Monday, April 7, 2014

Simply Roasted Sweet Potato

If I were to keep a master list of my favorite foods [cue sound of safe combination unlocking], sweet potatoes would sit pretty near the top.  Mashed, pureed into a soup, baked into a quick bread or muffin, made into fries, or plainly roasted, there is something undeniably comforting and satisfying about them.  And while I enjoy all these variations, I do lean pretty heavily towards roasting them whole, whether I'm cooking for others or just for myself.  It's just so simple, unfussy, quick, and a wonderful way to preserve and honor the beauty and nutrition of the sweet potato as it is.  And surprisingly, this way of preparing them seems to draw the most "ooooohs" and "aaaaahs."   People wonder how I was able to cook the sweet potato so perfectly and with so much flavor, and when I tell them the three easy steps, they always seem to be waiting for the catch.  

But there is no catch.  Just easy, honest cooking, allowing the ingredient to speak for itself.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Gluten-Free, Vegan Pumpkin Apple Quick Bread

I was seriously considering not posting this recipe.  I do my best to eat with the seasons, and as such, I also do my best to share recipes that reflect this practice.  But as a fellow blogger mentioned on a recent post, "It's always pumpkin season in my opinion"  And when I take a step back, do I seriously think that people are only making my recipes around the date that I post them?  And so I will take that cue from her and nod my head emphatically in agreement as I present today's recipe.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Vegan Mushroom Tom Kha

I loooooove tom kha.  

A classic in Thai cuisine, it features a rich coconut milk broth, layered with the trademark aromatic citrus notes of Kaffir lime leaf and lemongrass followed by the warm zing of galangal and chile pepper.  A visit to a Thai restaurant does not seem complete to me without a cup of this wondrous soup, both comforting and invigorating, sweet and savory, light and luxurious, all at the same time. But alas, while vegetarian tom kha is a staple on menus, a vegan one can be harder to find, often due to the use of fish sauce.  And sometimes, even when it's vegan, it isn't gluten free because of soy sauce.  [cue sigh in synch with crossing of arms] But rather than let that stand in my way and inspire an unsatisfied pout,  it serves as wonderful motivation for me to create my own take on this classic.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Strawberry Cherry Smoothie with Cocoa Nibs & Lavender

The beauty of this smoothie is in its unexpected simplicity.  It has so many wonderful layers, from the sweet tartness of the fruit, the creamy mouth feel of coconut milk, the accent of rich, chocolate rising and falling on the palate with the occasional crunch, to the gentle, soothing aroma of lavender buds.  And yet, it only has six ingredients. [cue audience applause]

Friday, February 7, 2014

Pumpkin Teff Porridge:
Bringing Warmth Within

And…….I'm back.

After weeks of newness taking over my life, ranging from beginning the New Year(s), moving into a new apartment, discovering new ways of getting everywhere, to beginning a new romantic relationship, I've been admittedly MIA.  But whereas I might have been stressed about it previously, preoccupied with the idea of disappointed readers and canceled subscriptions, I totally felt at peace with it this time around.  After the chaos and life-altering upheavals of 2013, life is so much more precious to me.  And rather than spend my life in the shadow of fear, cowering in the face of adversity, I realize the choice that I have to live it in happiness and hope, regardless of my circumstances, embracing the power of both living and learning fully in the moment.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Now or Never

That is a theme that is currently redefining the geography of my life.  Its very close cousin, "All or Nothing," is also insistently hovering by my shoulder.  There are many, many things happening right now that are nearly sweeping me off my feet:  Things I have hoped for, things I have wished for, and things I have prayed for.

But as I've learned many times over (and will undoubtedly continue to learn), aren't those the things we often fear the most?

Monday, January 6, 2014

Braised Chard & Chickpeas: A New Year Begins

I know I am not alone when I say that 2013 was a difficult and painful year.  From cracking two ribs, the seemingly relentless natural disasters that devastated the Philippines, a breakup that shattered my heart, to the passing of three family members, among them my 105-year old grandmother who raised me - no, 2013 was not an easy year.  But even having said all that, 2013 was not a bad year.  For amidst such overwhelming darkness, therein lies the greatest opportunity to discover the Light, and the strength, that is within.

And that is exactly what I found.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Tender Roasted Brussels Sprouts

When I was younger, Brussels sprouts were not among my favorite vegetables.  They were mostly boiled whole until they were on the mushy side and their tightly wrapped green-yellow leaves began to turn slightly grayish.  And to get past the bitterness, I would often have to douse them with some kind of sauce, whether it be melted garlic butter, ranch, or mayo.  So, no, these "tiny cabbages" were not my favorite.