the best cookbooks of the year. And you know what? It didn’t disappoint. Her recipes are genius with creative ways to use chickpea flour that I couldn’t even imagine coming up with and the photos in the book are some of the best I’ve seen in print.
Today I am sharing an array of 5 Ingredient Vegetarian Recipes! As part of my desire to make VV a wonderful resource for anyone looking to incorporate less meat into their diets, I have another installment of my recipe round-up for you (see past ones on Indian Summer dishes and xxxx here). We all have days were we just don’t have time to make it to the store or want to use what you have on hand. Because of this, I’ve rounded up a handful of simple and five ingredient or less recipes. I’ll admit that I didn’t count salt, pepper, or olive oil as ingredients but I’d assume we all have those on hand, right? Here are 25 of my favorite 5 ingredient (or less!) vegetarian recipes from around the web:
5 Ingredient Vegetarian Recipes
This Pistachio Pound Cake with Strawberries in Lavender Sugar is the perfect simple, floral dessert to whip up as soon as the first berries of the season hit.
All I could think about when whipping up this cake was my favorite Beyoncé lyric I always jokingly yell at Wyatt when I’m feeling extra sassy, You wish I was your poundcake. To say I made this cake purely based off of getting a Beyoncé song stuck in my head after seeing the recipe might be 100% true. I’ll even admit that the styling was inspired by Queen B herself with it’s modern minimalist plate and punchy contrast. If this recipe was a Beyoncé song, it was most certainly be Flawless.
These Curried Veggie Patties with Coconut Quinoa are the perfect meal to throw together when you are trying to get rid of leftover vegetables or just looking to incorporate more veggies into your diet!
I was eight and wiggling around in the front seat of the tan Ford Explorer. My parents divorced before I was one so my brother and I would split our time between two homes, both less than a mile apart from each other. However, my brother was off being a pre-teen by hanging out at a friend’s house so it was just my father and I in the car this time. We were stopped at the one streetlight between my parent’s houses and my stepmother’s (Connie) Shania Twain’s ‘Come on Over’ CD was playing in the CD player. I cracked a joke at my father that he must had been listening to this entire CD on his twenty minute car ride from work to pick me up and instead of denying it, he jokingly turned it up and began singing along. We both knew the words from Connie playing it around the house all the time and I belted out all the feels to “Honey, I’m Home” without truly understanding the lines I was singing (“This job’s a pain, it’s so mundane. It sure don’t stimulate my brain”). When the line “With all this stress, I must confess. This could be worse than PMS” came on, my dad turned the music really low to drown out “PMS” and gave me an awkward grin that I knew meant we shouldn’t talk about it. It was a moment I logged in my head as I so often did as a kid; I’d close my eyes as tight as possible and say to myself ‘remember this moment’ as if that would neatly file away the memory for years to come until I was ready for it to resurface. I was curious and wanted to know but felt very content in the idea that I would know the answer one day but that it didn’t have to be today.
These Vegan Chocolate Grapefruit and Dulce de Leche Cupcakes for the perfect vegan treat for any celebration – rich, chocolately, & full of citrus!
My favorite part about making these cupcakes is that, for the first time in 2016, it was warm enough to open the kitchen windows and let both the sun and breeze trickle in. I feel like these photos are pretty on point with my mood while making these – starting to see the glimpse of warmth and light that spring brings while still chasing the moody light of winter. I obviously couldn’t pick a mood here so I have both moody and bright photos this time around.
Renee introduced me to vegan Dulce de Leche two years ago and I’ve used it on numerous treats since. Every time I’m bummed that it’s not berry season or apple season, I remember this sauce and how it’s flavors are perfect for any time of year. You’ll probably have leftover sauce after drizzling on these cupcakes and I’d recommend drizzling it over your morning granola or evening helping of ice cream.
This Vegan Cocoa Waffles With Caramelized Pears recipe is slightly sweet and pairs perfectly with your morning cup of coffee or a mimosa.
I noticed the other day in my H&R handbook at my day job, that I’ve officially worked there for five years. Five years. That is just a little longer than my entire college career. A little longer than the angsty high school chapter of my life. Without even realizing it, when looking back at my past, I’ve always grouped my growth into educational milestones so everything past college always just felt like the present. But the 22 year old girl, fresh out of college, is not the same woman that sits here and types this at 26. Thinking back on it, the last five years since graduating from university have been huge; filled with so much personal growth, gain, and loss.
I found a boy I love and we moved in together; we moved into a shack of a house that was filled with ants and mice and rats and cockroaches and long nights spent listening to records and afternoon tattoo sessions and a happy boxer pup and so much love for figuring out how to make a life together.
And then there has been so much loss; I’ve lost two grandparents, a step-father, and watched both my mom and dad struggle with health issues. Having these people, that I spent my whole life looking up to and expecting to always be there, removed was a loss that brings no words. And with those losses, I’ve found new realizations that nothing lasts forever. Although the past few years have been plagued now and then with anxiety because of these realizations, these unfortunate experiences have also helped me grow. I went into these situations scared and unsure if I could handle them but always came out with a new appreciation for my own strength and the others around me.
My boyfriend always jokes that I’m a huge wimp and my mom always mentions I have too many hangups. I laugh at the thought of both those things because the 22 year old version of me believed that and, heck, maybe it was even true back then. But this present self is often hesitant but not scared of the future as I once was. This is because I’ve experienced the bad with the good and know that no matter what happens, there is nothing more you can do than roll with it and make the best of every situation.
This Sweet and Sour Tempeh Rice Rice recipe is a vibrantly flavorful tropical main dish that is both vegetarian and vegan.
Today I’m bringing you this Sweet and Sour Tempeh Rice in partnership with ZICO Coconut Water; this partnership felt like such a no-brainer since coconut water is already usually part of my daily routine. I’ve stuck to ZICO since it’s one of the few brands available in my neck of the woods that doesn’t add sugar to their coconut water. Despite drinking it often as an afternoon pick-me-up, I’ve never tried incorporating coconut water into my cooking before this recipe (outside of throwing it into smoothies). I’ve made a similar version of this recipe with water before but adding ZICO’s new chilled coconut water + orange juice blend brought a deeper sweet flavor (without added sugar) that helped compliment the savory rice and veggies perfectly.
This Two-Grain Coconut Date Porridge is simple and nourishing one pot breakfast full of heart healthy mix-ins.
I had the pleasure of having Kristin Londergan from Radiant Health Ayurveda over to my house for breakfast the other weekend to whip up this. It was such a surprisingly wonderful reminder that the kitchen is meant to be shared and having someone else cook for you (for a change) is such a warming gesture. Kristin and I have been friends for years and I’ve always admired her chosen faith of ditching the day job and finding work in her passion. Both of us are enthusiastic and busy entrepreneurs so we don’t always find time to get together but when we do, it’s usually over a shared meal and brainstorms on how to turn our passions into realistic goals.
It’s the time of year again which means it’s also time for a Puppy Bowl Recipe Round-Up! I can’t say I’m much for sports but I sure can’t resist an afternoon filled with THE PUPPY BOWL! If you haven’t already, I can’t express how much better your day will be after checking out this year’s line up. Otis, Gordon, and Cornbread already have my heart just from looking through the pictures but I’ll be pleased to watch all of them on Sunday.
To make sure your Puppy Bowl XII is as enjoyable as it can be for both you and your pup (and kitties!), I’ve made a snack round up for the big event! I picked snacks based off of three criteria: is it animal themed in any way?, is it quiet so you won’t miss a moment of commentary? And is it delicious? Of course, all these snacks are also meat-free (always <3) so enjoy!
SAVORY SNACKS FOR YOU:
Baked Sweet Potato Samosas: Samosas get an upgrade with this meat-free version made of spelt flour. Make these on Saturday and pre-heat on Sunday afternoon before game time.
Garden Tart with Roasted Red Pepper Spread: The base of this tart is frozen puff pastry for a quick and simple tart that can be whipped up in under an hour.
Chili Lime Popcorn Cashew Clusters: No party revolving around the TV is complete without popcorn! This version is chocked full of cashews and flavors from the chili and lime.
Loaded Bánh mì Sweet Potato Fries: Enjoy next level snacking with these baked sweet potato fries that are then loaded with all the amazingly delicoius toppings you’d fine on a Bánh mì!
Quinoa Onion Rings with Horseradish Dip: Laura Wright is basically a genius and has a way of mixing unusual ingredients together to create something truly amazing. These baked onion rings are coated with puffed quinoa and seasoned with Old Bay.
Chickpea Cobb Salad Cups: Everything is better miniature and these salad cups are yet another example of that. The elements of this salad can be prepared the day before to allow for just a quick assembling session before your Puppy Bowl event.
Baked Cajun Spiced French Fries: simple baked french fries seasoned with cajun. What more could you even need?
Mini Pimento Mac & Cheese Bites: These little bites are a mix between baked macaroni and cheese and pimento dip – how could anyone resist?
Creamy and cheesy bite size Mini Pimento Mac & Cheese Bites!
I’ve got some freaking amazing Mini Pimento Mac & Cheese Bites for you all today! But what’s the special occasion, you ask? Well today I am so beyond excited to be a part of Sarah from Snixy Kitchen’s virtual baby shower! Over thirty of us bloggers have come together to celebrate her #cheesebabyshower by posting a cheesy recipe for her virtual celebration!
I’ve spent the past few days thinking of really great talking points for a baby shower (as if I was actually prepping to head to one with all these fine ladies and gentleman) because I’ve never actually been to one before. I honestly just went to my first wedding shower this year so I guess, at 26, I’m a little behind in celebrating all these big adult milestones. Anyhow, while I was thinking of topic points, I caught myself saying ‘No Shelly. Not appropriate baby shower talk’ and realized that my ‘do not bring up at baby showers’ list was as long as my ‘talking points’ list; because I’m not actually at a real shower, I thought it might be nice to share both lists with you:
- Don’t list: “What are all of the weird pregnancy cravings you all have gotten while pregnant? I’ve never had a kid but imagine I would just constantly be eating a jar of peanut butter and a tub of cream cheese at the same time”
- Do list: “Can you tell what kind of foods your baby girl likes so far? Does she kick in approval?”
- Don’t list: “Sarah, can I see your studio set up? I love the lighting in your photos and would love to see how you shoot them!”
- Do list: “Can I see the nursery? I sure hope it’s Wes Anderson themed!”
- Very Don’t list: “Aren’t you scared of the whole birth process?”
- Do list: “What are all the shows you are going to binge watch while waiting to go into labor? I’d recommend Empire, Gilmore Girls, The O.C., and Nashville”
- Don’t List: “Would you mind if I put ‘Look Who’s Talking On’ on your TV during the party?”
- Do List: “I made this cheese themed music playlist – can I put it on during the party?”
- Don’t List: “Do you think I should throw a shower for my new dog? I mean I didn’t spend 9 months growing him but I still really like him.”
- Do List: “Sarah, I’m really clumsy and am constantly knocking things over when I shoot my recipes. How do you manage to keep it all so together with an additional human inside of you?”
I’d assume that these talking points would get me through at least the first half an hour of the party, at which point I could excuse myself and munch down on all the freaking amazing food there is because everyone at the event would just be a bunch of nerdy food bloggers! Speaking of that…
A tart and juice four ingredient Citrus and Pomegranate fruit salad to cure your winter blues.
First off, in my last post I announced that I had the manuscript done for my book (*happy dance*).
As I enter the next stage of the book process, it’s that time where I need your help: I need recipe testers! All recipes are meat-free and I’m looking for cooks of all skill levels! Anyone selected and willing to complete more than three recipes will get a ‘thank you’ mention in the book and anyone willing to test more than five recipes will receive a free copy of the book when it comes out in spring 2017! If interested, please shoot me an email at [email protected] with any dietary restrictions and/or preferences of recipe types (drink, dessert, main, side, etc). Thank you so much to everyone who wrote in and offered to help! I was so surprised and beyond excited by the enormous response I received! I now have all the recipes covered and can’t wait to get share the next step with you all soon!
In other news, we finally got our first snow of the season! As someone who grew up in a town near Lake Michigan, that often times gets lake effect storms as early as October, I was really aching for some snow in my life. I know, I know – it’s a huge hassle to scrape your car windows in the morning and it’s hard to walk the dog with slippery sidewalks and the snow is blinding when you are trying to drive but it makes this whole cold thing feel like an actual season and, most importantly, it covers the endless brown that plagues our fields and our yards, which is now covered in beautiful white dust. That reflection of the snow creates some of the most gorgeous light (for taking pictures like these) and has left me totally satisfied with being stuck inside my house with a bowl of citrus and my Canon camera.
I’ve got some big news for the new year: I’m writing a cookbook! It’s so crazy to type that out! Not only am I writing a cookbook but it’s being published by one of my favorite publishers, Chronicle Books (they put out the amazing Tartine series and Handmade Baking, just to name a few)! It’s a total dream come true and I’ve spent the last year going through a whirlwind of emotions with the whole thing: excitement, anxiety, amazement, doubt, gittiness, exhaustion, joy, nervousness, frustration, and pretty much any other extreme emotion under the sun!
Well, to back up a bit, I said I’m writing a cookbook but I actually already wrote the cookbook – I spent the majority of 2015 working on it and finally turned the manuscript in at the end of December. I know, I know – how did I manage to keep this from you for so long? Why did I keep it from you? Well, I wasn’t sure how to tell you; it’s such a big deal for me that I wanted to throw a huge party and invite you all over and feed you cake to share the good news but that’s not realistic so instead I just kept putting it off…waiting for the right words to come but they never did. Plus, the book doesn’t come out until spring of 2017 so it just felt so far away to mention it. But at the same time, it was so hard not to mention something! To try to explain why I was a little MIA towards the end of last year and to try and contain my excitement and talk about the mundane of everyday when I had just spent 12 hours recipe testing and perfecting a recipe that I wouldn’t get to show you for another 18 months.
Do you have your New Years resolutions all figured out? I bet somewhere between the third piece of pie at Thanksgiving and the drive-thru dinner on your way to visit family over the holidays, you told yourself ‘I’ll eat better next year’; I know I sure did! To be completely honest, I’m pretty excited to get back on track with my body and cleanse out that sugar rush. I’m excited because I know eating healthy doesn’t mean having to compromise flavor or texture. I’m excited because I know I can get my mind and body feeling at their best while still enjoying everything I put into my mouth. Here are 25 vegetarian recipes to help you get back on track without comprising.
Well, this is it. This is the last post of 2015 – where the hell did the year go? I’ve got a reflection post I’ve been working on for next week but until then let’s talk about the last big event before we say goodbye to 2015 forever: NYE! I made this really delicious dill dip for you to make for your NYE party. It’s beyond simple and can be whipped up a day before so you won’t have to fuss with it come party time. Oh and you can get as fancy as you want with it by buying all sorts of pretty produce to serve alongside the dip or keep it super simple by enjoying with whatever you have in the fridge.
So, to be honest, I won’t be making this dip for New Years Eve to watch the ball drop with Carson Daly (bummer, I know!); instead, I’ll be dancing my ass off at a friend’s wedding which happens to be catered and it would probably be pretty weird for me to show up with a tin foil wrapped tupperware full of dip in hand, ya know? BUT that is why I made the dip earlier this week so I could pretend like I was preparing for a big NYE party (because I looooove planning) and so all of you can whip up this dip!
I think my mother has always been in the midst of an identity crisis. She grew up on the south side of Chicago, but yet she decided to settle down and have a family in a small town in Indiana. She’s often complains about the slow pace of life in Indiana: the lack of international cuisine, lack of nightlife entertainment, and the small town gossip. Growing up, when we were at dinner parties or cookouts and someone would say something particularly homey, she would turn to me and roll her eyes while saying through a forced laugh “us city slickers just don’t get it”. I can’t say for sure why she decided to move her life to the middle of nowhere but I think it’s because she has always had a thing for country boys. I have yet to see a photo of my mother and father together in their 20s where my dad isn’t rocking a cowboy hat, and my stepfather was born and spent the majority of his adolescent years on a farm.
My stepfather’s family used to come over once a year, for Christmas, and my mom would put on her best ‘down to earth’ attitude. She would nod and smile when they talked about shooting guns in the backyard for fun or when they’d joke about getting another snake caught in the lawn mower. I remember the first time that my mother decided to make a sugar cream pie for the occasion; she excitedly told me all about the Hoosier staple that the Davis family grew up with and was going to love reconnecting to. I also remember 4 hours after that when she came in defeated and saying the pie tasted like ‘butter. it tastes like pure butter. ICK’ and demanding we throw it away. My stepdad interjected and took a nibble of his own, ‘oh yup. That’s a sugar pie. This is great’ and insisted on us keeping it. The Davis family loved it and it wasn’t the last time that pie showed up at our family gatherings but it was the last time my mother bit into one.
I’d like to say I fall somewhere in the middle of my mom and stepdad’s thoughts on the sugar pie. I mean, for one, it’s butter and sugar so how can you really go wrong? It’s delicious. However, I don’t get that glazed over fondness that my stepdad would get as he bit into a piece. Although it doesn’t trigger memories of running through cornfields or watching the sunset over the chicken coops, I do imagine my stepfather enjoying it with his family when he was my age and that is enough for me to want to make it again and again.
Thanksgiving has officially come and gone. I made you guys an absolutely delicious mascarpone cheesecake recipe with caramelized cranberries that I was planning to share a few weeks ago but the lighting was all wrong and my photos didn’t do justice to how freaking delicious it truly was; unfortunately, those bummer photos translated into radio silence around here the past few weeks. Don’t worry, I’ll make it up to you with some delicious Christmas treats instead!
On a happier note though, Wyatt and I hosted our first Thanksgiving feast this year for six other family members and it went off without a hitch. I only burned the cranberry sauce and we didn’t run out of any food. We don’t have a dining room so we transformed the studio by moving all the musical equipment along the wall and setting up my photo shooting table to accommodate 8 people. Wyatt was in charge of flipping the records, cooking the sage gravy, and whipping up the cornbread casserole while I took charge of the pumpkin risotto (vegetarian main), green bean casserole, stuffing, rolls, and appetizers.
Before we go any further, I wanted to show you this awesome behind the scenes Vegetarian ‘Ventures video that my good friend Anna Powell Teeter made me for the about page. If you are a regular then you’ve probably read my writing and seen my photography but I am hoping this video will give you an even closer connection to how it all comes together behind the curtains. Check the video out below or hop on over the to ‘About Page’ to view it there!
Let’s talk about this Cornbread, Brussels Sprouts, Sweet Potato, & Pomegranate Stuffing. Can you believe that Thanksgiving is only a little over a week away? How freaking crazy is that? Are you ready? I can tell you right now that I am NOT! I’ve started one of those crazy spreadsheets with cooking temperatures and time length on it – yes, I’ve become one of those crazy cooks!
In other news, I’m actually popping in to tell you how excited I am to be one of Pure Green Magazine’s community leaders for the holiday season! This means I have a little interview and beyond delicious vegan Cornbread, Brussels Sprouts, Sweet Potato, & Pomegranate Stuffing recipe over on their website this week!
I still remember the first time I came across a Pure Green magazine in our little corner bookstore. It was volume four and the main focus was food food food (no wonder it grabbed my attention). After reading through the whole magazine all in one sitting, I jumped online to find out more about them and was amazed to find a really wonderful online community that revolved around it. Fast forward years later and I am not only a part of that community but coined a community leader – how cool is that?!
Okay – hop on over to check out this recipe for Cornbread, Brussels Sprouts, Sweet Potato, & Pomegranate Stuffing as I’m off to continue planning my fully vegetarian Thanksgiving menu. What are you planning to whip up in your kitchen next week?
First off, I’m sorry for posting book reviews two weeks in a row but I promise it’s only because I’ve been hard at work getting some holiday recipes together for all of you; I will begin rolling those out over the next few weeks! Plus, this Plum Galette With Hazelnut Frangipane is A-MAZING so what am I even apologizing for?
Can you believe it’s already November? I can’t. I just can’t get over that it’s already dark by six PM and that Thanksgiving is only a few weeks away (then again – the 70 degrees weather we’ve been having here hasn’t been helping be to believe this whole November thing). You know what November means, right? It means we (if you are in the U.S.) have to start thinking about Thanksgiving. For the past five years, Wyatt and I have switched off between visiting my family in Northern Indiana and visiting his family in Northern Wisconsin. This year we were scheduled to head up to Wisconsin but after listening to Wyatt complain about the 14 hour drive one afternoon, I go ‘fine. We just won’t go anywhere for it’ and immediately texted my family saying we were going to be hosting Thanksgiving down here in Bloomington (Indiana) if they wanted to come. I didn’t think they’d agree but I got a text back saying ‘sure. we are in’ and here we are – I’m about to host my first Thanksgiving! Yikes! Send good vibes (and delicious recipes) my way asap because I have a feeling I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
You know you have an amazing friend when she’ll fly halfway across the country to help ease your stress. During one of our weekly phone conversations, I had mentioned to my good friend, Ella, that I had a stressful fall ahead of me and she took it upon herself to book a plane ticket out here to help. We spent this past weekend trying new recipes in the kitchen, hosting photo shoots by the lake, and finding time to sneak out to surprise parties on Friday night. After four days of cooking, this was our favorite recipe we whipped up.