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  • Heather Crosby's Pantry To Plate + Hearty Chickpea Stew

    Heather Crosby's Pantry To Plate + Hearty Chickpea Stew

    I did a little happy dance when I heard Heather Crosby had a new book coming out! 

    Heather, creator of the beautiful online space (and book by the same name!) known as YumUniverse, is a fellow plant-lover, graduate of T. Colin Campbell's Plant-Based Nutrition course, and believer in bio-individuality. 

    She also calls West Virginia (wild and wonderful) home these days, which, in my mind, kind of makes us part-time neighbors. (Go with it, people!)

    Her latest cookbook Pantry To Plate: Improvise Meals You Love - from What You Have is a one-of-a-kind, plant-based, gluten-free recipe playbook for the home chef!

    The concept here is "choose-your-own-adventure", and Heather's 30 mix-and-match templates are just what you need to get your creative juices flowing.

    Follow the recipes exactly as they're presented, or go ahead and mix things up. The possibilities are endless! 

    Here are just a few of the lick-your-fingers (and plate!?) delicious recipes you'll find here: 


    HEARTY CHICKPEA STEW
    Serves 8+

    Now I know it's starting to warm up outside, but don't count this one out! It's the perfect meal for those slightly cooler days and evenings (thinking this'll be a good one for Sleepy Creek with the fam) and definitely warming, grounding, and nourishing for colder nights.

    As I write this, it's in the upper seventies in Baltimore, and it was really the perfect lunch today! (I had seconds and I'm already looking forward to dinner.) 

    Ingredients:
    1 tablespoon unrefined coconut oil
    1 yellow onion, diced
    3 stalks celery, diced
    2 carrots, diced
    1 tablespoon fresh thyme
    1 cup (15 g) lightly packed stemmed, chopped kale
    ¼ cup (60 ml) dry white wine (optional)
    2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
    1 bay leaf
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    1 teaspoon ground coriander I used 2 drops of my doTERRA Coriander, since I didn't have any ground on hand. 
    ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
    ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
    ¼ teaspoon grated lemon zest
    ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
    5 cups (1.2 L) low-sodium vegetable stock
    3 cups (495 g) cooked chickpeas (roughly 1 cup/200 g dry; see page 11)
    1 cup (165 g) cooked wild rice, cooked (roughly 1⁄2 cup/80 g dry; see page 11)
    1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste

    Fresh-cracked black pepper

    How To:

    • In a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, add the oil and sauté the onion, celery, carrots, and thyme for 7 to 10 minutes, until softened and browning.
    • Add the kale; sauté over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the wine (if using), lemon juice, bay leaf, cumin, coriander, turmeric, paprika, zest, and cinnamon; stir for 2 minutes, then add the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 5 to 7 minutes.
    • Fold in the chickpeas and wild rice—cook for another 5 minutes. Stir in the salt and then transfer 2 cups (480 ml) of soup (make sure the bay leaf stays in the soup pot and not in the measuring cup) to a blender and purée until smooth. Return the purée to the soup to add bulk, and stir. Reduce the heat to low and season with more salt if you like and generous pepper.
    • Simmer for 10 to 20 minutes to infuse flavor even more—serve warm and enjoy how the flavors develop every day if you have any leftovers.

    And few photos from my fun in the kitchen:

    Credits:
    Recipe from YumUniverse Pantry to Plate © Heather Crosby, 2017. 
    Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment.
    Available wherever books are sold.
    theexperimentpublishing.com

  • Here's to the simple things + Acorn Squash

    Here's to the simple things + Acorn Squash

    Autumn. 

    The sweet spot between Summer and Fall.
    And my most favorite time of year. 

    Open the windows, build a fire, breathe in those gorgeous turning leaves.
    Before they've fallen to the ground, all brown and lifeless and gone.
    Until the Spring. 

    A time for getting grounded. For introspection. 
    For checking in.
    And seeing how you're doing.

    How's it going these days?

    Are you feeling more up than down? I hope!
    Comfortable in your skin? More so every day? 
    Or are you itching, stretching, can't stand it anymore, ready for a change?

    What change?
    What do you want more of?
    How do you want to feel? Who do you want to be? 
    And how thrilling to be on the verge of a shift!

    As much as I know there's a whole season between now and the new year, I can't help but feel like I've already begun to reflect on 2015. And it's been quite a year. (Too much to process just now. But that's coming.) Another post. Another day.



    For now, I'm content to pause.
    And appreciate the still-mostly-green leaves on the trees in the backyard.
    To slow down when my body says it needs to.
    To not push, even when my head says don't stop.
    To reflect on all the goodness. All the joy. All the love in my life. 

    I've got my head in the clouds.

    Still dreaming, believing, creating, achieving, and growing.
    Into the person I am.
    And the person I'm always becoming.
     
    Sometimes I stumble. 
    Sometimes I screw up. 
    Sometimes I fall.
    Or overdue it.

    But I can come back from that.
    Can right my ship and adjust the course. 

    And my feet on the ground.

    Grounded.
    Not always, but as often as possible.
    I'm reconnecting. 
    Appreciating.
    Offering up gratitude.
    For all that I have and all that I'm able to do.
    Even when it's small.

    Especially then.



    Here's to the simple things.

    Like acorn squash at the market!

    The smallest of pleasures. 
    The changing of the seasons.
    The going on of life.
    And taking the time to notice. 
    And celebrate.
    Even if you do it quietly. 

    Even if you do it by yourself.

    Especially then.

    Sending you LOVE, my friends.
    And squash. :)





    ACORN SQUASH, SUPER SIMPLY:

    1. Wash it.
    2. Halve it.
    3. Drizzle it with oil.
    4. Bake, flesh sides down, for 45 minutes at 385F.
    5. Sea salt, pepper, and good maple syrup. Ahhhhmaaazinggg.

  • Avocado Pesto Pasta

    Avocado Pesto Pasta

    This Fourth Of July was lovely!

    Skipped the fireworks and booze and parties to enjoy a peaceful, beautiful day spent with some of my best friends + a homemade meal that satisfied the belly and the soul. All set to a backdrop of motown hits and an open appreciation for the stuff that really matters in life.

    Friendship. Love. Taking care of ourselves. And taking care of others.

    The star of the dinner table was this Avocado Pesto Pasta, the ultimate in summer comfort food. It was inspired by a longing for a pesto I made while at the Academy of Culinary Nutrition last year. Soooo good! Here's a little variation on the original recipe from my mentor Meghan Telpner. 

    Ingredients:
    1 package gluten-free pasta This one's my favorite!
    1 1/2 cups mushrooms, sliced
    1 teaspoon EVOO
    1 bunch basil leaves
    1/2 tablespoon tamari
    1/3 cup sunflower seeds
    1/3 cup olive oil
    4 cloves garlic, minced
    1/2 avocado
    2 tablespoons lemon juice
    1 1/2 cups tomatoes, sliced
    Sea salt and pepper, to taste

    Instructions:

    • Cook pasta according to package instructions.
    • Sauté mushrooms in 1 teaspoon EVOO, until tender. Set aside.
    • Place basil, tamari, sunflower seeds, 1/3 cup olive oil, minced garlic, avocado, and lemon juice in blender. Blend until smooth.
    • Drain and transfer pasta to a large bowl. 
    • Mix in mushrooms, tomatoes, and pesto until pasta is coated and all ingredients are evenly combined.
    • Add sea salt and pepper to taste.
    • Enjoy!

    So what was YOUR favorite Fourth Of July moment? I'd love to know! I hope you had some time to rest and soak up all the love around you.