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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Crunchy Af Asian Persuasion Farmers Market Salad

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Summer is made for salads…at least for the two of us. With the fluctuating and confusing weather going from hot to crazy hot to randomly Fall like, we’ve kept it simple. Basically, less cooked foods besides the occasional roasted veg that happens on those below 70 degree days. I mean, I’m going to have my roasted sweet potato because that crunchiness is not replicated on the stovetop. It’s not the same!!!

To get creative and eat outside the box, salads have become entire meals loaded with everything you could possibly need. Protein, check. Healthy fats, check. Crunchy things, check. Greens, check. Delicious dressing, check check and check. Basically any REAAAAALLLY good salad needs at least something crunchy, creamy, salty, sweet and it needs a really freakin good dressing. It’s a must!

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Hubby and I really love that miso ginger dressing that coats every crevice of lettuce at a sushi spot or Hibachi grill. Besides the actually hibachi veggies, the starter salad is WHERE IT’S AT!

If you don’t feel like making your dressing (it’s okay, this is normal human-ness, sometimes I’m lazy af too), there is a creamy miso ginger dressing over by the sushi section at Whole Foods (it’s so damn good). It’s going to run you about 5-6 bucks but it’s worth it if you’re feeling lazy. Or you can give that Newman’s branded sesame ginger dressing a shot. Easy to find. Easy on that budget too 😉

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Fab + Filling Falafel Salad

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Is it just me or does the summer inspire you to eat more and more salad? For the last month or so Matt and I have been on a salad kick (I believe I said this to you before, right?). Instead of whipping up the normal massaged kale (yes, this is a norm in my home) or the quick chopped salad with romaine and tons of fresh veggies, I randomly felt inspired to change it up. If I’m going to eat light, I don’t want to eat the same damn thing every day. That’s so boring and says to your body, “eff you. Suffer.”

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Easy Veggie Enchiladas

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Holy moly. Can you believe that 2014 is practically over? There are amazing opportunities for growth, goal setting, and to break out of that comfort zone. I am really looking forward to having my book come out in just a few months. It amazes me that I really have had this as part of my life’s purpose but only recently have tuned in to make space for this to become a reality.

As I continue to crank out this fantastic book, I am really busy in the kitchen testing out the oldies and improving those recipes to make them divinely delicious (and simple) for all readers. But I gave myself a break last week and decided I wanted to make enchiladas (something I have NEVER made before). I love the idea of having a brown rice tortilla drenched in a tangy, spicy sauce and having it bake until it melts in your mouth.

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