Sautéed Lemony Broccolini

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It’s like summer turned on at the flick of a switch. At that moment, Mother Nature went into full bloom and every summer fruit + veg arrived perfectly and in abundance.

One of my latest discoveries at my local farmer’s market is broccolini. Ever heard of a broccolini?! Though it is commonly called baby broccoli it’s actually its own grownup veggie and is a cross between broccoli and gai lan (Chinese broccoli). It’s tender, long thin stalks have smaller florets and occasionally has some beautiful white flowers which are totally edible. They’re almost nutty in flavor especially when roasted. But we’re in the blazes of summer right now and we are not going to turn our ovens on.

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This sauté is perfect as a side dish or even served alongside a pesto coated chickpea or lentil pasta. I love the beauty of green veggies with a green sauce. More green please!

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Springtime Pesto {Nettles + Ramps O’ My}

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Just two weeks ago I turned 29. That felt a little weird to type or even think about. It’s odd to think I was just 18 when I started this blog. Where in the HECK did the time go? I was just a freshman in college and now I’m married thinking about kids. That provides a whole lot of perspective. I look at my blog and see how my taste in food has evolved over the years. I mean just by looking at the title of this post you can see how much I’ve decided to dip my toes into the ever expanding world of food. Nettles? Ramps? If you asked me 10 years ago what those things were I would have probably shrugged and not even know where to get them.

In true Taurus foodie fashion I welcomed my day of birth with deliciousness. An almond milk latte, avocado toast (not made by me) for brunch and a broccoli rabe pasta dish  with a luscious creamy cheesy sauce garnished with slivered almonds (yea…talk about decadent af), an entire bottle of Valpolicella for dinner and a strawberry tart made by my fave french bakery for singing Happy Birthday. Simple elegance.

I decided that this year is all about simplicity, presence, playfulness and gratitude. My kitchen intentions are to continue to provide simple healthy seasonal eats as often as possible. I working out of this culinary rut, I promise. I don’t know how many freakin’ pesto recipes I have put on my blog but this one is different!!! Trust!!

Have you ever seen a nettle? Or a ramp?

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Stinging Nettles (copyright Uwe H. Friese, Bremerhaven 2003)

Nettles or stinging nettles are a wild edible plant that has small sharp hairs that can actually irritate the skin. The weird part is even with that small inconvenience, it is nutrient-rich, a natural antihistamine (buh bye seasonal allergies), helps control blood sugar and a few other things (check it out here).

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Wild Leeks aka Ramps (copyright dano272)

Ramps are the hot thang right now and to be honest I had NO idea what they were until last year. These wild, foraged leeks are only in season for a short period of time and if you’re not shopping at the farmer’s market can run up your grocery bill. The taste is similar to a leek that had a baby with garlic. Using it up in a pesto gives you an earthy, creamy, garlicky flavor without it being overwhelmingly garlicky.

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Warming Lemon Ginger Detox Drink

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4 months is a LONG time for a hiatus from a blog and for this I truly apologize. Winter for me was really a time of hibernation, self discovery and reevaluation. And sometimes we (am I alone here?) get stuck in a food rut. Yea. It’s the truth. It happened to me. I got stuck in the red lentil soup, pasta, quesadilla for dinner rotation for most of the winter because I was pretty tired. I work outside most days of the week and it was COLD in NYC. I really focused on ramping up my rest and self care, which ended up looking like: Netflix and chillin’ on the couch with hubs and lots AND lots of sleep.

The creative juices were a little on pause but the last few weeks have given birth to something new. To be honest (wait, when am I not!?), I really needed a mental break. But a piece of me was DEFINITELY missing. When I am not in constant creation mode, I don’t really feel like ME. This was a much needed pause so I can come back with a bang 😉

I am trying to step more fully into my cooking and try NEW things or even experiment with things I have tried outside that I want to GiMix (thanks to my friend David for this term, it’s da bomb).

I don’t know about you but this winter just made me feel puffy (compensating for the cold with a little extra puff?). I’m not big on doing smoothies in the winter (that’s just cray to me-cold in the cold?!) so I suck down hot bev’s like nobodies business. I frequented Le Pain Quotidien on some work days to grab their Honey lemon ginger tea. It’s sour, sweet, warm and just so damn cozy. But $5 for a small!? NOPE. I can make it at home for a fraction of the cost and drink it allllll day long.

The best part?

It’s delicious and the combo of lemon + ginger helps improve the metabolism, balance blood sugar, boosts the immune system while maintaining an alkaline state in the body (too much acid is no bueno).

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You can make a big batch of this stuff and store in the fridge for sipping throughout the day or week. Oh and it can either be served warm or cold. I prefer it warm of course 😉

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Maple Roasted Stuffed Acorn Squash

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The holiday season is upon us!

Thanksgiving marked the beginning of my favorite time of year. I love the summertime because I LOVE the heat, but the fall and winter brings two of my favorite holidays: Thanksgiving + Christmas. We decorate the apartment, make coquito or egg nog (check out my vegan coquito recipe here), we make snowflakes and have people over regularly. I practically spend most of my time in the kitchen or cuddled on the couch with Matt listening to our own Christmas playlist (yup, we made our own playlist this year. No commercials. Just straight up seasonal awesomeness).

We hosted for Thanksgiving again this year and a few of our friends actually said they were trying to be vegetarian (like me ;)) so I wanted to present a stunner for the veggie main. Acorn squash are perfect for stuffing and have a nutty slightly sweet taste once roasted.

You can prepare all of this in advance (the quinoa/grain mixture can be prepped a day or two beforehand and stored in the fridge) and just pop in the oven when you’re ready to serve. Now, that’s what I call good hosting!

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Oven Roasted Tomatoes {For the end of tomato season or to make any tomato taste delish}

I’m in denial that summer came and went. As I’m writing this it’s currently 40 something degrees and I’m wondering if I should have worn gloves or my bubble coat. Not that I have anything against fall, it’s one of my favorite seasons. I say this as I sip this delightfully comforting pumpkin spice chai with almond milk. It’s official. The season of hot beverages is upon us.

Im not going to lie.

This weather is so confusing. One minute it’s 80 and the next it’s 40 and we’re all messed up. But the best part, the weather gives us the best of both worlds: summer and fall produce. Apples AND tomatoes. Fall squash AND summer squash. Sweet potatoes and peppers. In some places there is still corn. That’s pretty awesome. I’m hoarding tomatoes like a mad woman because they’re pretty delicious and we won’t have really good fresh juicy tomatoes until next summer.

But this recipe just takes tomatoes to the next level. Roasting them enhances their deep tomato-y ness, creating a rich flavor and making them extra juicy. You can store these babies once roasted in the freezer or in a jar with some olive oil. But you’ll probably not be able to keep your hands off of them. Let’s be real, I ate half of the tomatoes I roasted before they made it to our dinner plates. Oops.

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