Springtime Pesto {Nettles + Ramps O’ My}

Copy of Tempeh Bacon Lettuce & Tomato Sammies

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 ย 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 (copyrightย 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.ย 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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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 isย 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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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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Super Stuffed Peppers {Almost Vegan, Perfectly Delish}

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When life gets insane in the membrane, meals that are simple to put together and extra nourishing really make everything that much better.

I’m not going to lie, the last few weeks have been challenging for me. I’m adjusting to a new work schedule and I think I’ve spread myself pretty thin (just picture this: I work three jobs- not complaining, I love what I do- I’m planning a wedding that’s 2 months away, I still need to have the time to eat, sleep, cook, get mani pedis and enjoy summer).

Being human is a challenge sometimes.

Some days we sleep less.

Some days we eat less or more.

Balance is such an illusion. It’s not real. We can truly have it all but we don’t need to sacrifice it all in order to have it. I’m not a delusional holistic health guru. I exist in this real world. Sometimes there is no time to slave away in the kitchen and it is too damn hot to turn on the mother flippin’ oven or even stand near a stove and pizza sounds like the best option.

This recipe was born on a day it wasn’t too hot to put on the oven and I just didn’t want a ton of pots going at the same time. I just wanted to take what I already had in my fridge, put it together in a semi-cohesive, orgasmic, healthy dinner.

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I’ve done this a handful of times over the last month or so and to be honest, it only gets more and more delicious (and random af).

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TBLTA [Tempeh Bacon Lettuce Tomato Avocado] Sammy

Tempeh Bacon Lettuce & Tomato Sammies

I’m feeling on top of the world. I feel like I’ve been on cloud 9 for at least 4 weeks now (well…I’m kinda always on cloud 9…so maybe cloud 12?) because of the flow of wonderful things happening in my life. I started a new adventure as a farmers market manager here in the city for a few days a week, giving me plenty of time to focus on my health coaching and events. I’m back to a packed schedule with some other side projects and now I have a wedding to plan (teehee…well it’s next year so no stress over here).

I already knew this but whenever there is a series of hurdles or even doubts or fears that show up, I can feel the greatness bubbling underneath the surface. It’s the lotus waiting to emerge through the muck and sh*t. So instead of rushing the process, I surrender and watch as beautiful opportunities lay themselves at my feet (like my new market manager gig).

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